Quick Guide to Transporting Your Bike
We know bikes are a great method of local transportation: they're healthy, environmentally friendly and tons of fun. But what about when you're heading to an epic adventure and you don't want to leave your bike at home? Where bikes might be good for transporting you, when the tables turn and you transport your bike it's basically the opposite of healthy and fun. So what are the best ways to get your bike to your destination? Here we cover the basics of traveling with your bike by car and airplane. No car? No worries, you can get around locally through this handy guide to taking your bike on local NYC trains.
There are three main methods of transporting your bike by car: the roof rack, the trunk rack and the hitch rack. Each one has it's own positives and negatives. The roof rack is the most common way to transport bikes. It provides safe and secure transportation while also freeing up your trunk. The main disadvantage is actually getting the bike onto the car.
The trunk rack and hitch rack have very similar advantages and disadvantages. Both give the car passengers a line of sight on their bikes. And both are a lot easier to load up. The disadvantage for both is that they are very vulnerable to rear end accidents, collisions, and theft.
For far-away adventures, transporting your bike by plane requires some careful planning. The most important first step is finding out whether your chosen airline will allow you to transport your bike and if the bike fits into the checked bag weight requirements. You will most likely need to pay an extra baggage charge. The next step is finding out if your bike needs to be placed inside a bike. Pro tip: take your bike with you when purchasing the bag as there are various sizes and shapes, and some require a partial disassembling. Even if a bag is not required it is a good way to protect your bike from potential damage.
When you arrive at the airport, have the bike already packed in the bag. Most airports offer parking services that will make transportation easier. For example Parking4Less states that at major airports they often have a meet and greet service at the terminal that makes the transportation of large luggage easier. Services such as these ensure you are less likely to damage your bike as you transfer it to the check-in desk. Additionally, at major hubs they have shuttle buses and trains that are big enough to transport size-able objects like bikes with ease.
Good luck and happy adventuring!