6 Tips For Traveling With A Bike
Ask anyone who has ever traveled with a bike, and they’ll tell you there is no better way to explore a new city, check out a new country or see the natural beauty of a state than on a bike. Whether you’re just heading out for a weekend get-a-way or traveling overseas, it’s easier than you think.
Here at Performance, our employees have taken their bikes to France to follow in the footsteps of the pros, rented bikes in Copenhagen and Amsterdam to experience the finest cycling infrastructure in the world, and traveled around the country to find the best mountain bike trails and road rides North America has to offer. Traveling with a bike is a truly unique experience that brings a new element of freedom and enjoyment to a trip, it just takes a little extra planning and preparation.
Here are our 6 tips for successfully traveling with your bike:
1. Transporting Your Bike: this is the biggest hang-up people usually have, especially if flying. If you’re road-tripping it, a car-mounted bike rack is an easy way to get your bike around (just remember to bring a cable lock). Flying can be more of a challenge, but is still very doable. Investing in a good travel case can help ensure your bike gets where it’s going unharmed. Check with your airline to see how much they charge to check a bike—in some cases it may be less expensive to ship it the local Performance Store ahead of time. If you’re not planning on doing any serious road or MTB riding on your trip, consider using the city bike rentals now offered in many cities.
2. Pack Right: When you arrive at your destination, you’ll need to have all the riding essentials. Here’s the packing list we’ve honed over many years:
- Helmet, cycling shoes, sunglasses
- Kit (cycling shorts, jerseys, socks, arm/knee warmers, wind vest)
- Rain jacket
- Multitool, tire levers, patch kit
- 2 spare tubes
- Pump or Co2 chuck (if you’re flying, buy the cartridges when you get to your destination)
- Rear blinky light
- Water bottles/hydration pack
- Sunscreen, chamois cream, bug spray, etc…
- Spare parts that may not be stocked in a local shop (Campagnolo chains, Time or Speedplay cleats, certain disc brake pads, etc…)
3. Visit The Local Performance Store: whenever we head to a new city, we always drop by and have a word with our coworkers. Not only is it a chance to pick up anything we might need (Co2 cartridges, tire sealant, nutrition items, etc…), but the guys at the shop usually know the best road routes and mountain trails, or can provide you with some bike-friendly routes to see the city.
4. Ask About Local Customs: You might think that riding a bike is riding a bike, but things are a little different where ever you go. Whether it’s hopping on someone’s wheel out on the road, dealing with trail right of ways, or even how to handle car traffic and lock up a bike, each location has its own customs and etiquette. Asking a local can help you make some friends, find some people to ride with and ensure you don’t rub anyone the wrong way.
5. Apres-Ride: Nothing feels better after a ride than a good cup of coffee, carbonated hops and barley recovery beverage, or some great local cuisine. Don’t just settle for any old place. Ask other riders or the folks at the local Performance store for their favorite place to easy up to after a day in the saddle.
6. Get The Whole Family Involved: Traveling with children may not seem very conducive to a riding vacation, but many cities now offer plenty of family friendly ways to pedal around. Ask some friends, family, or hotel staff to point you towards a local bike tour or rental company that caters to cycling adventures for the whole family.
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