Bicycle on the road – how to do it?
Do you want to take your bicycle on vacation? It turns out that you can do so, going on a trip by car, as well as by plane and train. Remember, however, that transporting a unicycle by any of these means of transportation has its own rules. We explain how to transport a bicycle comfortably, safely and what gadgets are worth getting for this purpose.
Carrying a bicycle by car
There are no specific guidelines in the traffic regulations that specify how to transport unicycles. The only condition is that they should not obstruct either the lights or the rear license plate of the car. Therefore, two-wheeler enthusiasts have quite a few options – they can transport bicycles both inside and outside the car.
Transport of unicycles in the cabin
Nothing prevents owners of larger cars from transporting them inside the vehicle. However, keep in mind that already one bicycle will take up most of the space in the back of the car – even after folding down the rear seats. Therefore, this option is rather reserved only for couples or singles who plan to take two wheels with them on vacation.
Those who decide to transport a unicycle in the car, I can also think about reducing its dimensions. To do this, it is a good idea to remove the front and rear wheels and fold the handlebars.
Special bike bags can be used to transport the unicycle in the car. Also available in bicycle stores are covers for frames and wheels. Thanks to them, both the unicycle and the cabin of the car are protected from accidental damage.
Bike on the roof of the car
A roof rack for transporting bicycles consists of two beams and special brackets for securing the bicycle. When installing it, you need to pay attention to the maximum load on the roof of a given car model – this information is always given by the car manufacturer. For passenger cars, it is usually between 50 and 75 kg.
The advantages of such a way of transporting bicycles are:
- maintaining excellent visibility of the route;
- unobstructed access to the trunk;
- easy parking;
- preserving visibility of the rear registration.
However, it should be remembered that putting bicycles on the roof and pulling them down requires considerable effort. In addition, transporting unicycles on the roof rack results in deterioration of the vehicle’s aerodynamics and, on longer routes, higher fuel consumption.
Bike on the rear window
Again, you will need a special rack to transport a unicycle. It is important to realize that transporting a bicycle on the tailgate of a car makes access to the trunk more difficult. In addition, attaching a unicycle to such a rack and transporting it runs the risk of damaging the car body.
Hook-on bicycle platform
Such platforms are increasingly popular among motorized cyclists. They make it possible to transport up to four bicycles at once, provide convenient access to the unicycles and do not affect the aerodynamics of the car.
However, wanting to mount the platform on the hitch, you need to try to get an additional third license plate. This is necessary because the structure for carrying bicycles obscures the numbers on the car. The cost of obtaining such a plate is 50 EUR. In addition to this, be sure that the bicycle platform is equipped with lighting.
Traveling with a bicycle by air
How much you will pay for transporting a bicycle by plane depends on the airline’s price list. Usually it is a fee of several tens of euros.
Your most important task before such a trip is to secure the unicycle so that it does not get damaged in the cargo hold. In this case, you will not go around without a bike cover or bag – they should be made of rigid materials that dampen vibrations and impacts.
Is it possible to travel with a bicycle on a train?
Carrying a bicycle by train costs about 10 EUR – this rate is the same for each route. There is a special place designated for unicycles, and when there is none, they are placed in the first vestibule of the first car or in the last vestibule of the last car in the lineup. You also need to check the timetable to see if you can travel with a bicycle on a particular train.
Vacationing with a unicycle is a great idea for an active vacation. However, before you hit the road with your two wheels, go to a self-service bike repair station. Clean and lubricate the chain there, wash the bike, inflate the tires. Also prepare well for the trip itself – properly pack the vehicle, fix it up or pay for its transportation.