Bicycle -vs- no bicycle for van life?

freddieandadele

New member
I searched and searched but did not come up with any relevant postings from the past. If I missed them, please let me know.

My wife and I are, or were, avid cyclists. We do not ride much anymore, mostly due to laziness, but will start back someday. We think. Maybe. Next year we plan to build out a 170 or 170 ext for fulltime travel. In theory, we want to take bikes with us but are trying to decide if it is worth it. My question is NOT about how/where to carry/store bikes or what type of bikes we should take (but always open to suggestions). We know that we can do it and know that doing so will take away from valuable storage we could use for something else, like hair dryers and all the other stuff my wife thinks she is packing. There is zero chance that we will use a rack on the back or put them on top (dirt, theft, clearance, aesthetics).

We plan to spend the majority of our time off grid in BLM, etc., but also will have to head into towns for the obvious reasons. I am less concerned with the bikes for exercise. But what about using them to get supplies from the store down the road without having to drive there, or using them to ride to civilization when I break down or am stuck, or for local touring in town, or for trail rides? Are these reasons worth allocating storage space?

My questions for are these:

1. Did you take bikes in your van or RV that you never/rarely used?
2. Did you set off in a van and regret not taking bikes? Buy them later?
3. Are they valuable for a means of transportation for shopping, etc.?

You get the idea. Thanks.
 

RVBarry

Active member
Hi, I could see them being useful for riding around cities where parking is generally impossible (like Boston).
But I also don't know that it's worth the space, and likely having to raise the bed higher.
Bikeshares are available in many cities now. Note the rates can be terrible if you want to ride for more than two hours (we paid $80 in DC 2 years ago for 2 bikes for the afternoon).

My wife is allergic to hills, so trail riding is not really a consideration for us.

How far are you wiling to ride to town? BLM land is often very remote, at least in the West.
 

Chico

New member
Smaller folding bikes may be an option. I had my dirt bike on the back of the van, I enjoyed using it, but really didn't use it enough to bring it again on longer trips. I had a little electric foldable bike in the van, but didn't use it much either. I think having a bicycle would be fun and useful, but how often would I really use it?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
If price is not concern, but weight and storage size is, there are folding bicycles which are designed for stowing in small aircraft.
As an example:
(The full sized wheels are a plus in my mind.)
There are other offerings.

To the topic.
We have carried bicycles with us while traveling/camping. The times that we do use them we really enjoy. When the local terrain is hilly we find motivation to use them goes to a low point.

:cheers: vic

Added:
This seems like a good overview for folding bikes.
 
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glasseye

Well-known member
E-bikes instantly solve the motivation problem, leaving only the fun. They use marginally more space. Mine loads/unloads effortlessly via the slider.

I recall a single moonlit ride in Death Valley that came close to cancelling out all the annoyances of carrying that bike over the years.

You had me at
My wife and I are, or were, avid cyclists.
 

freddieandadele

New member
Hi, I could see them being useful for riding around cities where parking is generally impossible (like Boston).
But I also don't know that it's worth the space, and likely having to raise the bed higher.
Bikeshares are available in many cities now. Note the rates can be terrible if you want to ride for more than two hours (we paid $80 in DC 2 years ago for 2 bikes for the afternoon).

My wife is allergic to hills, so trail riding is not really a consideration for us.

How far are you wiling to ride to town? BLM land is often very remote, at least in the West.
Haha. As far as I would have to if I am stuck or broken down! We have both done Ironman races and accustomed to long distances in the saddle, but also know that neither of want to ever ride that far again. For pleasure or groceries, it would be short distances only. For help....no limits.
 

freddieandadele

New member
If price is not an option, but weight and storage size is, there are folding bicycles which are designed for stowing in small aircraft.
As an example:
(The full sized wheels are a plus in my mind.)
There are other offerings.

To the topic.
We have carried bicycles with us while traveling/camping. The times that we do use them we really enjoy. When the local terrain is hilly we find motivation to use them goes to a low point.

:cheers: vic

Added:
This seems like a good overview for folding bikes.
Thanks for the links. We are considering folding bikes and I will look at those.
 

freddieandadele

New member
Smaller folding bikes may be an option. I had my dirt bike on the back of the van, I enjoyed using it, but really didn't use it enough to bring it again on longer trips. I had a little electric foldable bike in the van, but didn't use it much either. I think having a bicycle would be fun and useful, but how often would I really use it?
That, sir, is my question! Probably not much, to be honest. The problem is the build depends on the bikes vs no bikes decision. If we plan on it, we will build it for bikes. If not, we will have more room for hair dryers.
 

freddieandadele

New member
Folding bikes FTW
We are considering them, but that would mean leaving two spaces for them, and good ones are expensive. Hate to go through all that and not use them. Just trying to figure out if others do, aside from mountain biking enthusiasts, etc. Most likely for us would be trail riding and groceries.
 

stellamon

Member
Well I took my mountain bike with me to St. Ives in Cornwall last year. It was lovely riding on the miles of beach there but mainly used it to go to the pub in the evening after travelling around for the day and parking up at the campsite.
I was on my own so had loads of room inside the van otherwise I would consider some sort of rack externally.
I will be taking it next time as they're very handy and fun to have about.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
I compromised. Did not want a bike hanging off back of van. Bought a 20" wheel foldable bike and it stores inside the van across the back between the rear doors and the bed platform. Did not want a high bed platform.

For picture go to following link.

https://www.ortontransit.info/

The bike in the picture was stolen from my barn so it was replaced with a 20" wheel foldable electric bike. Impressed with the cheap ($650) electric bike. Only thing required for storage is to fold down the handle bar.


Removed the fenders and replaced the tires with fatter tires.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
I have foldable bike that I bought like 25 years ago and it folds to 2'x2'x 1' package.
Did not take it to Sprinter yet ,but in old bus conversion it was sitting in storage bay permanently.
When my wife doesn't like bikes, I love it for checking what's in the neighborhood, getting 6-packs from nearby grocery story, or loaf of bread.
I also have couple of scooters. They will give you shorter range you can ride on them, but still lot of help.
Regardless our age, we still can hike 5 miles when needed.
Actually did 7 over rough mountain last fall. but don't think I will go there again.
 

ECU

Well-known member
I had bikes hanging off the back of my cab over for years. Very rarely used them. Sure, if there was a nice place to ride...
But the wife nixed any trail riding. "what if you were injured? I don't want to drive this thing."
Biggest cost was in the overhang. I took a ferry ride. Charged by the foot. The cab over was about 4 feet beyond the back bumper. the bikes hung another four feet out from that, but were at 7 feet off the road.
I paid for 8 feet beyond that bumper. But the ferry parkers loaded a sedan right up to my bumper with my bikes hanging to the top of their car. I wanted my money back.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
This always make me smile as I see the auto procession climbing up I/70 with a stack of push bikes hanging of the back of a rig heading to the mountain resorts.
In the USA its push bikes, in the ME its a Kuwaiti with a full size car (like an Olds 98) with tent age and carpets hanging over the trunk & roof !
Oh God in heaven.

But that stated, Arab peoples can erect tentage type shelter, and lay out carpet in a very short time on the road side or by a wadi.
On the wearisome road from Amman to Baghdad in the afternoon heat driving a Landrover I could always manage to scrounge a cup of hot recently brewed boiling hot chai to slake thirst.
With tea comes relaxed conversation for an hour, often with curious kids running about & where Christian meets Muslim and enjoyment of ME hospitality when you are a traveler .
Indeed during the Hadj, the Hashemite Jordanians set up Chai tents for refreshment at regular intervals on major routes to Saudi Arabia, both Christian & Muslim "welcome" with an Alan whah salen!.

So both are useful and when I scudded about 30 years ago with a modern double decker demo bus here in the USA, I always had a 10 speed push bike bunged in the lower deck aisles. I doubt you will find Arab style Chai or Numi Basra in Western Nebraska , but there is still a good old American country welcome & hospitality if you need it .
Dennis.
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/push-bike

Noun1.push-bike- a bicycle that must be pedaled
bicycle, bike, cycle, wheel - a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland- a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland andWales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom

You have to "push" the pedals with your feet. In the US it's just a bicycle or bike (but not to be confused with a motorbike/motorcycle).
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Well push or actually pedal the contraption you need stamina on hills, need I mention it. Here in my transplanted Colorado there are steep mountainous tracks & roads that somehow means more pushing than actually pedaling.
The same can be said of my native Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds .
Try 106 miles around the route following the Tour of the Cotswolds cycle race.
It sorts the men from the boys.
For something more leisurely and perhaps more civilized try a leisurely tour at your own push bike pace.
Dennis

 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Going back to Arab tea.
You haven't lived until you have tried Noomi Basra, Numi Basra or sometimes called Harmooth.
Made from dried limes, its basically dried lime tea with honey or sugar to sweeten it.

When I was invited to visit the Ministry of Transport for some business meeting it was always greeted with chai (shay) mostly by a delicious glass of hot lime team, my absolute favorite.
The conversation would always go the same way with a few subtle changes in the discussions, besides its rude in Arabia to be direct as you might be in English English or English American business discussions.
Hadi William how is the the British?--very well General.
How are those cousins of yours those Americans? Don't tell me, swabbing as usual I am reading it.
Worse than us Arabs!
Yes but lets not talk about Americans , hows your family ?
More the question Hadi William how is that snooty Kuwaiti girlfriend of yours?
Can she make Noomi Basra like an Iraqi woman?

I am not sure General and please don't suggest yet another Arab girlfriend!
I like a simple life without swabbing troubling women tugging at my hearts strings .
Ah yes you are very wise and have learned much from us Arab people!
How's the Noomi Basra?
Wonderful "mumtaz" as usual !
Dennis
How make Noomi Basra
 

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