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We've got some helpful tips and advice when taking your bicycle on your next touring adventure.
Taking your bicycle with you when you head off on your next touring adventure is becoming more and more popular, probably due to the ease in getting out and about once you’ve arrived at your Club campsite. Here are a few suggestions on the best way to take your bikes with you when going on tour:
Cycle rack on the back of your outfit
The most popular and practical place to store bikes is a rack on the rear wall of your motorhome. Many motorhomes already come with some element of pre-fitting for a rack, but when fixing one to a coach-built body, ensure the securing bolts have been driven into a solid framework. If you are buying a new motorhome, it's worth looking into getting a rack fitted by the manufacturer. Hanging bikes, especially e-bikes, on the back of a motorhome may affect stability, so always check your loading and set-up carefully, before setting off.
The law requires your vehicles number plate and rear lights to be clearly visible, and therefore a cycle carrier lighting board will more than likely be required. This lighting board plugs into your 12N road light socket or your 13-pin combined socket. Remember if you're leaving the bike rack permanently attached, its worth considering some form of reversing aid to remind you that you've extended the length of your rig.
Carrying your bike inside your motorhome or campervan
There are really only a few outfits that would suit the option of carrying your bicycle inside your motorhome or campervan. You’ll need to consider whether you have enough space inside as well as the tie down points. The outfit itself would probably need wider doors, especially if you’re carrying adult bikes, and you need to be aware of the payload capacity as well.
Roof rack mounted carrier
Although a roof rack mounted carrier is a good space-saver, it can be quite tricky getting the bikes on and off the roof rack. It is also adds to the fuel consumption and is one of the worst options for generating noise. Don't forget that putting bikes on the roof adds another 3-4 feet on to the height of your vehicle. Forgetting that they are there when driving under low bridges and even trees could end up being a costly mistake.
Touring abroad in your motorhome or campervan, with cycle carriers
In most European countries you will need to ensure that your vehicles number plates, lights and indicators are not obstructed or obscured. The cycle rack needs to be in a good condition, is fixed securely to your outfit and is considered fit for purpose.
In Spain and Italy, if you have an overhanging load such as a cycle rack, there is an extra requirement to display a red and white marker board. These marker boards are manufactured by Fiamma, are made of plastic or aluminium and are available from accessory shops and outfit dealerships. In Spain you can use either material, but in Italy the marker board must be aluminium. From a safety perspective, the use of a marker board indicates to other vehicles that your outfit has an overhanging load, and is therefore quite a sensible option to use in other countries that you’re touring around as well.
It's important to think about security when out and about with bikes, as they are easy and tempting targets for opportunist thieves. Always keep your bikes locked to your rack while on the road, and pay particular attention when making short stops, for example at a motorway service station. When on site, again make sure your bikes are always locked when not in use, either to the rack or another immovable object.
Check your insurance policies to see if your bikes are covered when touring, and always be aware of the security requirements detailed in the policy. As well as having your holiday ruined by the loss of your bikes, finding out they aren't covered because you didn't secure them properly would be a sad end to a trip.
Exploring the great outdoors on two-wheels, at home or away, is one of life's simple pleasures. That's why we've partnered with Bikmo to offer enhanced cover for members and non members. Plus members get a discount off Bikmo prices. Bikmo's policy covers you against a financial loss if your bike, e-bike and kit is stolen or damaged anywhere in the world as standard; plus there are other great benefits like cover to get you back home (or to your holiday accommodation) if you hit some bad luck.
Check out our Club Shop for other discounted Club member rates on bike racks, bike locks, as well as bike accessories.
When you’re back from your travels where would the bike rack live? Is it removable or do you need to dismantle it? Do think about the kind of your storage that you have as the racks could potentially take up quite a lot of space. Visit our Club Shop to get discounted member rates on bike racks.