Bicycling is probably one of the most popular adventures I see Rv’ers doing while out on the road.
Whether you just bicycle around the campground, venture into the local towns or hit it hard in the trails, bicycling is arguably one of the least expensive and one of the best ways to get exercise while out Rv’ing.
Bicycles Make Sense
Whether you are part-time or full-time RV’er bicycles just make sense. Most people have ridden bicycles since they were young so there is no training involved. If you are bringing your kids and they are just learning, campgrounds make great places to teach them how to ride. Most campground speed limits are under 10mph and most people in campgrounds are generally looking out for young kids in the roads as they drive in and out.
There are no fuel costs and they are fairly easy to transport which is another great reason to take up bicycle riding. For the basic rider who just wants to ride around the campground or on bike trails, you will not need a fancy bike and your maintenance costs are next to nothing.
Many parks have scenic bike trails that you can enjoy a leisurely ride on. They are specifically designed for bicycle riders and are automobile-free. Some towns are even adding bicycle-only lanes to their roads to make them more bicycle-friendly.
The serious biker who wants to do much longer type trips or hit the off-road trails, your costs will be significantly higher than the average biker. From the initial layout to the spare parts and tools you will need to carry on the road.
7 Different Types
There are numerous styles of bikes on the market today but for the purpose of this article, I will stick to 7 different types. If you become a more serious rider, you will need to research the exact type of bicycle that is right for you. This article is for people just starting out.
1– Cruiser Bikes– This is the most popular bikes among leisurely riders. You will typically find these bikes in the campgrounds, the parks, and boardwalks. They have wider tires and their handlebars sit in a more upright position. They are good for shorter distances and flat terrain.
2– Touring Bikes– These bikes are designed to be ridden on pavement and do long trips. They are durable and their gearing is designed for heavier loads.
3– Adventure Road Bikes– These bikes are for the riders who are a little more “adventurous” and might want to take longer trips or venture onto some off-road trails. They are designed to handle road as well as gravel surfaces.
4– Mountain Bikes– Plain and simple, these bikes were designed to be ridden on tough off-road trails. People use these on-road also but they are designed for off-roading. A day in the trails on one of these bikes and I would be in traction for a week!!!…lol.
5– Folding Bikes– These are perfect for the casual rider who travels with little room for storage. Whether you are in a small RV or an apartment with little storage space, these are perfect. Another good use for these is if you plan on going on a long trip and will utilize public transportation for part of the way. Just fold up the bike and get on that train, bus, or cab. If you have an RV and all your storage areas and racks are already filled, fold it up and toss it inside.
6– Tandem Bikes– Quite simply, these are bikes that are meant for 2 riders. There are different designs of tandem bikes to meet whatever type of riding you would like to do. Just make sure your partner will help with the peddling!!!
7– Tricycle– Last but certainly not least is the tricycle. Kids use these to learn how to start riding when they are young. Guess what? Now they have them for adults. Whether you are just learning, too unsteady on two wheels, or just not physically able to ride a two-wheeler these bikes are for you.
How Will You Transport
So there are some of your common bicycle styles. Whatever one you pick you will need to make sure you can store and transport them. Here are a few ways RV’ers whether full or part-time might transport their bikes.
Bike Rack– These can be either attached to an RV bumper, car, or truck. They come in all shapes and sizes. If you are attaching to a travel trailer bumper, make sure the bumper is designed to hold the additional weight. Many travel trailer owners make custom racks that are welded to the trailer frame instead of the bumper. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s safe.
Trailer– Another way to carry them is a pull a trailer behind your RV. Many people already do this so adding a bicycle would be no big deal. You can always put them inside the RV while you travel. The folding bikes are perfect for this reason. My old Gulfstream travel trailer actually had a bunkhouse in the back that lifted up to make room for bicycle storage.
So you have an idea of the style you want and how you will transport it. What’s your next step? Purchasing of course. A bicycle shop is an ideal place to purchase because they have the knowledge to get you on the right sized bike for your height and build. They are extremely knowledgeable and when you walk out of there with your new bike you will know it’s the right size. Of course, to you will pay extra for that knowledge.
There are retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon that are always running sales. The only thing about that is you will need to make sure it’s the right fit for you. There’s nothing worse than buying a bicycle that is the wrong size for you and trying to ride it around. However, if you have done your research and know exactly what you want, these retailers can save you some good coin.
Are You Good With Charts & Measuring?
If you are good at figuring things out, there are fit charts you can use to figure out the right size bike for you. All you have to do is google “Bike Sizing Charts” and you will get all the different sizing. Remember, if that’s too overwhelming a good bike store is worth a trip.
If you fit into that category, know exactly what you want, and feel comfortable ordering online and feel like this article was helpful to you, please say thank you by using one of my affiliate links above. Wal-mart.com is a great option because you can order it online and pick it up at the closest store. You can even order the “put together” option when you order so when you pick it up it’s ready to ride. Just remember you need to transport it back to your site or home.
Safety- The Elephant In The Room
So now you have an idea of the different types of bicycles and some transport options. You also know that sizing is very important to a comfortable ride. The last thing I want to mention is safety. Yeah, I know. No one likes to talk about safety. It’s like the elephant in the room.
I won’t badger you with a million things but I want to mention a few. Anyone can fall at any time for any number of reasons. If you hit your head a simple fall can become much more serious. Please consider a helmet when riding. Flip flops are very laid back and comfortable shoes when you’re sitting around a campfire. When you are riding a bicycle, they can become a danger. Always wear the proper shoes.
Something you might not have considered is sunscreen. You will be having so much fun riding, you will lose track of how long you are in the sun. Sunburn hurts and can lead to much more serious illnesses down the road. Things can happen while riding, bugs flying at you, and yes sometimes people throw stuff out of their car windows as they drive. Always wear some kind of eye protection. There is not too much safety gear but it is important.
I hope I have given you a little insight into the wonderful world of bicycles. They are fun, great exercise and easy to transport as opposed to some of the other adventure toys. As with all the other adventures I have mentioned in this adventure series, take your time. Do your research. Rent a bike if possible to make sure you enjoy it or are physically able to do it.
If you have any bicycle stories, comments, or tips I may have left out, feel free to leave a comment below.