Travelling With Your Bike In Tow

by Jules on March 24, 2013

With Easter and summer approaching many of us just want to go out and enjoy the fresh air. So, why not combine this with a family cycling trip. It’s free, it’s fun and good for your health.

The UK offers a wide range of bike ride opportunities, from small roundtrips to coast to coast challenges. Here are some of our favourite routes:

1)     Mawddach Trail Cycleway
This 10mile path follows the course of an old railway line starting in Dolgellau with fantastic views (mountains, sea and river) on the way. The track is very level and sealed, and has various picnic spots and viewpoints along the way, and is very appealing to families with little children as well as birdwatchers. The trail finishes at a railway bridge in Barmouth.

2)     The Camel Trail, Cornwall
The 18mile long multi use trail provides a wonderful opportunity to discover the Cornish countryside. Following a disused railway line by the River Camel the path will take you from Padstow to Wenford Bridge passing Wadebridge and Bodmin. The views are fantastic, the trail is relatively easy and mostly traffic-free.  There are lots of benches and picnic tables on the road. Especially when you are going with kids, you might want to consider splitting the 18miles into a 2day trip.

3)     Coast to Coast
A perfect overview of northern England offers the C2C ride. The 147mile long ride starts in Whitehaven (West Coast) and takes you into the industrial north-east of Tynemouth. You will pass beautiful views, lakes, and a few hills. The C2C is Britain’s most popular distance cycling route, and it’s best taken from West to East to take the advantage of winds and short uphill’s/long downhill’s.

Once decided on where to go, you are now looking to buy a cycle rack for your car to get your bikes there. Well, good news – you’re in the right place. I will be taking you through three different types of Thule cycle carrier.

Rear Door Mounted

Rear door mounted cycle carriers are great if your car does not have a towbar. They are easy to attach to the car as they use a simple ‘snap on’ fastening system. The model in the photograph to the right is extra special because it can be folded away for ease of storage, and has rubber protection at all points of contact between the bicycle frame and the carrier, so you can be sure your bike is not going to get scratched or damaged in the process.

Tow Bar Mounted

Obviously, the towbar mounted cycle carriers are only viable if you have a strong towbar. Most of the towbar mounted carriers have a smart tilt function, so accessibility to the boot of your car is easy. They are also impossibly easily to fit to your towbar, and certain models, such as the one to the right, can be attached with just one hand!

Roof Mounted

Now the benefits of roof mounted cycle carriers should be obvious – they do not obscure your view at all, unlike the mounted bikes will in your rear window. However, they do command more concentration and better spatial awareness, which is something you should consider when making the choice. These carriers are easy to install, and easy to store. The particular model to the right is fantastic as it has a quick lock function, and has the option to add more bike holders to the rail. They are also much more space efficient.

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