As the warm summer weather arrives many cyclists will be only to eager to hit the tracks and hills for some two-wheel action, or participate in a sportive as a great way to see new places. However, unless you’re happy just to stick to routes that are within a certain radius from your home you might need to use four wheels to get you to your starting point. You’ll need accessories to make this happen, such as these:
Roof bars/Cycle carrier/Rack for back
The most obvious accessory, and essential unless you have a car big enough to lay across the back with the seats folded down – which presents its own problems (see below).
There are multiple options in installing the roof rack or bar, not least the choice of where the bike will be housed on the car – on the roof, or to the rear (hitch or trunk). The number and type of bikes are also matters for consideration, because your frame must be compatible with the rack. According to Outdoor Gear Lab, a vehicle with factory crossbars probably means that roof options will be easier (consider Kia Sportage roof bars as a visual example for an SUV) while a tall vehicle coupled with heavy downhill bikes would most likely translate to a tray style hitch mount.
Most carriers have a YouTube video link which can help with installation. Don’t forget one other important piece of equipment – locks and security.
Portable pressure washer
Unless you’re truly not bothered about keeping your car clean, then some form of device to hose down your bike after a blast through the hills is essential. A pressure washer is small, light and easy to use, you can also utilise it for your car, as well as conservatories, house windows, trucks and boats, and your garden.
Different liners are available for different cars – research online and you’ll be able to find a liner that specifically fits your vehicle. Not only will the liner allow you to place a muddy bike in the car with few repercussions, but also pets and DIY equipment will be contained easily without creating any mess.
Kit bag – clothes
So you’ve got the bike safely stored away, but what about your own dirty clothes? You could throw them into a plastic bag for the journey back, but a better option might be a large durable duffle bag that can be fitted onto the back of the bike or left in the car. There’s a huge variety of shapes and sizes; making sure that it’s rainproof is obligatory, but the choice of shoulder strap and grab handle is up to you. A good bag will contain various compartments with enough space for every item you need, such as shoes and covers, arm and leg warmers, gloves, helmet jersey and jacket.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get to your destination without all the equipment needed for a ride out, but as a last consideration you might want to take a spare inner tube and patches, a multi tool, a map, quick release chain link, and any food. Take as few or as many of these items as is relevant for your ride, and get on the saddle!