When planning this trip, we realized that we would be spending a good bit of time on dirt and gravel roads while camped on public land out west. At the same time, we very much enjoy road biking, so the question was what kind of bicycles to bring on the trip. Realizing that taking eight bicycles was impractical, we decided to purchase a set of low-cost cyclocross bicycles.
Cyclocross bicycles are basically a road bike with a slightly beefier frame and wider tire clearance to allow larger knobby tires. We also purchased a second set of wheels, so we have one set with off-road wheels and one set with on-road wheels.
One thing we needed was a bike rack that could carry both the four bicycles and the eight wheels. The bike rack we had used previously stack the bikes in depthwise, so if you wanted to access the innermost bike, all four bikes had to come off. Also, the bikes were rather close together, so there was a lot of juggling to get all the pedals in the correct position so they didn’t rub against their neighbor’s frame, etc.
I first decided to prototype the bike rack using wood:
Once it was clear that everything was going to go together okay, I purchased some 2 inch square tubing and went to work welding together the final rack. Here are some photos with all four bikes mounted as well as the two extra wheels for each bicycle:
It looks like I’m going to have to move the hooks that hold the handle bars up top into a wider position to reduce the amount of movement I get from the bicycles while they’re on the frame. I also need to purchase a set of balls bungees to hold the bike onto the Rack. Finally, I need to weld a receiver on to the RV’s back bumper so that we can use the rack both on the RV and on the truck when we have left our RV back at the campsite and want to do a mountain biking or road biking adventure away from camp.
We are very much hoping to get out of here this week and get on the road, so we’ll see in the next couple days if that actually happens!