Hybrid bikes bridge the gap

| September 01, 2011

Many truckers are switching to two wheels. With electronically enforced 10- and 34-hour breaks, we have time to do something for ourselves. Bicycling is a fun way to explore our surroundings. I never think of bicycling as exercise: It’s just fun. The fact that I burn a few calories along the way is just a happy by-product.

Road bikes can cover a lot of ground, but many unpaved trails are not set up for the skinny high-pressure (90 psi and up) tires on these bikes. You can go with a mountain bike. Mountain biking is a gas, but while traveling, mountain bike trails are hard to find and less likely to be convenient to truck parking. Hybrid bikes bridge the gap between road and mountain bikes. Folding bikes have come a long way, too. You can buy one through OOIDA.

There are different ways to carry your bike on a truck. Most modern bikes are easy to assemble. The wheels come off and go back on with relative ease. For most of us, it is about a 10-minute job. Once you do that, you can put your bike in a transit bag and put it in the top bunk for safekeeping. I put a simple spindle bracket on the exhaust assembly of my truck. That allowed me to just take off the front wheel of the bike and carry it conveniently on the truck. Recently, I took out the passenger seat of my truck and mounted a bracket there to carry my bike.

My advice is to take an old bike out of the garage or buy an inexpensive bike and take that with you for at least a few months. A bike is a great means of getting around, even in large cities. You can find a nice place to eat or maybe a farmers market. I love the rail trails, which are smooth but often unpaved. Hybrid bikes offer a versatile compromise and handle most trails with ease.

What works for me might not work for you. Put on a helmet and try it. Contact the Facebook groups Truckin’ Runners or Ride and Roll- Cycling on the Road for more information or places to ride.

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