With my job, I am often required to travel. Depending on the trip and location, I try to find ways to keep fitness and possibly see the local area.
On several occasions, I have spent time biking, and it is a great way to lessen the “business” side of the trip. I have also gone on a bike vacation to Arizona to get a small break from the winter weather. I have taken a bike with me, as well as rented bikes. There are pros and cons to both approaches. The biggest disadvantage to taking a bike is the cost. Airlines typically charge between $75 for Southwest to $150 for United, Delta, and American for each way on a trip. I haven’t been to a location yet where I can justify $300 round trip just to have my familiar steed. One other negative is that lugging a bike bag around an airport can be a little cumbersome. I avoid most of that by using curbside check when I do choose to bring my own bike.
I did take a mountain bike with me to Salt Lake City a couple years ago, and that was well worth the extra cost. At that time, Southwest charged $50 each way to take a bike, and it was well worth it to have my setup for a great week of post work singletrack.
Lately, I have been renting bikes on travel. It cuts down on packing/unpacking, and it has been budget friendly. I shop around a little, but I have found carbon road bikes in the San Francisco area for $60 the first day and $30 for any extra days. The rentals typically come with a flat fix kit, and a helmet is usually available as well. I have also used a test bike, or shop demo before. That way I have access to a little higher end ride compared to the bowling shoe type rentals. I bring my own pedals so I know they will work with my shoes. A few cons to this approach can be that the fit will be a little off, and most places will put a large deposit or hold on a credit card until the bike is returned.
Before I travel, I make a point to ask local bike shops for advice on routes or trails, and they are usually more than happy to help. Strava is another good resource to see popular rides near my destination.
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