Out comes the sunshine and warm weather and with it the opportunity to explore on 2 wheels.
Here we fill you in on where to go and how to travel with your bikes.
With the warm weather upon us, what better way to spend the Easter holidays than with a cycling trip in the UK. With no shortage of destinations, we’ve picked our top 4, one from each country. We fill you in on the attractions of each area and then discuss just how to go about transporting bikes in your car.
A spring trip up to the Lake District will help blow the cobwebs of any late-season starters. With some epic climbing for both mountain bikers and road cyclists, it truly is a mecca for cyclists. With England's largest national park and all that comes with it - the lakes, valleys and sandy coastline, there's plenty to explore during your holidays.
Off the beaten track in Wales
For those feeling energetic, the ride between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth called Lôn Cambria is one of the best that Wales offers. From coastal riding to mountains, estuaries and forest, it's one of the most diverse trails in the UK. For those who want to make the Easter break even more challenging, then why not take in an ascent of Snowdon or take a day ride around Anglesey.
The north coast of Northern Ireland
The north coast of Northern Ireland is one scenic ride. Beginning in Belfast, why not ride to Derry or even across the border into Donegal? From the Glens of Antrim via the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Distillery, there’s plenty to keep the intrepid cycling explorer occupied on-route. The north coast is also home to several scenic islands. Ferries run from the mainland out, and of particular note is Rathlin Island, a truly wonderful place to explore on two wheels.
Scotland's stunning west coast
For those headed north, Scotland provides some exceptional scenery when the weather is on your side. Of particular note is the Inner Hebrides, the Great Glen and Fort William. Starting in Oban, there is no end to attractive cycle routes. Although busy in the summer, Easter may be the perfect time to explore this undisturbed wilderness.
Transporting bikes in your car
Now that you’ve picked a destination for the Easter break, just how do you go about transporting bikes on your car? Well, several options exist, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
The Roof Rack: Efficient usage of space
Got an estate car? If so, then perhaps the roof rack is the best way to transport bikes. Roof racks make efficient use of space and allow you to free up some space within your car. Most racks require you to remove the front wheel and clamp the fork to hold it securely. Others however, have an arm that secures the bike frame to hold it upright while straps secure the wheels.
Advantages of roof racks include the ability to carry up to 4 bikes that won’t damage the paintwork of your car. The disadvantages include the danger of low entrances where it can be all too easy to destroy expensive carbon frames in one reckless moment. In addition, there’s also the lifting of heavier bikes onto the roof. If you’re a mountain biker, with a seriously heavy bike, then that’s something to bear in mind. Even after a long day in the saddle, one last heavy-lifting effort awaits!
Boot/hatch rack: Easy loading
The most popular type of rack for those with hatchback cars, this particular type of rack is held with straps around the boot lid. Arms extend backwards to cradle the bikes which are then secured with straps.
These racks are quick and easy to load the bikes onto and can be folded for easy storage when not in use. The downside to them is that they aren't compatible with all vehicles, restrict access to the boot when mounted while they also require a lock if you’re spending time in a place where theft may be an issue.
Towbar rack: Adaptable and convenient
The Towbar rack is perhaps the most user-friendly solution for transporting bicycles. They are easily loaded and provide a secure attachment for mounting up to 4 bikes. Many models include a number plate and taillights to help you stay within the law when transporting bikes. For those that don’t, a lightsboard can be purchased separately. Several of the latest models can also be tilted to allow for boot access even when the bikes are mounted. Although a convenient option, they are however the most expensive bike rack option on the market.
Wherever you’re headed in the UK this year, you’ll have no excuse not to bring the bikes along with our impressive collection of car bike racks. All you need now is the weather!