Saturday, February 7, 2015

Toting the Bikes

Our bicycles, indispensable for exploration, exercise, companionship and transportation, will join us on our travels.  Standard bikes are fairly easy to tote along but a tandem is an entirely different matter.  Heavy, awkward and way too long to load from side-to-side, the tandem needs a special rack.  So, we head for Dale and our favorite bike shop, Angle Lake Cyclery.  Dale loves equipment -- good well-designed techie stuff -- as can readily be seen with the first step inside his shop.  His bike rack recommendation was an ATOC, Draftmaster, manufactured in Seattle, specially ordered to meet one's personal needs.   We ordered our rack, waited a week and then returned to the shop for  the "fitting".  After Dale helped us with installation his comment, delivered with a huge smile, was,  "This rack is a perfect match for your van.  No other bike rack would have done it justice." 

Stepping into this shop is stepping into a world of bicycle envy.

Although we love our Cannondale tandem, whenever we visit Angle Lake Cyclery we can't help but envy the Rans semi-recumbant tandem that Dale and his wife call the "grin machine."  For about $6500, the price tag doesn't make us grin, but the bicycle does.  Yum!  Perhaps one day we'll upgrade to this beauty.

Dale and Ed install the ATOC on the back of Thistle

Pleased smiles, as Dale says, "See how easy it is?"

Loading the tandem with rack in down position, wheel resting on ground,
 saves one's back.  Also, in this position, we have access to
Thistle's back doors without taking bicycle(s) off rack.

All three bikes loaded and ready for travel.
The rack is locked to the van and each bicycle is locked to
the rack, secure from petty theft.  Nothing will overcome
the determined professional thief.
We've just added about three feet of length to Thistle.  We no longer fit into
a standard parking space.  Still beats a bike trailer.


"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the
future of the human race."

~ H. G. Wells


  1. Looks pretty nifty. Just be careful backing up…we made minor contact with a redwood tree a couple of weeks ago, but our bikes are OK. Do you have a back-up camera?

    Good luck with your final preparations. You must be getting pretty excited about now.

  2. We do have a back-up camera. Installed just last week. A big help!!