Question: Should I carry my bike on a roof rack or in the trunk of my car? – Jane W.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Many cyclists put their precious bikes on the roof, either because there’s no room inside or because they like to be recognized as cyclists when they drive.
But bikes lead a hard life when they’re hitchhiking at 60 or 70 mph. Bugs splatter the finish and grease can actually get blown out of the headset on a hot day. If it rains, water can be forced into all kinds of wrong places.
Worse, many a driver has forgotten that there’s a bike on top. They might roll into their garage or under a low overhang with lamentable results for the bike, the rack and the roof of the car.
For these reasons, I recommend carrying your bike inside. Pull both wheels if necessary to fit it in the trunk. If you have an SUV or hatchback, bikes usually fit with only the front wheel removed. In vans, you can often stand them up between seats.
Spread out an old sheet, blanket or piece of painter’s plastic to protect the upholstery.