Touring - Bicycles in hotel rooms
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This has probably been asked and answered.
But I'm planning a six day credit card tour around Chesapeake Bay.
Is there any problem bringing the bike into the hotel room or B&B at night.
Are there any chains that don't allow it?
01-21-10, 12:50 PM
Don't know about B&Bs, but I've always taken my bike into hotels. Never a problem.
I haven't toured by bike, but I have taken a bike with me on a plane or in a car, and when I have asked the hotels, they have discouraged me from bringing the bike into my room and suggested a storage room. Since I had a cheap throwaway bike, I complied, but if I had a valuable bike I would have argued. The problem with using a storage room is that you may not be able to access it without waiting for a staff person.
More recently when I travel with my folder, I just fold it and smuggle it in.
I would suggest you try to stay at a motel with a ground floor room with direct access to the parking lot, and place the bike on a tarp or newspapers, so if they do happen to see it during cleaning or room service they will see that you have taken care not to dirty or damage the room
01-21-10, 01:15 PM
Don't ask. Don't tell.
(For hotels, at least. B&B's are usually pretty accomodating with such requests. Er, in my experience.)
01-21-10, 01:22 PM
My experience in North America is limited but what I have had - Washington and Oregon - there was very little resistance, in fact it was expected. I usually did not have to ask but did in the better hotels. Like "Cooker" says, take care to no leave any telltale signs which would ruin this courtesy for the next cyclists.
Twice in about 30 hotel/motel stays, I've been told I could not keep the bike in my room, or else asked to remove it. On the first occasion, I didn't ask, the maintenance man saw it and told management on me.
On the other occasion, I asked at reservation time, & was told it was okay. Then when we checked in, the night desk manager forbade us doing it.
01-21-10, 01:31 PM
The B&B's I've stayed at all had a shed or garage, which they offered up as soon as they saw the bike. When making your reservations, I'd be up front and ask about bicycle storage. I'm sure they will accommodate you some way, though I doubt they will let you take it into the room.
As far as hotels, I try to find ones that had rooms opening to the outside. But I had stayed at hotels and been on the XX floor, and I just wheeled by bike thru the lobby to the elevator and taken the bike into my room. Of course this was after checking in. No one has ever said anything.
01-21-10, 01:44 PM
Only place I've had a problem bringing my bike into hotel rooms has been in Las Vegas. There the ground floor is usually arranged so that you are forced to walk past crowded rows of slot machines to get to the elevators that lead to the hotel rooms and wheeling a bike through could pose a problem. But they were very accommodating with secure storage and quickly retrieving my bike when requested. At hotels in other cities I follow the 'don't ask/don't tell' policy, try to take my bike in and out through a side entrance when possible, and, of course, make sure the bike doesn't leave any marks or dirt in the room.
01-21-10, 02:05 PM
I have occasionally been "forbidden" to bring my bike in the room. If hard up, I'll comply and chain it to something in front of my room and sleep with the window open. If there are other motels, I just go down the street.
One strategy that has worked is to ask for some old newspapers when you check in so that you can "be sure to protect the carpet". This shows that you'll have respect for the motel's property. I'll only do this if I sense that the clerk is gathering the courage to forbid my bike in the room. Other than that it's best to just do it and don't ask. But be sure to not get grease on anything and spoil it for the next tourist.
01-21-10, 02:33 PM
And, if you are going to clean it, please ask the desk for some rags. Almost alll motels have rags for the asking, and it keeps good towels and wash cloths good!
01-21-10, 02:36 PM
Florida has been great about letting me bring my bike inside. In fact, the other night I went to a restaurant and while locking my bike outside, the proprietor said "Just bring it on inside and lean it against the wall". Now that is awesome.
01-21-10, 02:50 PM
I've almost never had a problem with hotels letting me keep my bike in the room. Chatting up the desk clerk goes a long way! Regale them with one or two touring stories, and people are usually pretty helpful and friendly.
The best hotel story I have is from the Hotel Bethlehem. They not only allowed our filty, dirty bikes in the room, but they insisted on it! The doorman walked The Historian's bike up to the room while he ran pver to a bookstore that was due to close in a few minutes; I walked into the room to see his bike already there. Pretty awesome, particularly for a hotel with very nice carpeting.
01-21-10, 03:14 PM
No problems here...:D
But I do reccomend doing whatever you can to keep them as clean as possible prior to taking them in. I had 4 in my room when I was in Iowa City. The hotel staff knew it (including the manager) and had no problem with it.:thumb:
01-21-10, 03:33 PM
I have kept my bicycle in motel rooms numerous times, too many times to count. I've never asked for permission, just wheeled my bike to the room, and I've never been questioned about it.
01-21-10, 06:02 PM
There is only one or two times where had a problem with keeping my bike in a hotel room. But of those times I was given a secure alternative.
I have never been able to keep my bike in the room in a B&B. There is usually not enough room. But they will usually have a corner or a shed. If the B&B is in a good area, I have no problems leaving it outside. You can usually find a place where they are out of dight.
Asking permission to bring your bike to a hotel room is a judgment call. But please ask before bringing it into your B&B room. Most times that is someone's home.
Thanks guys, looks like it shouldn't be a problem, I'll probably ask in advance, Virginia/ Maryland are generally pretty friendly
01-21-10, 07:26 PM
Hotels, motels, inns, resorts, B+Bs... I have stayed in them all, and most of the time, bringing a bicycle into a room is no problem. I always ask permission, though, and am really careful not to get grease, oil, or dirt on anything in the room. So if the staff lets you bring your bike into your room, don't let the chain touch the bedspread!
Occasionally I have been offered alternatives, such as a garage or storage room. Only once was there no place to stow a bicycle indoors. I locked it outside, minimally protected by an overhang, and that night it rained and rained! (I draped the leather seat with a shower cap, so no damage.)
But basically, don't worry about it.
Within the US, my experience has been >95% of time I can bring a bike in the room. So occasionally it happens that I can't but that is pretty rare. It seems to be more tied to the manager than any particular chain. Things I do:
- If I have a choice, I'll pick a hotel with outside doors rather than inside doors
- I'm very up front that I'd like to bring in a bike. Often, I'll bring the bike right in with me to the checkin counter (particularly if there are inside doors).
- In cases where it isn't allowed, occasionally they might have an acceptable alternative like a storage room (e.g. one case on Alaska Highway and once on Dempster Highway), but if not allowed then I'll politely take my business elsewhere. Sometimes that has meant an extra 5-40 miles of riding and that often works since I like to ride early and typically don't push dark.
- I make extra sure I don't make a mess. For example, if it is wet and raining, I'll see about having the bike drip outside first and also ask if there are some rags or something to wipe down the bike (after panniers are off).
I haven't stayed in as many B&Bs (since I like to leave early), but in those cases it has been more typical that I've gotten a reservation in advance. In those cases where I'm making reservations (rarely motel more often B&B) and I'm speaking with someone to make the reservation, then I let it be known at time of reservation that I'm traveling by bicycle. Then when I arrive by bike, nobody is surprised. I'll typically just follow what my hosts expect, and in B&B cases it has been a little more frequent that the bike stays outside. Frequently that isn't as big a deal for me.
01-21-10, 08:49 PM
As long as you don't stay on the top floor of a B&B with a very narrow staircase I imagine it will be okay in most places. On a tour I did last summer form PA TO DC, I brought my VERY muddy bike with me into the Hyatte in DC to the 7th floor where it stayed for a day until I got it shipped back home. No one even flinched as I pushed it through the lobby and into the elevator. In fact, I had both my bike and alhanson's bike in the room when we first got there and until he headed home.
I've done 2 week-long tours staying in hotels. When I get to a hotel, I tell them, "I have 3 questions. #1, do you have vacancies? #2, what is your rate, and #3, is it ok if I take my bike into the room." This has mostly been in Missouri. So far, I've never been turned down.
DG Going Uphill
01-21-10, 10:31 PM
Only once was I told no.
01-21-10, 10:54 PM
I got turned down by 4 hotels in a row in Reno once. Of course, that was the end of a two week tour; I hadn't shaved; and I probably was looking a little ragged. I suspect they thought I was a vagrant, not a tourist.
01-22-10, 01:25 AM
Hmmm...I must be staying at higher class hotels than the rest of you clowns...I don't think I've ever been "allowed" to take my bike into my room. They usually have a reasonably safe place to store it, though.
I wonder what I'm doing wrong...
01-22-10, 05:53 AM
On my transam in 2007 we stayed in approximately 45 different hotels. Only once were we forced to keep them outside our rooms and in that case I think they had a separate room for our bikes.
On an MS150 ride in Georgia I was told to park the bike outside. I told them I had no lock and was not going to leave a $6,000 bike otside unlocked. I turned around and wheeled the bike to the elevator and never heard a word about it.
I do think its important to take great care and not leave any traces that you and your greasy bike were ever inside.
01-22-10, 03:44 PM
Only had an issue with this once, in a Mom&Pop motel in New Hope Pa. Six married couples with tandems for a 1 night stay, were told to "lock up those dirty bikes" (about $18000 worth of spotless road bikes) to a dilapidated wooden plank fence in full view of the road. Owner was an utter jackass. Literally minutes after checking out, I thought I'd left a pair of shoes under the bed, & he was not going to let me in to look (they were packed after all). He had a picnic area behind the place where we ate lunch right after checking out. Owner came storming back there, told us we were "trespassing" since we had checked out 5 minutes before & threatened to call police. He had a AAA endorsement for his establishment; needless to say we all reported his conduct. AAA seemed very interested & called me back for a detailed report.
I always try to book a room with 2 queen beds -- one for me, and one for my bike. Occasionally, we get stuck with a single king size bed. I hate piling into the same bed with my bike; its pedals are always cold. But usually when that happens, one of us will sleep on the floor. We take turns.
01-22-10, 10:03 PM
Oh c'mon now; it's not like all that. You're just being silly. I know what chain-lube is for! :innocent:
And besides, I live in the South; there are laws against "those" kinds of things.
01-23-10, 08:59 AM
take your bike thru the side door and none will be the wiser
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