Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bikes and Aviation

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Old 01-11-06, 05:18 PM
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Bruced
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Bikes and Aviation

Any private pilots out there that can clue me in on ways to fly and bike? I am on my way to private certificate and would like to know if it is possible to fit a couple of bikes in any common four place airplanes, or are folding bikes the only option? It would certainly affect my decision of which airplane I would buy.
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Old 01-11-06, 05:28 PM
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You could probably fit two road bikes, in a 69 position, in the back seat of a Cessna 172, with both wheels off... assuming they aren't something huge like 64cm frames.

Might need to take out the seatpost too, there isn't much headroom!

[edit]Planes that will fit two people and two bikes, with luggage, will be large/expensive... unless you're rich? I'm thinking like, Cessna 206 turbo or a Beechcraft Bonanza 6-place.
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Old 01-11-06, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruced
It would certainly affect my decision of which airplane I would buy.

What will your typical mission be? How many people, how far, and where.
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Old 01-11-06, 05:53 PM
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I'm certainly not rich, and a 172 is a strong possibility. It would be great if it could accomodate two bikes. Most trips would be with two people (including pilot), and of short duration, one hour or less. Both road and mtn bikes are possibilities.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:02 PM
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If I remember my time in the back seat of a 172 correctly, there isn't a LOT of leg room near the floor, but I think there's enough room behind the front seats to put 4 wheels in bags. You'd need some way to wedge the bikes onto the rear seats without getting chain/derailleur junk all over the cushion, probably something involving an old blanket and some bungee cords. It might fit better if you removed the rear seat cushions entirely.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:16 PM
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The first one that comes to mind is a C-206, since the cargo door is so big, but I would think a 172 with the back seat taken out (and bikes broken down: wheels and seat off) would easily handle 2 bikes with gear and would be much easier on the budget. If you can afford it, get the version with the bigger engine (especially true in mountainous areas.) Another good option is fractional ownership with someone at your home airport. There are a lot of fixed costs with an airplane that can get up there, especially if you don't fly during the winter. Think hangar, insurance, annuals, and misc maintenance. The downside is if you want to fly and the airplance is already taken. Also, make sure you protect yourself in the contract. At the end of the day, it's probably still cheaper to rent for a while untl you're really sure you know what you want. Good luck, and make sure you get that Instrument Rating!
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Old 01-11-06, 06:51 PM
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Thanks Walrus and Formulaben. That's all helpful advice. I'm in Northern California and am able to fly and cycle in the winter so lots of options and not so much downtime. Formulaben, do you ever get over to Central Oregon? I have a house there, and that is one of the major motivators for the airplane. If so, do you know of any good rides? I know the mtn bike options well, but have yet to find any spectacular road routes.
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Old 01-11-06, 07:02 PM
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I really wish I got over there more often. I love the East side, but don't really ride over there. Just be careful, lots of nasty terrain between N CA and C OR.
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Old 01-11-06, 07:51 PM
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Doesn't Thule or Yakima make roof racks for airplanes?

Just kidding.
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Old 01-11-06, 08:55 PM
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I'd recommend alternate transportation for the bikes. A typical four-place aircraft just isn't practical for this, and you'd be in serious trouble if an accident were to occur. And can you imagine everyone's surprise (especially the pilot's) if a tire would explode during climbout? The rear seat in newer C-172s reclines, so that may provide enough room to put the bike(s) over the top and partially into the aft baggage compartment. If you remove the rear seat altogether, don't forget to recalculate the CG and W&B - if you put a couple of Clydesdales in the front, you'll almost certainly be outside the envelope.

Whatever you do, take pics!
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Old 01-11-06, 09:33 PM
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And can you imagine everyone's surprise (especially the pilot's) if a tire would explode during climbout?
Its not going to explode because of the pressure difference, unless you already had it inflated to WAY OVER the maximum. If you're worried about this, just let some air out of the tubes when you put them in and shove a smallish floor pump in somewhere.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:40 PM
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I'd be willing to bet you could stick a pair of bikes with S&S couplers (like the Ritchey breakaway) in the luggage area of a 172.
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Old 01-12-06, 09:07 AM
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trunk rack?
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Old 01-12-06, 10:33 AM
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bike friday
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Old 01-14-06, 12:43 AM
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A few pilots on this forum have recommended folding bikes from these folks.
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Old 01-14-06, 12:47 AM
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Bike Fridays are awesome, but geez they are spendy!
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