Electric bikes have become very popular. Biking is a much more intimate, healthy, and memorable way to see the country’s best locations, and ebikes make it possible for nearly anyone to experience some of the best trails in the country. A lot of people, including myself, have thought of taking their ebike on a vacation with them. This isn’t so difficult to do, if you can transport your bike by car, but what if your destination is too far away to drive? What if you’ll be flying to your vacation spot? Can you take an ebike on a plane? Are there other options?
Regular bicycles can be checked onto a plane, but ebikes can’t. Well, the bike can, just not the lithium-ion battery. You can check on your bike, assuming it doesn’t weight over 100 pounds, but you’ll need to send the battery by ground. This may work if the hotel or wherever you’ll be staying at will work with you.
You could also arrange to have the bike, including the battery, flown to your destination by FedEx or UPS, but it won’t be cheap, and you’ll likely worry about your bike getting damaged, lost, or stolen once it arrives at your destination. It could also arrive late. I don’t think I want to place my favorite bike in the hands of FedEx and hope everything goes well.
There are ebike shipping services, like BikeFlight.com, but you’ll have to box up your bike and have it shipped by ground. This option is doable, but requires a lot of planning.
Many people find that the best option is to simply rent an ebike at your dream vacation spot. Ebike rentals are very popular at many of the country’s most scenic spots, and I have several ebike tours on my bucket list.
Some rental companies provide tours, while others rent by the hour and let you go on your own self-guided tours. Some will drop you off at the trailhead and pick you up at a designated spot.
Being from the cornfields of Illinois, I’m far away from the scenic trails in the Rocky Mountains, Arizona, California, and so on. So, I’ve been searching for destinations that offer ebike rentals, and have even come across some companies that offer complete tours.
One spot on my list is the Grand Canyon. A quick search on Google brings up a few options, like Bright Angel Bicycles, and GC Bikes. If your ebike is a Rad Power Bike, you’ll be happy to know that many ebike rental companies use Rad, so you’ll be super familiar with the riding experience.
Adventure Cycling Association offers full tours for many of the country’s most popular bike touring routes, like the C&O Canal, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Crater Lake, Lake Tahoe, and several others. They’re not cheap, but many tours offer a complete package, including food and lodging over several days.
There are several pros to choosing to ride with a tour group, but probably the most important is that you’ll be with a guide who knows the area well. It’s not much fun to be out in the middle of nowhere in an unfamiliar place when a tire goes flat or someone becomes ill or injured. Having local support that can arrange for transportation or help if something goes wrong provides a lot of peace of mind.
The Grand Canyon is on the top of my list, along with Hiawatha Scenic Bike Trail, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Little Traverse Wheelway in Michigan, the Florida Keys, and several others. All of these locations have companies that offer ebike rentals, though I think I could get by on a regular bike in the Florida Keys. Not many hills in Florida!
If you love riding ebikes as much as I do, you’ve probably thought of planning a vacation around your bike. I hope to ride some trails in Michigan this year. I’ll be able to transport my own bike there, but I don’t want to miss out on those awesome trails out west, so I’ll be scouting out some of the best trails and tours available. If you know of any good ones, feel free to contact me.
I hope to put together a list of the best ebike friendly vacation spots in the United States. I also hope to ride many of these trails over the coming years.
>>Shop at Moosejaw for Your Outdoor Adventures!