I’m sure some of my fellow drivers have seen trucks with bicycles being carried in some fashion on other trucks out here and then thought about it later.
A bicycle makes it possible to get some great low impact cardiovascular exercise while getting away from the truck to explore an area where your truck is safely parked.
I have been carrying a bike on the road with me for almost 15 years now. Riding it regularly—along with other exercise and a low-carb/low sugar diet—has helped me improve and maintain my health over the years. A big accomplishment in this health journey of mine was being able to eliminate the need for my blood pressure medication almost three years ago. I have had good readings in the normal range ever since.
This first blog post about biking on the road covers a recent bike ride I did when I took a 34-hour restart on the road and enjoyed some beautiful sights.
It was a Friday in April while I was picking up a load in Jacksonville, Florida. I took note of the fact that I was short on legal hours to drive but the load had plenty of time on it before the delivery appointment in South Carolina on Monday. That would allow me to plan a bike ride while resetting my hours.
Using my Road Atlas along with the Google Maps app on my iPhone I was able to plan my ride along a bike-friendly route from the Petro in Kingsland, GA down US-17 south into Florida, then take FL-200 east toward Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach so I could take in the awesome sight of an east coast sunrise. I plugged in my bike computer and lights to charge overnight so they would be ready to go when I planned to leave at 3:30 AM. I estimated about two hours one way to cover the 27-mile trip riding at a moderate pace.
On Saturday morning I was awake before 3:00 AM and drank some water and electrolyte solution to get myself hydrated ahead of time while also rechecking the area weather forecast. Then I got my bike frame and wheels out of their bags that are safely stored on the top bunk of my assigned truck and put it together.
Once the wheels went on (with quick-release hubs, which are common on many road and mountain bikes), I put my lighting system on and filled my hydration bottles.
Of course, the bike needed a good pre-trip before I took off into the quiet streets.
Once I made it to Fernandina Beach, I was able to relax and take it in.
Afterwards I started riding back and wanted to return before a storm was predicted to approach in the afternoon. I stopped at a convenience store on the way back to use the restroom and buy enough bottled water to refill both hydration bottles.
After a 55-mile round trip I made it back to my truck and mixed up a recovery drink before I tore down the bike and put it away. Then I had a steak dinner—delivered to me since the restaurants were closed to indoor dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of us who have been cycling for a long time enjoy a great feeling of accomplishment after a long ride. Of course, there might be a bit of a ‘muscle soreness hangover’ the next morning but that is a reminder to keep hydrating well and flush the toxins out of the body.
Coming next: How to choose a bike that can be carried on the road—and store it safely.