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Old 04-16-2016, 07:54 PM   #1
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Ground transportation

Hello everyone- great forum- anyone have any recommendations with respect to bikes or scooters or mopeds to bring with us on an 18 month trip from juneau to Rhode Island? Boat is big enough to store a bike for each of us (2 adults and 1 nine year old). Electric bikes? Bolt-on electric motors? I'm sure you all have some great (and experienced) recommendations. Many thanks
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:48 PM   #2
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Nice question. I will be looking forward to the input on this one. I have just moved some masts and booms around to accommodate greater lifting range and weight with something like a motorcycle in mind.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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After looking at several options and trying a few, we now walk. Last two trips we have walked. We have back packs for light loads and a folding trailer to pull if we need more. We have seen way too many rusted up bikes and other forms of ground transportation. We walk a lot at home to be prepared and it has worked very well for us.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:08 AM   #4
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I like your thinking, bikesandboat

Is your trailer like a folding shopping or luggage cart (2-wheel type)? Or is it something stouter for real loads?
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Moby Nick View Post
Is your trailer like a folding shopping or luggage cart (2-wheel type)? Or is it something stouter for real loads?
Just a little two wheel folding. It will carry a case of water and many other items very well. We have had it for years, but it had very little use until we discovered walking at marina stops works well.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:40 AM   #6
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While walking is a very good form of ground transportation for many, there are those of us that are not able to use that mode much anymore. Too many years of abuse, accident, infections, muscle flaps, pins and plates along with some nerve damage have somewhat forced me into other forms of transportation when any distances are involved.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:57 AM   #7
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Folding electric assist bikes are reviewed here:
https://electricbikereview.com/top-10-electric-bikes/

Find a bike shop that specializes in e-bikes and ride one, you will be amazed. Hills will no longer be an obstacle. You can dial in as much assist as you need.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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I used a Dahon aluminum frame folding bike for 6 months of live aboard cruising. It was light and compact enough to take it to shore in a dinghy, and set up quickly. I hung grocery bags from the handlebars and lashed heavy stuff- beer to the rack on the back to get them back to the boat.


A live aboard friend has an electric scooter. It has good range and gets you up hills without huffing and puffing. But you need a dock to get it off the boat.


Having a bike or scooter significantly increases the range that you can travel to see the town and get to grocery or other stores easily.


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Old 04-17-2016, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeandboat View Post
After looking at several options and trying a few, we now walk. Last two trips we have walked. We have back packs for light loads and a folding trailer to pull if we need more. We have seen way too many rusted up bikes and other forms of ground transportation. We walk a lot at home to be prepared and it has worked very well for us.
Yea, we walk also. Even taking a cab would be cheaper than buying and maintaining two (for us) bicycles and we have no good place to keep them on board anyway.

So far, we haven't resorted to a cab. Not every stop is within walking distance to supplies but many are and some of the more remote marinas have loaner cars.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:32 AM   #10
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Yea, we walk also. Even taking a cab would be cheaper than buying and maintaining two (for us) bicycles and we have no good place to keep them on board anyway.

So far, we haven't resorted to a cab. Not every stop is within walking distance to supplies but many are and some of the more remote marinas have loaner cars.
Very well put. Actually, we are bicyclists. We have several and ride 60 to 100 mile events regularly. However, on a boat we do not find them that useful. Also, a loaner car or even a low rate rental car does not add up to that much when walking is not possible. Our range is 3 miles out and back for 6 miles walking. Over that, we would like to find a loaner or rental vehicle.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:38 AM   #11
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I found folding bikes to be too uncomfortable, heavy to lift, awkward to ride. Picking stops with stores nearby works for us. Tourist trollys and busses are in some places. Call marina In advance they always have suggestions. A marina further away but on the right bus route can be better choice.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:49 AM   #12
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A recurring subject.. bikes are always a good thing to have on board. Over the years we've been through 3 pairs of folding bikes, all Dahons. Started out with
the old 16" stainless steel folder. Looking for bigger bikes to cover more ground, for a couple of years, we had a couple of throw-away 24" Walmart bikes, where we removed the front wheels to put them away in the cockpit locker of our 31' Island Packet. After they crapped out (rust), and tired of breaking them down, we upgraded to folding 26" Dahon Matrix bikes. Great bikes, but when we crossed-over to the Nordic Tug, the 26" bike was too big to easily put down in the engine compartment. Picked up a pair of Dahon 20" Mariners, and that's the bike we currently carry.

Bikes are great to cover miles and to do some sight-seeing and shopping. Anchoring out most of the time, they can be a pain in the a.. to get to shore, but if we're going to be in one location for a couple of days or more, the bikes go to shore.

To this day, we still put the 35-year old 16" Dahons in the trunk of the car if we're going some place to take a bike ride, use the 26 inchers to putz around at home, and the 20 inchers on the boat. Of course, biking assumes your in reasonably good shape. We're in our 70's. We both had some medical issues (cancer, mitral valve repair), but not enough to stop biking. We will walk and carry a back pack if a round trip is about an hour or 2. For example, Great Salt Pond on Block Island to Town is a walk. South Lake to downtown Montauk is a walk (30 minutes). Plus, we discovered (wait for it)... BUSES and senior rates. A lot of places we cruise to have bus shuttles running all over the place. A couple of examples, Greenport to Riverhead to Montauk, and all around Martha's Vinyard. But if you can, bikes are the way to go.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:01 AM   #13
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I had a bike in the US that got used a lot. With the bike lanes and drivers awareness, it was easy to get parts or just go for a ride. Getting it on and off Hobo was easy. When we got to Mexico I found it was too dangerous to ride. Cars and busses would force you off the road or didn't see you or care. It was up to you to get out of their way. I ended up giving the bike to a local kid after a couple near misses. I would not have used nor did I miss it all through Central/South America and the Eastern Caribbean for the same reason. Public transportation and taxis were cheap and plentiful also.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:02 AM   #14
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My advice is to go cruising for awhile and see what suits you. I was sure we would be buying bicycles, but we never did. Bikes are available at many marinas, or for rent nearby. Like another poster, we walked 80% of the time, grabbing a bike or a cab or a bus or if in a transient port for a longer time, rented a car the rest of the time. Bikes just get in the way and are another thing to rust out or maintain, at least as it relates to our cruising style. Plus, I never saw them used much by people who had them on their boat. When we were based in a place for a month or more, we got one of our own cars there one way or the other.

So to repeat, go cruising and decide for yourself after awhile.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #15
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Agree with walking and a decent tote cart. Grocery stores and shopping areas are abundant and harbor close in the popular cruising locales you'll be visiting. As Larry says, bike riding can be dangerous in Latin America. It's as if you have a target on your back.

Your boat's storage space, lifting arrangements coupled with the crew's capabilities pretty well dictates what to choose. I have seen Smart cars, Jeeps, Harley's you name it on vessels.

Two things to keep in mind, theft and salt spray. High end bikes tend to disappear almost anywhere. So my two cents worth - get something not too flashy and a Sunbrella bag for it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:56 PM   #16
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We carry bikes occasionally, but more for entertainment and exercise than transportation. We often walk from the marina to restaurants and stores.

I bought one of these folding wagons from Costco that I keep in my trunk to load/unload the boat and can stow it in the lazarette if needed for a cruise. It's been durable, effective and affordable.

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Old 04-17-2016, 01:39 PM   #17
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I have been living aboard now for 6 months while doing the "loop" and found my bike to be indispensable. I chose a Prodeco electric bike. They are made in Ft. Lauderdale, are quite well made, and reasonably priced for an electric. I found at least a 25 mile range, using the power to assist pedaling. One down side is weight, mine is 55 lbs. Another down side in they can't swim. A 30 kt. gust blew mine off the dock in Key West and now it's a normal bike. Saltwater did too much electrical damage to make it worth repairing.

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Old 04-17-2016, 02:17 PM   #18
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Bikes can come in pretty handy.

I just have a $75 Walmart special as a rusting nice bike would break my heart.

There are places that are and aren't bike friendly...just have to get the lay of the land.

I am starting to think a bike is a pretty useful cart too. You can hang and strap a lot to them and still easy to push if riding is out of the question. Ride there, push home. Stand on a pedal and coast down hills. Be inventive!
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:02 PM   #19
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We are on a trip now and think e bikes are in our future
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:01 PM   #20
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Ann reminded me of something relevant: there are a lot of towns with good anchorages and mooring fields. We've some real slapstick routines of people trying to load bikes into small inflatable dinghys and making several trips; on several occasions, we volunteered to take the bikes over in our Whaler. Key West would be one as a matter of fact. I've seen a couple of bikes float tested.
Note also the comment about electrics (or any other bike) and salt water, be it mist, spray or immersion.
I happen to enjoy bicycling a lot, but have always found it easy to get one in places of cycling interest.
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