For riders who love to get their two-wheeled fix through pedal power as well as petroleum power, the choice can be tough; do I get my thrill, clear my head, and escape today by burning calories or burning fossil fuel? I’m normally of one mind or the other, and am much more likely to crank the throttle than I am to turn the crank on my bicycle. Doing both in the same day, my mind tells me, lacks focus and commitment.
However, several months ago, I signed up for a sprint triathlon a few hours from home, and it only made sense to figure out how to get there on two wheels and still bring my own bicycle for the competition.
Enter Garrett Blake and 2×2 Cycles of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Garrett is a multi-cyclist, including a mountain bike, a dual sport Suzuki, and a Harley. Getting to trails, Blake realized, would be a lot more fun on a motorcycle than in his truck, and he’d save on gas as well.
So I reached out to 2×2 Cycles about getting a bicycle rack for my Victory Cross Country. After a couple of emails and phone conversations I sensed Garrett is a top-notch designer and fabricator, and does not take lightly any of the concerns a serious biker or bicyclist would have. So I pulled the trigger and ordered his kit at the price of around $300.
After I installed the rack over my back fender with a 2×2 universal bracket, I took the front wheel off my mountain bike and loaded it up. It helped to watch the YouTube video and stare at the included instructions, but once I grasped it all, it became easier to load and unload.
The 2×2 Cycle Rack works by mounting your empty front bicycle fork to the quick-release fork tower, resting the left pedal in the cradle on the extension arm and mounting the removed front wheel.
I motored through town to get used to it, showed it off at both Off the Chain bikes, where I got my mountain bike, and Hollister Powersports, where I got the Victory, then made my way up to the Hudner Ranch area of Hollister Hills, where I’ve cycled in the past.
Having a 35-pound bicycle loaded on the 17-pound rack does make some difference in the ride, mostly at low speeds and stops, not unlike having a very lightweight passenger or fully-loaded pack on the back. I was surprised at how effortless it was on the winding and sometimes bumpy roads that lead to Hollister Hills. Later, on the way to my triathlon, I found I did need to dial back my speed a little from my usual freeway speeds, especially in areas prone to higher winds, but normally not below the prevailing speed.
And I definitely had my share of excited children waving enthusiastically from their parents’ cars.
The 2×2 Cycles Bicycle Rack is available for, or adaptable to, most motorcycles, and includes a quick-disconnect version for Harley models at $379. The design and construction are clean and solid, designed with safety in mind for you, your bike(s), and other motorists.