When we did our Loop trip, we picked up some used single-speed, non-electric, folding bikes. We did use them from time to time and enjoyed it. Tom used his bike to run errands several times. In general, we are not big “bicycle riders” to begin with, and as we got away from the coast and into hill country, we tended to use them less and less. We met folks who were big bike riders who used them all the time, and boaters with electric bikes seemed to use them more than peddle bikes.

When we did our “Loop 1a” trip in December 2021, we bought folding electric bikes from Enzo and have used them quite a bit since. If we had had our electric bikes on the Loop, we would have used them much more.

Having them on our second Loop, was great. We used them frequently and rode along nature trails, to museums, shopping, and restaurants there were just a bit too far to walk to. We put over 200 miles on the bikes during the trip!

Here are a couple of thoughts on bikes:

  1. Unless you have a large enclosed cockpit to store them, they are going to get wet, and a lot of that water is going to be salty. I looked for bikes with a lot of aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.
  2. Get yourself a good cover for them. Look for a cover that’s rated for use on car bike racks so that it can withstand the wind.
  3. Get a good bike lock. Lots of bikes for boaters get stolen. It’s just a sad fact. A lock is only a deterrent. If they want your bikes, they will get them. We use small cable locks when we are out riding around. For overnight storage, we have a larger, stronger 15 ft cable lock that we can thread through both wheels, the frame, and something fixed (lamp post, bike rack, boat stairs). We use a good weather-proof combination lock for it. If possible, bring your bikes on board your boat at night. The closer to your boat, the less likely they will get stolen. Avoid leaving them on the bike racks away from the docks. Some marinas will let you lock them up on the docks, but most don’t, as it restricts dock access. Lock your bikes even when they are on your boat! I prefer combo locks so I don’t lose the keys or forget to take them.
  4. Don’t buy the “Best,” most “Expensive” bikes. Because the bikes are going to get exposed to the elements, especially salt water, fall in the water walking down docks, and might get stolen. We suggest that you find a good, reliable bike, but stay away from the top-of-the-line bikes. You can find good electric bikes on Amazon for under $1,000 that will work just fine and will last for a few years. We got our Enzos on sale for about $1,200, shipping included.
  5. Get some good accessories. You will want to get bikes with fenders (so that you don’t get a big wet stripe up your back when you ride through the inevitable puddles). You will want a bike rack (either front or rear) to carry groceries. And as mentioned a good bike lock. We also purchased a phone holder so that we can have navigation in front of us and rearview mirrors. Another key accessory is a small thumb bell to let walkers in front of you know you are coming up behind them. For some reason, people walking on the side of a path will move to the middle when they hear a bike coming! I also got a set of panniers to mount to the rack to make carrying supplies easier. Another recommended accessory is a front AND REAR light. We use the rear flashing light even during the day.

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