Remember: Don’t run over your bike!

Portrait of Tragedy: These wheels required replacement after their owner backed over them with his car.

Portrait of Tragedy: These wheels required replacement after their owner backed over them with his car.

If you’re like a lot of people, you store your bike inside your vehicle instead of on a bike rack mounted to the roof or the bumper. This process usually entails taking one or both wheels off the bike and shoving it inside the trunk or the hatch space.

After a ride, many people (including me) are tired or pressed for time. Getting the bike out of the vehicle so it can be used for passengers or to get someplace else becomes the priority.

Out comes the bike. If time is tight, maybe the owner won’t even reassemble it. Instead, the frame and wheel(s) end up in a little pile behind the vehicle. Now comes the distraction—a conversation with someone, the sudden memory of something that needs to be done before the person leaves, etc.

A short time later, the distracted cyclists gets into his or her vehicle, puts it in reverse, and suddenly hears and feels the sickening truth: I just backed over my bike!

Best case, you’ve merely destroyed one or both wheels. Worse case: you’ve destroyed the entire bike.

Bent frames and bent wheels usually require replacement. A new wheel set can cost hundreds—and these days with carbon fiber—even thousands of dollars! A new frame can cost just as much and warranty replacement usually doesn’t cover getting mangled by a vehicle.

So take a moment after unloading your bike to reassemble it and move it to a safe place. You’ll save yourself heartache and a lot of money later on. Or, even better, ride to the trailhead or to your destination. The bike you save may be your own.

Happy riding!

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