The Idea Didn’t Work Out…

I’ve been hauling around a bicycle on the back of my motorhome or towed Ford Bronco II for about ten years and I have never been happy with the storage arrangements. It’s such a hassle….the taking off and putting back-on process. It ends up being more work than enjoyment. And now that I have Mary in my life…I have two bicycles to deal with. Oh Joy!!!

Since I was so unhappy with the previous storage arrangement…I thought I’d try a new idea. When we were in Mendocino a couple of months ago, we parked behind a van than had a bicycle on a fold-down hitch. The owner seemed happy with the arrangement. Hmmm…so I decided to give the idea a try and ordered the parts.

Over the last several days I attempted to get the arrangement to work in a way that I could be happy with. This photo shows the fold-down hitch on the back of the Bronco with one bicycle attached…

That didn’t seem too bad.

Then I moved on to putting the two bikes on the rack…

In the photo all appears okay…but appearances are deceiving. In this mode the bikes are too close to one another and they didn’t mount properly. So I added the extension to be used in the four bike mounting mode. That set the bikes apart and they were mounted properly. The I put the cover over everything and evaluated the situation. The cover ended up big and awkward to handle…plus it blocked my rear vision from the drivers seat in addition to blocking the the rear tail and brake lights from behind. That’s not good…so the cover had to go.

With the two bikes on the four bike extension it put the outer bike way out there…so much so that when I tried to pull the rack back into the upright position and insert the holding pin by myself…it required a much too strenuous effort to accomplish. Realizing that sometimes when we are out and about shopping we sometimes open the rear lift door on the Bronco several times a day…I then knew this was not a good idea. So after several hours of messing around with this idea…I knew the fold-down hitch also had to go.

So now both bikes are now mounted on the back out the motorhome…the lesser all all evils…

I’d just as soon get rid of both bicycles for the little that we use them…but…Mary still insists she wants to ride a bicycle…so they remain.

So now I start the fun process of returning the items. The cover we bought from Amazon…no problem. In five minutes I had a prepaid return label and UPS will pickup the package at Mary’s doorstep on Monday.

The 26 pound bike rack was purchased from a different vendor and will prove to be somewhat more difficult to return. First of all…they are not open on the weekend…so I couldn’t communicate with them yesterday…got to wait until Monday. Then they charge a 20% re-stocking fee…we have to pay for the return shipping…about $20…got to get a return authorization number and arrange to get UPS to pick it up…yadda, yadda, yadda!!! This company needs to study how Amazon handles returns. I’ll never buy another item from the bike-rack vendor ever again. ‘Nuf said…the idea didn’t work out!

I was scheduled to depart for the south land Monday morning. Since I now have to wait until Monday to communicate with the bike-rack vendor and there’s a weather forecast for dense fog on Monday morning…I’ve been forced to delay my departure until Tuesday morning. Such is life!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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