I’ve carried, at one time, approximately seven times the worth of my camper in bicycles, on top of the pop up without fear of them flying off. We’ve now got a couple of thousand miles on the setup and it works perfectly. I only have $160 into it.
A couple of commenters asked for some better photos when I wrote my first post about how I built the rack, so here’s one that shows the routing of the straps to keep the rack where it belongs, from the side:
And one from the front:
Starting with the back strap, rather than mess around with gluing a channel on my camper for the rear wheels, I simply run a ratchet strap through the back wheels and that does just fine for keeping the rear wheels stable. That angled strap in the middle, runs from the front hitch area to behind the camper’s wheel, looping around the rack. One on each side, one goes over the rack and around and one goes beneath the rack and wraps around it… The idea is to have opposing forces that will keep the rack from sliding forward or back. Finally, I’ve got one last ratchet strap that side-to-side over the rack, which really firms everything up nicely.
The rack above will hold four bikes, anything from a single bike to a triple, depending on how far forward I attach the rack.
Legal Note: This post detailing a Quick and Easy Bike Rack is for your benefit. I assume no responsibility for anyone using what I did to build their own rack. Your bicycles and your carpentry knowledge, along with the installation of all tie-down straps and the proper use of the fork mounts are entirely your responsibility. Not only do you risk damage to your bikes, but other people and their property as well if you do something stupid, ignorant, incorrectly or try to skimp with cheap products. All responsibility for what you do falls on you. This post is expressly for informative purposes. If you do not possess the intelligence to build your own, you should absolutely buy a proper bike rack for your pop-up.
UPDATE: I added another post with better photos of the ratchet straps here.
DALMAC was pretty tough on me this year. I came down with a stomach bug the day before – I was down for the count. I slept for something like 14 hours that day. I packed for DALMAC between naps, when I felt my stomach could handle it… It was slow going.
The next morning I felt a lot better but I was more than a little nervous about trying to ride three centuries and 72 miles in four days. I had stomach issues the whole first day but I held on. Dinner that night, as necessary as it was, did not taste all that good.
I awoke Friday with a much better outlook. In comparison, I only spent about a third of the ride in any discomfort. Saturday, I felt great but I woke up Sunday morning to what felt like a cold coming on. After a couple of cups of coffee I felt a lot better. I ended up riding every last mile of the 380.
We got home late Sunday night, well late for me, around 10 pm. To say I fell asleep promptly would be a bit of an understatement. Monday was pretty rough. I ended up kinda sick, but not wiped out so rather than mess with inviting anyone else to ride, my wife and I slept in and took the kids out for an easy 18 miler.
Tuesday was the club ride and even though I was still feeling a little under the weather, I rode with the group anyway. We turned in a better than average time for the 30 miles, 1:21:20 and I did my fair share, but no more.
Wednesday I paid for everything but with ugly skies, I felt well justified in polishing the couch with my butt.
I probably could have taken another day off yesterday, but I decided to ride anyway. I felt a lot better and ended up enjoying my ride thoroughly though my legs felt smoked. I kept it fairly easy, but I found myself not wanting to get out of the saddle to charge up a hill or to spin up to an easier cadence… My legs, simply put, are feeling the mileage.
Weather permitting, I know I’ll be riding every day of the weekend but I’m leaving the overall mileage to whatever comes up. One thing is for certain; After DALMAC, I’ve got enough miles I don’t have to worry about it for a while.