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I need to move two bicycles from work to home. The route is 5 miles long and car free. My only means of transport is to ride one of the bicycles so my question is this: What is the safest way to get both bikes from work to home in one journey? (without some kind of trailer)

The bikes are a Carrera Virtuoso and a Scott Yecora (dropped handlebars)

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Note that depending on the city and country, you may be stopped by the police and asked for proof of purchase, ownership, or registration. Sadly this would never happen where I live in the USA. –  RoboKaren Aug 21 at 23:30
    
5 miles is a pretty short walk, just cycle bike A, walk back and cycle bike B –  JMK Aug 23 at 16:40
    
I am surprised, here in the Netherlands you would see people 'riding' two bikes really often (as in, at least once a month). Just pulling one as described in some of the answers. Carrying it as a backpack, walking with two bikes and lifting bikes halfway up however I have never seen. –  David Mulder Aug 24 at 17:20

9 Answers 9

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Walk :) Safest.

I do this from time to time (usually when one of the kids have 'forgotten' their bike), and find it easiest to do as pr above, but with a little variation.

  1. If the transported bike is lightweight and otherwise allows it, simply 'wear' it as a backpack, putting your arm through the big triangle. Once it's on, you can determine if it will Work. Did this once with a racing bike at 7,5Kg.

  2. As the other answers, except I grab the center of the handlebar with palm forward, and then lift the front Wheel of the bike. This allows me to sit on my own bike more comfortably, and balance is way better since the transported bike doesn't try to steer.

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I went for option 1 but I had a bungee so I took off the wheels, bungeed them to the frame then used the bungee as a strap and wore the whole thing like a shoulder bag. I got both bikes home successfully but by the time I'd gotten past the 3rd mile my right arm was numb and I definitely would not want to attempt this uphill. –  nettux443 Aug 21 at 11:33
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i.imgur.com/2zgGNsM.jpg –  nettux443 Aug 21 at 11:46
    
I find the opposite - it's better to lean on the second bike so you can "track stand" and the second front wheel doesn't lift up and flick into my front wheel. A bit of weight makes it more stable. –  Mσᶎ Aug 21 at 11:50
    
Second the tie-bike-to-backpack method. Works for fairly long distance moving too. –  bob Aug 24 at 23:11
    
I will add that although I carried my bike on my back, I didn't tie it to a backpack I had to loop the bungee over my right shoulder and under my left arm which meant that it dug into my right shoulder causing it to go numb after a few miles. If I did this again I'd get a piece of foam or something to pad out the strap on my shoulder and spread the pressure. –  nettux443 Aug 25 at 19:58

If one bike has a rear rack, you can attach the second bike's front wheel with a bunch of bungies and tow it. I've done this, and it worked fine.

Now I have a cargo bike, and the towing is simpler:

Xtracycle tow truck

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+1 for an awesome idea but I haven't accepted this answer because neither of my bikes have racks. If this was an option for me I'd definately prefer this. –  nettux443 Aug 25 at 20:15

If you are reasonably firm at riding one-handed, you can drive them home by riding one of them while pushing/pulling the other one beside you with one hand.

Let's assume that the bike you will ride is called A and the one you push/pull is B.

First decide, which bike is better to be ridden and therefore will be your bike A and which hand is better to get freed to steer bike B. Which hand is better will depend on if you will need to change gears and how your brakes are arranged on the handle bars. Then lean bike B somewhere, e.g. to a tree or wall – putting it on its stand is not so good as it might get complicated to get the stand folded in later. Also make sure to lean it on with the correct side, depending on your choice of which hand you want to use to steer it. Finally mount bike A and place yourself on the bike beside B.

Now grab either the stem or the center of the handlebar (where it is held by the stem) of bike B, such that you have some steering control over the handlebar if you twist your wrist.

The most complicated part in this is starting as you will have some wobbly moments on the start and you have to take care not to interfere with the handlebars of both bikes. Having drop bars (as in your case) will make things a bit easier in terms of interference as they are not that wide and it is easier to keep both bikes separated. Also you have to take care to not lean onto the wrong bike, as putting your weight on bike B will make it go somewhere more or less unpredictable and you're quite likely to crash. So only put your weight onto bike A's handle bar.

Once you have the whole train running, this arrangement is quite fine (albeit a bit clumsy) as long as you don't have to cope with too much traffic (which is given in your case). However, 5 miles is some piece to ride this way so expect to be somewhat slower than normal and plan to do some pauses on your way as you won't have a very relaxed riding position.

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Often the lower bike is the better one, so you can put your feet down more easily without letting go of either set of handlebars. Otherwise you need a wall or something to lean the second bike on. –  Mσᶎ Aug 21 at 11:51
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I've done this many times with a variety of bikes. I find that the easiest is to ride a fixie and push/pull a second bike. This way you don't have to worry about using your hands for the brakes. Also, if you lift the front tire of the bike you're push/pulling off the ground, the whole thing is easier to steer. The catch is that your arm gets tired. –  jimirings Aug 21 at 16:07
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We do it very often in the villages in India. Just keep the speed low to avoid problems. –  Tanmoy Aug 22 at 8:04

One possible way is to ride one bike and push the other. One hand goes to handlebars and front brake, the other grips the second bike by the handlebar stem.

This is slow and clumsy, of course, but if you are able to ride the said route with no hands, you should be able to move both bikes as well.

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To clarify, I liken riding no-handed to riding with another bike, because in my opinion riding with another bike is more difficult than riding one handed. For example crossing curbs is quite challenging. –  Vorac Aug 21 at 8:57
    
I've done this to move a tall bike (using another tall bike, obviously :) and used to fairly regularly do it with safety bikes. I did it the other day, 5km from work to the train station (I wasn't game for 20km all the way home). It's not too hard, go slowly and pay attention to steering. –  Mσᶎ Aug 21 at 11:49
    
I did this when the chain of my bicycle broke. I rented a shared bike and pushed the broken one with my hand while riding the shared bike. It's slow, tedious and probably not legal, but it worked out better than expected. –  moeso Aug 21 at 11:57
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In The Netherlands, this the well known solution to transporting a second bicycle. I find it best to hold the other bicycle at the stem loosely, or you'll get cramped hands along the way. –  eldering Aug 21 at 20:19

Ghostride it, so long as you're not dealing with high speeds or heavy traffic: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Ghostride-a-Bike/

And make sure you have a soundtrack:

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+1 for the link with pictures; although I recommend putting your hand across the bars at the center of the handlebar (palm down) rather than as shown. This provides good lateral stability (you can literally lean on the second bike or lift it up) and I have done this myself many times. Keep the ghost bike to your right - out of traffic; but do note this means you have only front brakes (unless you have a coaster brake - where you backpedal to apply the rear brake). –  Floris Aug 21 at 18:27
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This is what i always do. (this seems to come naturally for Dutch cyclists) Just hold the 2nd bike steer in the middle, and you can do anything as usual. The only thing with riding with one hand is to gently break. In this regard i found old fashioned back-pedal brakes superior over hand-brakes. Still plenty of those in the Netherlands.. –  Barry Staes Aug 22 at 8:54

I'd walk with both bikes - with each hand on their seats, one to the left and other to your right.

Bicycles can be easily pushed and steered when holding them at the seat (in the same manner as you would correct steering when riding without hands, through the balance). I find it easier than pulling them by the middle of handlebars as others suggest.

Doing so with two bikes at once is tricky, and this is slower than riding; but it's safer and you'd get there in the end with no risk of falling yourself; at worst you'd have to stop and readjust them a few times.

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If you walk very slowly, it's easier to hold by the stem, holding the saddle seems much easier for a quick walk (though my experience of walking bikes for any distance is restricted to bike with flat(-ish) tyres). –  Chris H Aug 21 at 13:29

Personally I enjoy running as much as riding. If I could not carry the second bike I would ride one home, run back, ride the other home. It would take a bit longer and be a great workout.......

Presuming 2 bikes @10km/h that is about 45-50 minutes (without prangs), or 30km/h (2*16minute) on bikes + 5 minute/km (40 minute) run - 1:15.

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Ride one bike, and have a friend ride the other bike. Once home, give friend a beer and say "thank you, see you tomorrow."

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Welcome to Bicycles. This site is different - it's not a discussion (although you can use chat for that). It is a site where good answers should become definitive references. –  andy256 Aug 24 at 8:30

My friend was able to ride a few miles with a second bike attached to his backpack with a ropes. You need a wide road for this way of transportation and it can be tricky to tie bike in such a way that it doesn't weights to one side. Also, you can detach wheels and tie them to the frame, so bike will be more compact.

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If you're going to do this, really take the wheels off first, it will make you much narrower. But you might want to wrap the chain in plastic. –  Chris H Aug 21 at 13:19

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