Sometimes, there are unforeseen events that require you to take your bike for a long commute. Without having to ride on a bicycle, or bringing your own car, the last resort is commuting with your bicycle on a bus.
It can be a bit of a hassle, especially when you are doing it for the first time. So, how to put your bike on the bus? Well, we came up with practical ways to commute on a bus with a bicycle. It includes properly loading your bike, using the bus rack, and unloading the bicycle right.
Table of Contents
Prepping Your Bike
Public commute can be pretty stressful, especially when you are bringing large items like a bicycle. You need to prep your bike before loading it on the bus. It is crucial to remove any loose items and accessories before the bus arrives.
Ensure that there are no water bottles, bike pumps, or panniers hanging around the surface of your bike. If possible, only leave the basic structure of the bicycle, so that it can fit on the bus rack. Then, clean, wipe and remove unnecessary debris that you might find on the bicycle.
Loading Your Bike
City buses usually have racks on the front dedicated for passengers commuting with bicycles. Since bikes are not allowed inside a bus, the racks are the perfect space to load bike on bus. Bus racks can normally accommodate three bicycles at any one time.
Before loading your bike, ensure that the bus is at a full stop, and alert the driver that you plan to load a bike on the curb or rack. You can just make eye contact, nod at the bus driver, and point your bike indicating that you are about to use bike rack on bus.
It is important that the bus driver acknowledge your intent, so the driver can give you enough time to put on your bike before starting the bus engine.
Putting the Bike on the Bus Rack
Before placing your bike, make sure there is enough space on the rack. You have to squeeze and pull the handle of the bus rack in order to unlock the pin. Then, lift your bike by the seat tube and the stem of the bicycle.
With this position, you will be able to put a bike on a bus rack. It also provides balance and stability for you and the bicycle.
Then, gradually slide your bicycle wheels into the rack. When sliding the bike wheels, take notice of the fitted slots on the bus rack as they will guide you on where the bike wheels should go.
Once you place your bicycle correctly, secure your bike to the rack by lifting the rack’s support arm over the front tire. You must pull the support arm so that it can cover your bike’s front tire. It will keep your bike stable while the bus is moving.
Pulling the support arm will keep your bike in place and well-secured. Avoid using your own personal bicycle lock for this procedure. Securing your bike with the support arm is enough.
Always Keep an Eye on Your Bicycle
Now that you have loaded the bike on the rack, enter the bus and look for a seat near the bicycle. Sit near the front so you can watch out for your bike. Be alert and do not take your eye off the bike, especially during stops.
Unloading and Exiting the Bus
Give the driver a heads up when you are about to unload your bike. It is important to inform the driver so that the he/she can give you time to unpack the bicycle. Since you are still inside the bus, you can always talk to the driver about your intent. It is crucial that the driver hears and acknowledges you so that the bus won’t drive off while your bike is still loaded.
Next, use the bus front door to exit. Ensure that the bus is at a complete stop before exiting. Walk towards the front side of the bus to prepare for unloading.
When removing the bike from the rack, lift the support arm once again by pulling it over your bicycle front tire, lowering it, and pushing it out of the bike’s way. The support arm must move in the direction against the front of the bus.
Now, remove the bicycle completely. Hold the bike on the seat tube and the step and hoist it up. It is the same position as when you load your bike on the rack. Then, unload the bike.
After unloading the bicycle, do not leave the bus rack unsecured. It is necessary to fold the bicycle rack back up, especially if it’s empty. You can do this by squeezing the handle and placing the rack to the upright while it is in a folded position.
Bring your bike to a safe space and wait for the bus to leave before riding away.
Some Helpful Tips
- Ask assistance from the bus driver. Loading your bike on a bus can be challenging, especially for first-timers. So, you can ask for help from the driver if you do not know how to operate the rack. Some drivers will gladly assist when you ask politely.
- Always make sure that the bike is fully loaded on the rack. Give your bike a quick shake to ensure that you have placed it securely.
- Do not lose sight of your bike specifically during bus stops. These are when thefts happen, and you must be aware of it.
- If you notice that the rack is damaged, and it cannot give security to the bike when loaded, inform the driver and do not load your bike on the rack. Just wait for the next bus to arrive.
- Keeping the driver informed throughout the process from loading to unloading is very important. Leaving the driver unaware can cause accidents that may injure you or damage the equipment. It is vital that you communicate with the driver when you put a bike on a bus.
It is a daunting task to take bikes on buses. But all you need to know are the necessary steps to load and or unload. It is important to keep informed of the right things to do for this process. Hopefully, this guide on how to put your bike on the bus has helped you and has provided the necessary information on putting bike on bus.
“I ride my bike to work for years, but is that enough? Our carelessness towards our surroundings has taken a toll on the environment. And now, everyone is responsible for changes; even the most minor contribution is counted. With this hope and spirit, I started with my partner to establish Biketoworkday to help more individuals commute to their work sites on their bikes.”