Hitchbiking is a mixture between hitchhiking and biking. Instead of waiting on on single spot for someone to pick you up you are sitting on a bike, already heading for your destination. Once a Pickup Truck or a big truck shows up you rise your thumb and smile. Some prefer to park the bike at a good Hitchhiking spot and wait there for a ride. Others again have a folding bike and can put their bike in a normal car trunk/boot.
- You never get stuck in a bad hitchhiking spot.
- You can let your bike carry your luggage instead of your spine.
- You are more flexible because you don't depend on traffic or public transportation. That means you can explore little beaches, rivers or villages with your bike and hitchbike further afterwards.
- You can bike to truck stops or service stations instead of hithhiking there.
- You get a lot of attention if you are running on your bike with all the luggage.
- You can enjoy beautiful parts of your trip on a slow pace with your bike and skip bad or hard ones while hitchhiking.
- It's amazing in cities as you don't need to spend money on public transit or stress about black-riding. Also, it is so much easier to look for dumpsters and find food or cardboard.
- It is very easy to find a good and secluded spot for wild-camping, even in urban areas.
- You have a really interesting and visible story (a bicycle). User:taborda found out that people are much more friendly and helpful as they easily believe you when they see the bike and bags - also good when asking for hospitality.
- It's harder to find someone who has room for you and your bike. You might consider getting yourself a fold-up bike, which uses significantly less space. (or to use a small bike that easily can take the wheels out and pack it in a big plastic).
- You need good bags which should be easy to remove from the bike.
- It's not that obvious for the driver that you want a ride. (It makes it easy to have the bike in a big bag - that will also help on not making cars dirty with chain oil.)
- In countries with tiny cars and few trucks it's really hard.
- You have to choose which road to hitchhike on wisely. Hitchhiking on highways is faster, but be careful not to get dropped off at a bad spot because you can't just cycle away from it, since it is illegal to cycle on highways, and could be dangerous (though it can feel much safer than some busy secondary roads with shoulder).
- Bikes cost money. Repairing and maintaining bikes cost money as well. When the bike or parts get stolen it may be very fustrating. User: Jackfang found the price of maintaining the bike compared to taking public transportation to be about the same over a two month period.
Hitchhiking with a foldable bike
With folding bikes coming to popularity particularly in more densely populated cities, more drivers are starting to recognize them. What this means is that while pedalling on the road to your destination, it is possible to get a ride by sticking your thumb out for *any car passing by. Some drivers will recognize that you are riding a foldable bike but they may not understand what you are doing. Having a sign may be helpful depending on the traffic speed.
Tiny folding bikes like this one make BikeHitching much easier. For longer trips, a real touring bike that folds up into a suitcase or a car trunk, like this 21-speed Pocket Sport from Bike Friday (picture). If you fold your bike, drivers won't even notice you have more than just big a backpack and then HitchBiking works just like normal hitchhiking.
Tips to make hitchbiking easier
- Pack your bike (with a small plastic tarp and some rope i could pack my hole bike) to avoid oil stains in cars.
- Use a small bike that can take the wheels easy, can be useful to strip it out of not needed items (like mudguards) to make packing smaller and easier
- Try to ask car drivers for a hitch, not only vans and trucks, people tend to be really helpful with cyclists, and you will find out a bike can fit in many cars (on the back sit). (User:taborda hitchbiking from Amsterdam to Portugal just got one hich offer where the bike actually didn't fit, on all others it was possible to fit the bike - mostly in "normal" cars)
- Always take the front wheel off, and make sure it's visible you have the bicycle and are hitchhiking. Having a sign helps drivers know you are looking for a ride (as opposed to being broken down and looking for help).
It's better in places with lots of pick-up trucks, such as South America.
taborda can confirm hitchiking with a bike in europe (holand, belgium, france, spain and portugal - July/August 2011) was not that hard (actually as easy as without a bike - or even easier)
Uyku.tulumu further confirms hitchbiking in Europe (Belgium, Germany, Austria, even Norway) seems even easier than normal hitchhiking because of the trust people have for cyclists and lack towards hitchhikers. (Did it with a normal sized bicycle, two panniers and a big front basket.)
It is also possible to get a lift on a bike, as documented here: Bike Hitchhiking Only recommended in city centers full of bicycles, such as cities in the Netherlands ;)
- FoldingBikeTravels.com on HitchBiking
- GreenCycle Blog
- Thoughts from Corinne
- Berner Werner about HitchBiking
- Meinhard's thoughts about HitchBiking
- Velowiki, a project started by guaka (talk) in April 2013