Explore America's Campgrounds
To shred the trails, you need to get the bikes to the trails. Hitch mount racks, such as the offerings from bike maker Schwinn, are designed to transport up to four bicycles off the rear end of the vehicle. The rack uses a male attachment end to mount into the vehicles tow hitch receiver. Once it is in place, there are up to four saddles to set the bikes and lock them down for transport.
Remove the clevis pin from the end of the Schwinn hitch mount rack. The clevis pin is a long metal rod that goes through the locking hole at the end of the male hitch mount.
Slide the square, male end of the hitch rack into the vehicle's tow hitch receiver.
Align the holes on the receiver tow hitch and the bike rack. Insert the clevis pin through the aligned holes, attaching the rack to the vehicle. Lock the clevis pin in place by pushing the wire lock mechanism into the closed position on the clevis pin.
Place the bicycles onto the rack's saddles, making sure the top tube goes into the saddle. The bicycle's top tube is the tube running between the handlebar stem and the seat.
Insert the ratchet strap into the saddle mount and tighten to secure the bicycle. Add additional bicycles to the remaining saddles.
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.