You would think that having to drive 794 miles, heading west, across Wyoming and Montana would be a little monotonous.
Not for us!
Three hours into the day’s drive, we stopped off at a gas station for some snack refills. Upon walking back to the coach, I noticed the bike rack was hyperextended toward the car, and was hovering about 3 inches above the hood.
I’m glad we noticed it before it fully broke and damaged the car and the bikes, but now we had five bikes that needed a new home for the rest of the trip. Knowing I had a little work ahead of me, I slowly removed each bike, set them aside, then removed the borked bike rack. After looking at the hinge, it clearly had sheared on both sides, most likely from the 7 months of bumping along on the back of Edelweiss. Apparently it had had enough.
After the rack and the bikes were removed, we had to wrap all of them in sheets and then pack them into Edelweiss or the car. The trail-a-bike, which was the smallest, fit into the back seat of the car, while one of the bikes was hung vertically in the shower, and the remaining three bikes were tied together and stacked in the hall/bathroom area and securely tied down. Unfortunately we rendered the bathroom useless in the process (no emergency uses!) but we were on our last leg of our journey, so it wasn’t going to last long.
We made sure we took some photos of the carnage and of the rack damage, before stowing it away. And I know we were supporting less weight than it was designed for, so we were hopeful we could have it replaced under warranty. For reference, the bike rack was a Thule 9030 Vertex 5 Bike Hitch Rack. It’s been awesome, despite the little stress fracture we encountered :)
About an hour later, dripping with sweat, after everything was tidied up and stored, we were back on the road…life is an adventure!