Bikes or no bikes? That is the question

My wife and I are, or were, avid cyclists. We do not ride much anymore, mostly due to laziness, but will start back someday. We think. Maybe.

Next year we plan to build out a Sprinter 170 ext for full time travel. In theory, we want to take bikes with us but are trying to decide if it is worth it. My question is NOT about how/where to carry/store bikes or what type of bikes we should take (but always open to suggestions). We know that we can do it and know that doing so will take away from valuable storage we could use for something else, like hair dryers and all the other stuff my wife thinks she is packing. There is zero chance that we will use a rack on the back or put them on top (dirt, theft, clearance, aesthetics). They will have to be inside somewhere.

We plan to spend the majority of our time off grid in BLM, etc., but also will have to head into towns for the obvious reasons. I am less concerned with the bikes for exercise. But what about using them to get supplies from the store down the road without having to drive there, or using them to ride to civilization when I break down or am stuck, or for local touring in town, or on forest trails? Are these reasons worth allocating storage space?

My questions are these:

  1. Did you take bikes in your van that you never/rarely used?
  2. Did you set off in a van and regret not taking bikes?
  3. Are they valuable for a means of transportation for shopping, etc.?

1.) Yes in first Van and they were great to have, especially in bike friendly cities.
2.) Yes in the second Van and I wish I had them often.
3.) I would say yes if you are boondocking in a city or in a camper friendly city and don’t want to lose your spot. They came in super handy during mardi gras.

As far as using them to get supplies I don’t know, I feel like that would be a hell of a long ride sometimes. Why not just get supplies for a month or two weeks instead?

I recommend getting a bike rack though. That is the only reason we do not have ours and I wish we did, even being single speed road bikes. If they are on a rack they aren’t taking up space and they are there when you need them. A lot of cities now have bike shares too so there is always the option to rent one though I’ve never tried it.

Thanks much! I really think we will regret not having them.