Those who own recumbents know transporting a velo-couche is not an easy task. Our requirement of hauling them inside a small sized vehicle makes it even harder. Very few vehicles can meet our criteria of being compact and have the required inside storage space for two recumbent bicycles.
These Recumbents are 72 inches from nose to tail. Even the trusty Honda requires some manipulation to get them safely anchored in the back. Unfortunately, father time has taken its toll on the Element and we are forced to find a vehicle more reliable for cross country jaunts. The plan was find another Element. Finding a low mileage Honda for sale was futile and of course buying a new one is not possible. Honda unwisely stopped production of the Element circa 2013. So what to do? After searching far and wide we think we have it. The Ram Promaster City Wagon appears to be the solution. This five passenger compact wagon is just the ticket.
The US market is most familiar with the Ram Promaster City commercial mini-van. Ram distinguishes between the commercial and passenger vehicles by using the designation Promaster City Van and Promaster City Wagon. In Europe the Wagon is a well known passenger vehicle called the Fiat Doblo.
For those one-day outings we fold up the rear seats, roll the bikes in, and with two quick straps you and the two recumbent battleships are on their way. All in under two minutes. No wheel removal, no scratch mark worries, no fuss. Just Stow and go, but don’t forget the shoes and helmet. We like our bikes inside the vehicle as it provides more protection from the elements than outside bike racks. This protects them from those summertime thunderstorms that send high pressure water into all the bikes sealed bearings and strips the lubrication from the chain. It also keeps them from the omni present road grime that is always swirling in the rear draft of vehicles or blocking turn signal indicators.
However, we are hoping the real benefit for the wagon will shine through during our much anticipated multi-day adventures. This is when we completely remove the back seats allowing for even more space. Enough space for the gear, bikes, and at the same time allow sleeping space for two. Another option is to attach our Saris bike rack to the tow hitch. This way when we get to our destination we can take the bikes out, lock them in the rack, and have enough room inside the Wagon for a suite. What more could the avid cyclists wish for? I don’t know but this is our plan and we are sticking to it. We can only hope we get the reliability that our Honda Element gave us. Only the future can tell.