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Roof rack blunder!(58 posts)

Roof rack blunder!AllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 12:23 PM
OK, call me stupid but I forgot my bike was on my roof rack. Insurance will cover everything except for deductible. Does any one have any recommendations on how to prevent this kind of thing from happening again?

Thanks for your advice.

Stupid Allison.
re: Roof rack blunder!chopper
May 15, 2002 12:31 PM
Got this idea from someone else, but when the bike goes on the rack the garage door opener goes in the trunk. Of course this doesn't help for garages, etc. that aren't your won.
re: Roof rack blunder!mixinbeatz
May 15, 2002 12:33 PM
Whenever I have the bike on the rack, I put the garage door opener in the trunk. This makes it impossible for me to drive into the garage without first stepping out of the car and noticing that the bike is still on the top of the car.
re: Roof rack blunder!pat1
May 15, 2002 12:41 PM
Same approach here. After watching a buddy destroy his new S-Works on a heavy steel carport, my opener goes in the glovebox before the bikes go up. This forces me to at least pause and think before hitting the button and driving right in.

Yakima and Thule used to make some other devices to assist with this. One of them had a suction cup "gear up!" sign that you stuck to the inside of your windshield, and the other was spring loaded "gear up" arrow that was magnetic to adhere to your hood. The arrow closed at speed due to the wind resistance, but when you slowed, it popped up. Kind of cheesy, but some may need this level of reinforcment.
re: Roof rack blunder!WrigleyRoadie
May 15, 2002 12:47 PM
You have company, don't worry.

I used to put a sawhorse in front of my garage door before leaving with the bike on the rack. Never thought of the 'hide the remote' idea... knowing myself, I'd lose the thing.
re: Roof rack blunder!Kellum1969
May 15, 2002 12:54 PM
Put something in your driveway to remind you: a sign, orange cone, etc.

Somebody told me of a little knick knack that that attaches to your hood just in front of the window. It is spring activated, and as you slow down, the metal sigh (a couple inches maybe) springs up and says something like "Bike on Rack." Have no idea where you can get this though.
re: Roof rack blunder!wulf
May 15, 2002 12:54 PM
Friend of mine in college just took one of those corporate ID badge covers, and put a "HEADS UP" note inside. Stayed in his car at all times, and whenever the bike went up, this hangs from the rear view.

I don't know about others, but I would probably ignore that, too, being the numbnutz I am on occasion. That's why I have a hitch rack...
re: Roof rack blunder!fracisco
May 15, 2002 12:57 PM
I did that once with my old mountainbike. The bike had some scratches on the headtube, and a Yakima bike tray that was destroyed as it ripped off the rack. The skewer part was still good, so it only cost me a new tray.

I drive a pickup truck now.
no needSteveO
May 15, 2002 1:01 PM
you'll never do that again.

I suspect your only problem now will be: fearing your bikes are on the roof when theyre not.
That's what you think (chagrin)AllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 1:26 PM
This (with chagrin) is not the first and is not the second but it is the worst. (with even more chagrin) I want to make it my last though.

(chagrin chagrin chagrin)
May 15, 2002 2:48 PM
I drove my old mtb into the garage door once (didn't hurt the bike at all, but tore a huge chunk out of the garage door & did a real number on the roof of my car!)

I was usually very aware of my bike being on the rack, but that day, some time had passed from when I finished the ride to when I got home. So, I forgot about it and...

Anyway, my solution was to buy a pickup truck! No danger of driving into the garage door again, plus it's alot easier to load and unload the bikes from the bed.
re: Roof rack blunder!laffeaux
May 15, 2002 1:09 PM
Yakima makes a magnetic warning sign that you put on your car's hood. It's hinged so taht at speed it lays flat, but pops up when you slow down.

If you have a garage door, you can also attach a sign attached by a string to the door so that when the door opens, the note is at eye level.

I think everyone with a roof rack has done this (or will do this) at some point.
No garage = No worriesbiknben
May 16, 2002 6:09 AM
My bud wacked his road bike on 9/11. He was so excited to get home he drove right into his garage...FAST. Tore the fork legs off the bike. The carrier was mangled and he messed up the roof of his car. He'll never forget 9/11 for 2 reasons.

I live in a townhouse without a garage. Starting to feel good about that now.
happened to me twiceColnagoFE
May 15, 2002 1:25 PM
WHat I do is put my bike stand inside the garage so I'd have to drive into that before my bike would go in. So far it's worked. Both times I've done it before were when the garage door was up. Fortunately bikes were unharmed both times. The rack got a bit beat up but a few replacement parts got it working again. The roof of my poor car got scratched pretty bad from the fork of the bikes.
My first one happened in a parking garageAllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 1:29 PM
I forgot I even had the damn bike on the rack, Only a minor scratch though. I felt pretty stupid though; no, I felt really stupid.
Roof rack blunder times 2robbz27
May 15, 2002 2:42 PM
No advice, but funny (kind of) story. When I was working in a shop we had two separate guys with identical Klein Attitude Comps come in within 3 days of each other and both had driven into the garage w/ their bikes on the rack. Exact same damage to their forks. Neither of them knew the other. Kind of weird huh?
Three time loser? Your only hope is to do what I did. Ibill
May 15, 2002 2:55 PM
bought a house without a garage.
Had to go all the way to my office to wreck my rack, do $1500 damage to my car, and remember why I should never, ever, ever bring my bike to work unless I rode it there.
I decided to get a (now don't flame me) SUV.AllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 3:03 PM
I don't want to put a bike on the back, it just gets all gunked up. Plus, knowing my luck, someone will rearend me.

I don't want a pickup, nothing against them unless its the new Ford Tonka, but that honey is out of my price range even it were available.

With a SUV, the bike can fit inside. Sorry about the environmental part of it, but it seems the most practical.

Thanks for all your comments.

3 time loser, Allison
I decided to get a (now don't flame me) SUV.Ahimsa
May 15, 2002 3:24 PM
"With a SUV, the bike can fit inside. Sorry about the environmental part of it, but it seems the most practical."

Ahimsa lowers his eyes to the floor and shakes his head slowly as he exhales a long sigh, "A giant bike carrier with seating for eight? Oh Allison, I disappointed."

more like a little SUV, maybe a Honda or ToyotaAllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 3:45 PM
how can I ever redeem myself, Master Yoda?

a yoda anagram: daoy, which is a jewish calypso. How about if I compose a song for you:

The SUVana Song

daaaaooooyyy, daaaaooooyyy
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Day is a day, is a day, is a day
Is a day, is a daaaaooooyyy

(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Work all night, gonna spend me money
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Stack de bike for the morning ride
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)

Come mister tally man, tally me new bike
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Come mister tally man, tally me new bike
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)

daaaaooooyyy, daaaaooooyyy
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Day is a day, is a day, is a day
Is a day, is a day
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)

A beautiful SUV, a ripped new bike
(Till I come and me wanna go buy SUV)
I seek de deadly black Toyota
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)

daaaaooooyyy, daaaaooooyyy
(Till I come and me wanna buy SUV)
Day is a day, is a day, is a day
Is a day, is a daaaaooooyyy
I don't know...I'm still a little upset.Ahimsa
May 15, 2002 4:33 PM
But that was funny.

How about a Ford Focus wagon? Or a Volks Jetta Wagon? Wouldn't something like that house the bike just fine and still be practical and fuel efficient?

It's not the enviro thang so much as the minimalist "reduce my car based needs to the barest of essentials and economy, shop for groceries daily, and ride my bike to the pub" euro-like new american thinking that you subscribe to (in my mind's version of you). I'd hate to let that go and imagine you behind the wheel of a psuedo offroad suburbo bubble.

Please. If you must, get a Honda Odyssey minivan and tell me you need it for race day changing and spare wheel storage. I'd buy that.


A. (Insert obligatory "Tongue planted firmly in cheek" disclaimer for all you internet fun poking impaired types out there)
Hadn't thought about a wagon. Hmmm, a Focus? Maybe a SuburuAllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 4:48 PM
The name Focus brings up this really cute joke I heard once.

The two gentile southern ladies decided to have their pictures taken together. At the photographer's studio, one lady said to the other, "What IS he doing under that black veil?" The second one replied, "Why I declare, I do believe he is trying to focus." To which the first exclaimed, "Oh my!"

as ever, long winded, Allison
Subie would be good. Go w/ a WRX wagon (Vrooom! Vrooom!)Ahimsa
May 15, 2002 6:16 PM
I'd love to have one o' those mad beasts. Watch 'em race the coupe at the rallies all the time. Night stages with brakes glowing red hot and tailpipes firing gunshots of white light! Ah! To hell with NASCAR! Give me Euro racing anyday!

Yes! 270 hp of turbo charged all wheel driven tiny jap bombshell!

If only I was not so bike obsessed...


A. (Mine would sit in the garage like a neglected dog tied to a tree in the backyard. I almost never drive.)
Oh lord.....speed-chump
May 15, 2002 6:41 PM
I just ordered a 2002 Outback Sport, but it has to be
ordered in. Rather than send me home in my trade-in while
I wait, the dealer sent me home in a WRX wagon. I know darn
well what he's trying to do, and it just might work. I have
it until tomorrow evening. What a vehicle! Words cannot
express. If I were a couple years younger i could probably
throw caution to the wind and buy it. Damn this whole
"maturity" thing. Lordy Lordy... the boost gauge nestled
behind the Momo wheel.... 14.7sec 1/4 mile, 110mph on
freeway entrance ramps...unearthly handling....
oooohhhhhh.... Somebody please tell me to be rational and
stay with the Outback!!!!
Oh lord.....Jekyll
May 15, 2002 7:54 PM
Get the WRX - you'll never forgive yourself everytime you step on the gas on an on ramp on the Sport after this....
Just don't roll a WRXkenyee
May 15, 2002 7:11 PM
I've seen pics and they're not pretty.
Supposed to be gobs of fun though.
Just don't roll a WRXgtx
May 15, 2002 8:02 PM
looks like a pretty safe car
They don't test rolloverskenyee
May 16, 2002 9:12 AM
You have to hang out on enthusiast sites for a while until you see some real-life crashes. The one I saw had the roof collapsed in about 1' on 4 sides and the engine compartment caught fire.

Most car makers seem to know how to pass the IIHS tests now.
I'm not too fond of the WRX's looks, but a lot of A4 drivers on Audiworld seemed to think it was great fun and cheap.
They don't test rolloversgtx
May 16, 2002 10:30 AM
I believe it. I still don't really trust Japanese cars. Remember the old Saab ad where they have it do a roll and keep on driving? Those guys understand rollover protection.
Suburu Outback = Angry Lesbian CarGangsta
May 15, 2002 8:45 PM
just an observation, not a condemnation.
Every time I add up what SUV I'd get, it's a WRX.Leisure
May 16, 2002 6:14 AM
Even though I spout off about them, I'm mostly focused on the huge ones that consume and weigh ridiculous amounts. It's thoroughly possible to get an SUV with mid or upper-twenties mileage, but when I add up what I'd want I get the WRX.
But you know Allison, you could also have a shop weld on a hitch to your car for one of those rear-mounting racks. I've never been big on roof racks in the first place, have been using a trunk mount for a good while. But a detachable rear-mounted rack just seems like the best of all worlds. I'll probably be doing it later this summer. Figure it'll look funny on a soon-to-be-lowered Integra though.
what are $35k new?ColnagoFE
May 16, 2002 7:57 AM
I was shopping for a new car (bought a 2002 ford explorer) and checked out the subarus first as I have a Legacy wagon now. They wanted over 30k for a 6 cylinder outback! seems like too much $ for what you get.
Cheaper, but w/ a market gouging markup over retailkenyee
May 16, 2002 9:18 AM
Targeted at boy racers. Should be mid 20s, but they marked it up for a while so it was over retail because of all the demand. Not sure if it's still that way.
Interior is cheapy. Engine is nicely tuned.
Possible AlternativeScot_Gore
May 15, 2002 6:55 PM
Pontiac Vibe may be a possible alternative for you. AWD and clever seats. Toyota Matrix is based on this same platform. Looked at it the other day, it's basically a station wagon. Marketed at people half my age, but I still liked it. It's EPA rating is 26/31 compared to an Explorer at 15/20.

Pontiac Vibe: interesting alternative.AllisonHayes
May 16, 2002 4:11 AM

Good idea. I have never heard of it. Do you know anyone who has one? It seems that a lot of people like the Suburu. I want something that is practical and fun, yet has some panache and doesn't put me in the poor house.

Reminds me of the Aztek (same platform I think). nmkenyee
May 16, 2002 9:19 AM
Suburu Legacy or VW Passat wagongtx
May 15, 2002 7:49 PM
and if you're an IMBA member you can get the Subaru at wholesale
What about a good old-fashioned passenger car?mickey-mac
May 15, 2002 9:32 PM
I've got a '94 Volvo with a big-ass trunk. My bike fits in it with plenty of room to spare for all my gear. Unless you're regularly hauling more than one bike, all you need is a big trunk.
I would have expected you to recommend a 64 cadillac.AllisonHayes
May 16, 2002 4:00 AM
and an airstream trailer. Now that is class. You don't drive these things, you aim them.

I still remember your post. classic!

Slipstream "I'm itching for a cycling road trip" 4/26/02 5:31am
fellow Volvo drivergtx
May 16, 2002 10:31 AM
I've got a '85 sedan and '88 wagon--both swallow bikes no problem. You ever go to
fellow Volvo drivermickey-mac
May 16, 2002 6:16 PM
I've got a '94 940 turbo. I used to check out brickboard every now and then, but I haven't been there in quite a while. I'm thinking about trying to track down a used Cross Country wagon next year.
fellow Volvo drivergtx
May 16, 2002 7:02 PM
yeah, those are nice--I like the previous generation/body style more than the present one. I'm stuck with these 240s for now--hence the visits to the brickboard. Managed to redo the wiring harness on the '85 sedan myself and save about $800--hoping to sell the thing soon. You probably get the IPD catalog, too--they are a very good resource. Thinking of getting some of those IPD sway bars and Boge shocks for the '88 wagon, which is gonna be a keeper.
subaru !dotkaye
May 16, 2002 9:33 AM
it's a car not a truck, get a turbo one and it's a joy to drive. Bike goes in the back with no problems. The only time I ever had my bike on top (extended family inside, no room) I went into a carport, luckily just gouged the saddle which I didn't like anyway.
May 16, 2002 6:21 AM
That Honda has 240 horsepower. That's GOT to be evil.
Just go for the evil SUV....ACE-
May 15, 2002 10:58 PM
You'll love it. ACE
Still very temptingAllisonHayes
May 16, 2002 4:28 AM
I like the defensive part of it as well as sitting up high. You know, to do battle with the soccer moms, the homeboys, the pickups, the porches and the trucks. Makes me feel like I have a suit of armor on; and I could put Godzilla in the back--you know for protection, 'cause its a jungle out there.

God, listen to me. I am starting to sound like a survivalist.
Come on, you really wanted a new bike- right?SnowBlind
May 15, 2002 3:04 PM
Freud strikes again!
Close, I wanted a new carAllisonHayes
May 15, 2002 3:08 PM
oh, alright, I wanted a new bike too. Have you been reading my mail or what? Hmm, now what to get?
You poor thing!rideslikeagirl
May 15, 2002 3:06 PM
I know if we didn't have the trailer-hitch thingy, I'd be doing the same thing all the time!

OUCH! nmNo_sprint
May 15, 2002 3:07 PM
Yup!Spoke Wrench
May 15, 2002 4:31 PM
Whenever I load bikes on the roof of our car, I put the garage door opener into the glove compartment.
Aw, It happens to the best of us...spyderman
May 15, 2002 8:08 PM
My bike met a car wash it didn't like...

I was distracted with finals. I was cleaning my car after a ride. I parked in the self-serve no problem. After I cleaned my car I took my bike down and cleaned it too. Put it back on the roof rack and started to go. Then heard that God-forsaken thud and you know the rest...

Luckily, my damage was minimal. The roof rack gave just enough. My handle bar was straight, but the front wheel was turned 90 degrees. My first reaction was to immediately straighten it, almost like giving it cpr or somethin'. It worked. The only real damaged was to my front derailer cable. The cable was fine, the housing and cable stop were ruined due to the tension.

Total damage = $5. Misc. damage - Ego, heart...

Like I said, it happens to the best of us.
My problem is not my garage it is forgettingAllisonHayes
May 16, 2002 4:05 AM
what is up there and driving into something like happened to you. That is why I think I will get a vehicle where I can store the bike inside.

thanks for sharing your story. I guess I am not alone.
My problem is not my garage it is forgettingNJRoad
May 16, 2002 4:49 AM

I just saw a report on the new Mini Cooper. The car is really cool looking, get up to 37MPG, you can get into one for under $20,000, their built by BMW and they're only like 3 1/2 feet high, you could probably fit it in the garage with your bike on it.
Have you seen a Mini Cooper in person?kenyee
May 16, 2002 9:23 AM
It looks smaller than a VW Beetle. Reminded me of the tiny Fiats you see in Italy, but more rounded :-)

I'd like to see you fit a bike in it...

Actually, that reminds me. A friend bikes at lunch at work. He puts his car in the 2nd row of his Maxima. It leans on the seat, but he didn't care about getting his used Maxima dirty.
Have you seen a Mini Cooper in person?NJRoad
May 17, 2002 5:07 AM
I said she could put her bike ON it not IN it. The car is so small it would fit in the garage with the bike on top of the car.

I've seen the orginal Mini in Europe and I don't imagine that the overall dimensions of the car are much different.
I feel your painwonderdog
May 16, 2002 6:43 AM

No, I won't call you stupid. I've been there. Drove my Subaru into the carport at my old apartment building 2 years ago with my Trek 5500 on top. I found out the hard way that OCLV has a low modulus of elasticity. Doh! Fortunately, insurance saved the day and got me a new frame and repaired the top of my car. In all, it was a $3500 bill. Not fun.

I found that the best solution is to not have a carport or garage. If that option is not available, get a trunk mounted rack. Hopefully, you won't be rear-ended.

Um, take off the front wheel and stick the bikedjg
May 16, 2002 7:17 AM
in the back seat of your car?

Or maybe use a trunk rack? (There's still the risk of backing into stuff, but on the assumption that you actually look where you're going you should see the bike before doing this.)