Creative shuttling ideas?

For solo river running, does anyone have any suggestions for shuttling other than hitching?

cycling, running
have done both. Staged a bike at the take out once, and have packed my running gear in the boat a few times.

A bit tricky where I did it; when I ran, I had to hide my paddling gear in the woods at the take out but it was pretty exhilarating.

I keep a beater Sears special bike in the garage just for the purpose. I can leave it locked up, or stashed in the bushes or behind a tree at the takeout, and not be too heartbroken if the longshot chance it was stolen. Of course, it would leave me with a long run back to the car if it was swiped.

There are more and more rail trails out there these days that parallel rivers, which make for easy bike shuttles.

I’ve seen
a guy who breaks down his bike, and has a towing cart for the boat in his canoe. He gets to the takeout, assembles the bike, and tows the boat back to the launch with peddle power. Great way to balance out the upper body workout with the lower!

Of course, in a kayak, you may be SOL.


Ah, yes…the biathlon shuttle! :slight_smile:

– Last Updated: Feb-09-07 5:32 PM EST –

[Edit note]: Oops! My subject line should have read "triathlon shuttle", as bike/paddle/run truly is a triathlon, not a biathlon! :-)

I think your method is better, but I did once manage a solo shuttle I might call my "Rube Goldberg triathlon shuttle". It involved a bike with a boat trailer, and my car for the final leg. I wanted to make this ordeal as "human powered" as possible, but I just couldn't get around using the car for one not-too-long round trip at the end, as this was already going to involve a pretty long day paddle leg of the journey (good thing it was at the peak of Summer, when it didn't become fully dark until well after 10 pm!)...

I live in an oceanfront house, about 10-11 miles up the beach from the opening of a large harbor (Grays Harbor, WA). My paddle started on a river that empties into the North Bay section of the harbor. So...

With the bike, I towed the boat from my home to the put-in; only a 7 mile ride, but with a good sized hill thrown in just for the pleasure of the torture. From the put-in (where I locked the bike to a tree by the river), it was a three hour float down the river to where it reaches the bay. From that point, I paddled down through North Bay, around Damon Point, over the bar and around the Point Brown jetty, then up the coast to my house. Put the boat and gear away, then drove the 7 miles to pick up the bike (this is where I could have run to get the bike, I suppose, but after the long day of riding and paddling, I didn't feel too bad about the short drive). At least the ride/paddle legs combined represented most of the total miles, and most of the daylight hours as well.

It was a wonderful day, as I got to ride my bike, float down a quiet river, paddle through a lively bay and up along the coast, then surf directly to my house! :-)


I’ve done the bike thing too, but …
… not as described here. I suggest doing the bike portion of the shuttle first, so that your car is waiting at the takeout. That way, you can arrive at the takeout tired and later than you planned, and all will still be okay.

sounds great
I always get lots of sleep after doing the biathlon…

My Trailer
My trailer holds my kayak on one side and a nice 650 dualsport type motorcycle on the other side. It makes for a nice solo shuttle.

Here’s an interesting bike canoe trailer

Shuttling Ideas
One method being used by some people is to combine a raft, like the Alpacka or Water Strider, with a folding bicycle. The raft then collapses into a small package which can be attached to your bike rack for the return trip. The folding bicycle, like a Dashon, or Montague, could be put into the back of your canoe, but then you would need the canoe trailer.

inline skates …
… may work pretty well for highway shuttle/portage. Here is my video clip from training with Sew Wind canoe in Colorado before WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge 2006.

I did 40 mile portage that way. 40 miles is a little bit too much, but pushing a boat on inline skates for 10-20 miles is still fun.

Scooter or cheap moped.

– Last Updated: Feb-09-07 10:52 PM EST –

Get something like this, drive it in your truck to your take out, chain to tree.

Drive to upstream launch, maybe 15-20 miles upstream from your scooter. Paddle down to scooter.

Using same lock, exchange kayak/canoe for scooter. Poop on back to your pickup truck on the scooter and throw it in the back (or use a hitch storage pad if you have a car), and drive to pick up your boat.

The key is to have a small scooter, or better yet a moped, that you can get in your launch vehicle.

Rock on.

The bike shuttle…
has become such an integral part of my paddling that I don’t give it much thought until something like this comes along and I realize that many paddlers are only now just considering it. I have never lost a bike or any equipment to thieves on a shuttle lock-up and have done it hundreds, many hundreds, of times. And I only have one bike so I’m always shuttling with the bike I use to get back and forth to work on daily. Most every setting will have a scenerio that works whether it is stashing in the woods where no one will see it or locking in plain view of everyone where no one would dare mess with it. Since I crave virgin water, I’m always in new areas having to scope out new shuttle and lock-up spots. If you have bike shuttle questions they may be addressed in an old article I wrote for my canoe club.

Can’t believe this was written in '99. I’m still at it. The principle reason I bike shuttle is that most of my trips are solo. What else ya gonna do? Twice I’ve camped of the bike on long shuttles, both on the Delaware River. They are stories in themselves.

Well, that was entertaining and helpful.
I’ve got an old mountain bike that will work great as a shuttle. I actually bike around 5,000 miles a year, so this will be a great way to keep the milage up.

Jon boat
I have an 18-foot jon boat with a 75 HP outboard motor that I’ve used as a shuttle vehicle on the Mississippi River. I launch the jon boat at the take-out and leave it there with the gas tank locked to the boat and with the gas hose in a locked compartment below the bow deck. I then drive to the put-in and launch the canoe(s) or kayak(s), paddle downstream to the jon boat, secure the canoe(s) or kayak(s) within or atop the jon boat, and drive the jon boat upriver to my auto.

Dog cage?
Sometimes I wonder if a kayak could be peddled with some sort of add-on contraption like the Hobies, but in most cases you aren’t going to go upstream anyway without a real motor or a lot of walking. This then leads me to wonder if you might drop off – not only a bicycle – but maybe a metal dog cage to lock your gear in?

whoa, cool idea, Chuck_IL!

you could take
one of these

right with you in a canoe…

day laborers

Not a bad idea since if your bike
got stolen you wouldn’t be stuck with a long walk.