Well, sometimes it is legitimate to transport your bike on your car's roof or back. But many cyclists of the Lycra-fraction are such lazybones! Why do they go cycling by car? I live at the city limit, so I can observe them every weekend (at least when the weather is fine and warm). Parking lots full of cars with number plates of this area, equipped with bike racks to carry those full-suspension thingies around. Linz isn't that big that one couldn't make it out of it by bike. Cycling in the city isn't that dangerous (I would say it is less dangerous than sharing a single trail with a horde of weekend warriors :D ), and particularly on weekends the road traffic is quite low.
Bikes like this I usually put into my backpack.
My parents use to transport their bikes inside the car whenever possible, because bikes on cars increase aerodynamic resistance and fuel consumption significantly. There are always some old blankets in the trunk to avoid messing the interior of the car.
In Vienna it's the same. I see cars parked in Nussdorf next to the Donauradweg with Vienna plates and very professional-looking bikes on the rack. They ride those bikes to Kritzendorf (15km or so), stop at the outdoor cafe, sit there leisurely drinking beer, eating sausage and smoking, and then ride the bikes back to their cars. I even see cars with Vienna plates and bikes on the rack parked outside of Augarten -- they drive their bikes to ride around the little park.
For long distance trips however, I do find the rack necessary. The problem with putting the bikes inside the car is not that we are afraid for the car, but that we are afraid for the bicycles. Ours do not fit inside without scraping and bumping against everything, as well as each other. We tried the blanket thing, but it was a huge headache. So for long distance travel, racks it is.
I'm sure you will enjoy this photo:
I have some semi-conscious resistance to putting my bike on(or in)my car to drive somewhere, just to ride it. I rarely do such things. I'd rather ride from my home and make that my ride. I am planning a touring trip/party out to a state park, this summer. That is more in line with my values.
@filigran: I guess, those posers can be found in any place. And of course, whether one has his/her bike inside the car or on a rack depends on several things like the bikes, the car, the number of bikes, the number of persons, ...
@lynn: Why don't they do it the other way around?
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