Bike. Fish. Live.

I’m sure many of you out there have hobbies that you love outside of fishing. Accessibility, time constraints and convenience can even push this “competing” hobby into the forefront from time to time, conjuring images of a dusty and forgotten rod in the corner of the garage. For me, this activity is cycling. Seeing that I live about 1.5 miles from my office in Alexandria, Virginia, it literally takes me less time to bike to work than it does to drive, so 99% of the time you will find a bike in my office and an empty parking spot in our building’s garage. There is also an amazing trail infrastructure here; there is a bike trail 20 feet from my house, meaning that I don’t have to drive to a trail head or park to get my “fix.”

However, instead of trying to convince you to make the difficult choice between some of your favorite outdoor activities, I would like to challenge you to find ways to incorporate fishing into those other activities you love. Seeing as we are smack-dab in the middle of National Bike Month and that today is Bike to Work Day, I saw today as the perfect time to show you how I have added fishing into my cycling excursions.

Besides all the health and environmental benefits, cycling to a fishing hole is a great way to reach lesser-chartered waters that are unreachable by car and possibly too far to comfortably hike to. Plus, that close connection with nature you feel when you are fishing is continued through your journey home.

While there are several specialty products on the market that you could use for this task (bike-specific rod holders, collapsible travel rods…) I chose to stick with a full-size rod and some materials that are likely to be found in every home. Here is my setup and recommended materials:

  • Mountain bike or at least a bike with wide tires, especially if you are going to be riding along the water’s edge or on unpaved surfaces to get to your spot. If paved surfaces will take you all the way to where you want to get, you can see that this setup works just as well on a road bike.

  • Full-sized rod attached to bike frame with Velcro straps, bungees, twine, or whatever you find that works. Make sure the handled end is at the front of the bike. If a tree branch catches on your pole, you are more likely to not have any damage if the thicker, stronger end of the pole takes the brunt of the impact.

  • I use a product called Gear Tie, which is essentially a durable, reusable twist tie.

  • I recommend placing the rod on the non-drive side (the side without the chain and gears). That way, if anything falls, it won’t hit and possibly break your chain, causing you to have to walk back.

  • Be sure the rod and ties do not inhibit functions like steering and braking.

  • Flexible cooler for bait, snacks and water in backpack.

  • Small tackle box, which also fits in backpack.

Now it's time for you to try. Take your fishing rod on your next bike ride, or hiking adventure or camping trip. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.