Recreational & Family - Towing two kids' bikes back from school
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My kids got their training wheels off this summer, and I want to start letting them ride to school. I'll be riding along with them, but the logistical snag is how to get their bikes back home afterward. (There's no bike rack there.)
I've got a Burley Double D'Lite, but I'd really rather not start ripping it up by shoving entire bicycles in there. Anyone have an idea that doesn't cost much? Money's tight.
No bike rack doesn't necessarily mean nothing to lock it to. Look around, I bet you can find something. Alternatively, you could ask at the main office if you could leave them somewhere inside.
Thanks! But actually, it was shorthand for "No good solution at the school." I do need to bring the bikes back home. Any thoughts on how best to transport them?
Maybe you could use your trailer, but protect it with a tarp.
09-09-10, 12:52 AM
You could use a bike tow bar like the Trailgator or Buddy Bar. I think the trailgator is a terrible product for just riding, but would work out great for towing an empty bike. You could make a bike train for the ride home. Otherwise, you might consider a triple/tandem type bike or a trail a bikes.
09-09-10, 09:33 AM
If you have a rack on the back of your bike, you might be able to bungee the front wheels to the sides.
Since I only deal with one bike at a time this way, I usually just "lead' it with it;s stem, as I ride alongside.
The Trail-Gator is a hundred bucks each, so that's out.
But the bike I'll be on is a Xootr Swift with a Crossrack (http://www.xootr.com/crossrack-bike-rack.html), so that bungee idea could go somewhere. Or bungees with spacers to keep the kids' bikes away from my heels and the rear wheel. Hmm...
09-09-10, 05:45 PM
You are taking their bikes home after they ride to school? Do you live up a staircase? I remember you posting how you couldn't take a large bike to your office, but I wonder if you could use an xtracycle type of thing to bring their bikes home and leave it at home before switching back to folder to head to work.
I would love an Xtracycle, but even if apartment size and location (sixth floor) weren't a problem, the expense would be.
If I can do it with existing resources (Crossrack and bungees will be great if they work), that would be ideal.
09-10-10, 10:14 AM
How difficult would it be to modify your trailer into a flatbed? You could gut it, remove the upper structure entirely, but what about leaving it collapsed (don't mount the upper cloth cover), attach a sheet of plywood over the folded down trailer, between the wheels, and then bungie the kids' bikes to that?
Alternatively, can you sell the double d'lite and use the proceeds toward a new flatbed?
09-10-10, 12:53 PM
Any chance you can talk the school into getting a bike rack? I think one of our schools picked up some government money to get a rack installed. Sorry but I do not know if it was local, county, state or federal money. I know it may not just be a rack issue but it may also include a place to put the rack.
On the back of our trailer, I rigged up a mount from a rack system (like this one (http://www.etrailer.com/Truck-Bed-Bike-Racks/Yakima/Y01117.html)) for just this type of thing. I only put one on though because I did not have a need for more than that. I imagine you might be able to fit two on there, but the bikes would be rather close. As long as the bars and pedals don't interfere with each other, it should work. You wouldn't want to do technical riding with it but for nice straight aways and gentle curves with easy stopping, it could work.
I think the best solutions are getting a rack at the school or getting a utility trailer with an easy setup for hauling the bikes.
I hope you can come up with something that works for you all. City life can be tough ;).
09-12-10, 05:30 AM
I agree with the above post. You could take 2 of the above mentioned racks, mount those to a 2 x 4 that is spaced far enough apart, & mount the board to the bottom of a flatbed trailer, made from one of the cheap bike trailers that you see for $99, new. I have seen those trailers for $20, used. Of course you would need their bikes to have quick release front axles.
We've now made two school runs, with me hauling their bikes back in the d'Lite. I think it'll actually work, and I'm willing to rip the trailer up after all, since the boys aren't going to be using it much anymore. It actually makes me happy to repurpose it like this; I was feeling a little down about leaving it behind as they got older.
The only issues I see at this point are the PITA factor (three bikes, a trailer, three locked doors and an elevator, times two) and the kid bikes damaging each other's paint jobs, which I'll try ameliorating tomorrow with a couple of old towels.
They love it, we get to school fast (the way there is mostly downhill), and it's just basically awesome to ride with your kids every morning.
Thanks for all the thoughts. Once they graduate from 16" to 20" bikes, this won't work anymore, so I'll be back...
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