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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-27-07, 06:37 AM   #1
de-bug
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What sort of "see me" setup with a trailer?

I started riding my bike to work this summer. It's only 2 miles away, and I drop my son off at daycare along the way (I keep the trailer with me for the whole ride). The ride is all in the city, along quiet neighborhood streets, a nicely separated sidewalk along a busy street, and a bike trail. I have a flexible schedule and live so close to work that I'll never have to leave before sunrise. But with fall coming on, I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable in the morning, especially on cloudy days like this one. In fact, I'm working from home a short while this morning to let the light increase a little bit before heading in.

I'm so new to this...I don't know what I need. I was looking at lights yesterday, and I think some are overkill for my situation. For me, it's more of a "see me and the trailer" situation. Unfortunately, I'm short, so for lighting in the back all I can fit on my seat post is a single blinkie. I'd appreciate any advice on what sort of setup would work.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:01 AM   #2
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The problem with the trailer is that it's down low. Most trailers I've seen have reflective stuff on them, but also a kind of flexible pole with a bright-colored pennant up at eye height (more or less) for a driver. You might be able to mount a light on something like that too.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:12 AM   #3
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Yeah, attach some PVC pipe somehow that's the right diameter to fit a blinkie's clamp (or just cement a fitting on the top of thinner PVC to get the size up). Duct tape, zip ties, hose clamps are going to be your friend here.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:19 AM   #4
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I used a blinkie, clamped and duct taped to the top of the trailer.

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Old 09-27-07, 07:41 AM   #5
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If I had my kid in a trailer I'd be using a Dinotte tail light, maybe three or four of them mounted on the trailer pointed towards drivers..
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Old 09-27-07, 08:18 AM   #6
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If I had my kid in a trailer I'd be using a Dinotte tail light, maybe three or four of them mounted on the trailer pointed towards drivers..
+1
If cost is an issue, I'd probably put two planet bike superflashes and two cateye LD1000s rigged to the top of the trailer.

Personally, I wouldn't put my kid in a trailer if I was on roads, though I guess it would depend on the traffic. Neighborhoods would be ok, I guess. While a problem is unlikely, the consequences are far too drastic for my liking. I'd probably add a pair of flags as well. A blinky on the back of your helmet is a great height for drivers to see.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:46 AM   #7
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I have a PB superflash on the trailer plus one of those orange flags on a ~6' pole. If I were feeling pushy, I would leave the push/handlebar thingy on and clamp a few of them on, but one seems sufficient for my route.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:27 AM   #8
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I bolted a slow moving vehicle triangle on the back of our trailer. http://www.mcmaster.com has them.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:40 AM   #9
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My trailer is a Little Tykes stroller/trailer - so the handle of the stroller part folds down giving me an ideal place to attach two rear lights. I've since taken them off (summer time meant no night riding with my daughter in, though I've done cargo runs at night, I don't care about the cargo so much). I think I'd probably switch out my cheaper blinkies for a PB Superflash - those lights are just incredibly good IMO. I guess it's nearing the time for me to start putting things back on.

Oh, and a safety flag or two is a great idea too - mine was liberated in motion but I have a "Take the Tooker" banner flag if need be.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:58 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the great ideas! I've enjoyed riding my bike to work so much this summer, and I want to keep going for as long as possible. I'll definitely rig up some of the suggestions here.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Most trailers I've seen have reflective stuff on them, but also a kind of flexible pole with a bright-colored pennant up at eye height (more or less) for a driver. You might be able to mount a light on something like that too.
G'day

Something like this would do the trick on the pole.

Regards
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Old 09-27-07, 11:59 PM   #12
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I have this nice, jumbo reflective advocacy patch on my trailer. With some metallic thread, it definitely makes the trailer more visible. My trailer is also low enough that my blinkie reflects brightly, and is very visible.
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Old 09-28-07, 03:27 PM   #13
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Nice ideas here! I'll be welding up an aluminum trailer over the winter (for shopping, not for kids) and this thread will come in handy.

Have you thought about asking the daycare center if you could perhaps stash the trailer there during the day?
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Old 09-28-07, 04:30 PM   #14
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In addition to the lights and reflective material on the bike and myself, I also run a Cateye TL-LD500 (light and CPSC certified reflector) on each rear corner of the trailer.
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Old 09-28-07, 04:52 PM   #15
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Uh... won't the blinky on your seatpost be blinking right in your kids' faces? Bad idea. Besides being annoying, bright "in-your-face" blinking lights can trigger seizures in some people.


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I have this nice, jumbo reflective advocacy patch on my trailer. With some metallic thread, it definitely makes the trailer more visible. My trailer is also low enough that my blinkie reflects brightly, and is very visible.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:44 PM   #16
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Good point about the blinking in the eyes of the children. I haven't actually pulled anything except groceries in my trailer at night. But it would be very easy to clip a blinkie onto the canvass material.
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Old 09-29-07, 07:17 PM   #17
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I have this nice, jumbo reflective advocacy patch on my trailer. With some metallic thread, it definitely makes the trailer more visible. My trailer is also low enough that my blinkie reflects brightly, and is very visible.
you could do a nice strip of red/orange 1/2 inch reflective tape around the aluminum bar around the bottom there too, if you really wanted.
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Old 09-30-07, 12:00 AM   #18
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What sort of "see me" setup with a trailer?

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Originally Posted by de-bug View Post
I'm so new to this...I don't know what I need. I was looking at lights yesterday, and I think some are overkill for my situation. For me, it's more of a "see me and the trailer" situation. Unfortunately, I'm short, so for lighting in the back all I can fit on my seat post is a single blinkie. I'd appreciate any advice on what sort of setup would work.
I have several of Tony Hoar's trailers, and on each I put a blinkie on the arm that attaches to my seatpost, as well as one on the back of the unit. For some this just entails attaching a flasher to the support post behind the trailer, and for others, requires mounting one to the back of the container.

Another thing I do is attach a wide sheet of bright, retroreflective material to each side of the back of the container. I get this from the local municipal sign shops.

Have ridden all over hell's half acre (and out past the edges) in all kinds of weather conditions, and have never had a close pass while pulling these units.

Allan
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