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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 07-22-10, 03:27 AM   #1
12bar
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Trailer Observations

I recently acquired a Burley Travoy trailer for hauling my camera gear around local parks and such. I decided to ride my 29er to work the other day and used the trailer on my commute. The interesting observation was cars seem to be far more courteous and patient with the trailer in tow. Maybe I just caught the right alignment of the stars or something but the difference was noticeable. I am going to try it again today with a different bike and see if I have the same experience, lets hope so. On a side note the trailer is great I barely even know it's there.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:26 AM   #2
bengreen79
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Yep they do, probably because they think you have small children in tow.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, most road ragers will not punish children for their parent's "stupidity".

If you want drivers to be really courteous try wearing dark sunglasses and tapping a cane in front of you while riding.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:52 AM   #4
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I think that most folks assume that drivers are using the street for "serious" purposes (e.g., getting to work, shopping, taking the kids to soccer, going to the hospital, or even getting to the golf course). In contrast, I think that many people assume someone riding a bicycle is using the street for their sport and thus deserves less respect than a "serious" user. When you are pulling a trailer, I suspect that you look like a serious road user to these folks -- just like people who are using their cars. Consequently some drivers may treat you with more respect because they see you as a legitimate road user rather than as someone who is, in their mind, playing in the street.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by snorkel View Post
Yeah, most road ragers will not punish children for their parent's "stupidity".

If you want drivers to be really courteous try wearing dark sunglasses and tapping a cane in front of you while riding.
Thanks for making me spray coffee all over my keyboard, please PM me your address so that I may bill you.

I've toyed with the idea of using a kiddie trailer to haul supplies in, I always figured the added weight wasn't worth the possible consideration I may receive from automobilers. Is anyone who uses one of these trailers willing to weigh in on pros and cons?
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Old 07-22-10, 12:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for making me spray coffee all over my keyboard, please PM me your address so that I may bill you.

I've toyed with the idea of using a kiddie trailer to haul supplies in, I always figured the added weight wasn't worth the possible consideration I may receive from automobilers. Is anyone who uses one of these trailers willing to weigh in on pros and cons?
Since our daughter outgrew the trailer, it has been in use for getting the weekly groceries. With a hundred pounds of groceries aboard, the twenty pounds or so of trailer weight is trivial. Since finding a car parking spot at the place I like to shop would require a tow truck, taking the bike and trailer has a big general advantage. The specific advantages of the trailer for hauling stuff are as follows:

1 You can carry a lot more stuff this way.
2 Unlike a cargo bike, you can leave the cargo portion at home when you don't need the capacity.
3 The trailer is easy to load -- just toss the bags in. No thinking required.
4 There is no effect upon bike handling, unlike panniers, baskets, etc.

Notes:

The trailer is wide enough that you may have to take the lane more often than you would normally on narrow roads.
An empty trailer is very wind sensitive. Gusts of 30 mph and above will often flip the thing upside down. This causes wear on the fabric top.

Paul
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Old 07-22-10, 02:24 PM   #7
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There have been times when I ride with my BOB overloaded through downtown, just so I can see people turn and stare when they see someone riding with a table and chairs in tow. I don't know if I get respect, but I have gotten some looks of admiration from little kids, and that's always worthwhile.
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Old 07-22-10, 02:57 PM   #8
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I have a utility trailer that I use for groceries, errands etc. (Cycletote, I love it), I have the same experience, even though by the design of the trailer it is clear that it doesn't have any kids in it.
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Old 07-22-10, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
Since our daughter outgrew the trailer, it has been in use for getting the weekly groceries. With a hundred pounds of groceries aboard, the twenty pounds or so of trailer weight is trivial. Since finding a car parking spot at the place I like to shop would require a tow truck, taking the bike and trailer has a big general advantage. The specific advantages of the trailer for hauling stuff are as follows:

1 You can carry a lot more stuff this way.
2 Unlike a cargo bike, you can leave the cargo portion at home when you don't need the capacity.
3 The trailer is easy to load -- just toss the bags in. No thinking required.
4 There is no effect upon bike handling, unlike panniers, baskets, etc.

Notes:

The trailer is wide enough that you may have to take the lane more often than you would normally on narrow roads.
An empty trailer is very wind sensitive. Gusts of 30 mph and above will often flip the thing upside down. This causes wear on the fabric top.

Paul

Interesting. Thanks for that. I don't know much about it, but one concern I had was whether you had to be worried about potentially getting flat in two more tires. Is that a ligitimate concern? Did you ever get a flat on your trailer wheels?
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Old 07-22-10, 08:23 PM   #10
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I have one I picked up on a trade for a Jogging stroller.

I stripped the slats off an aluminum pallet at work that I plan to beef up the floor with so a cooler will be stable in it for the cold goods. I also have the stroller wheel and push bar and the plan was to use it as my shopping cart when in the store so it will be loaded as I leave.
Had it for nearly 2 years but cant convince the wife to take the bikes. We normally buy for 2 weeks at a time and have the kids in tow. She want s not part of that parade.
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