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Old 03-20-07, 01:35 PM   #1
camperdave
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narrow solution for 2 kids

Hi all, first post here! I'm a dad of 2 girls, 3 and 5yo, and we like to get around town via bicycle when possible. My bike is a 15+ year old mountain bike (nice in it's day, dated now, but still a nice solid bike), and up to now when I take both kids, I've been using a trailer (Bell clamp on the chainstay type from Costco several years ago). When I'm solo with the little kid, she rides in a rear child seat carrier. When I'm solo with the older 5yo, she rides on a trailercycle (Kent brand, $10 at a garage sale, custom seatpost mount to replace the original wobbly one).

My problem is that there is a significant shortcut to town that goes through a park. This park has vertical posts to keep out cars. These posts are too close together for the trailer to fit through. Solo with either kid, no problem as each of their solo setups are no wider than my bike. Riding with both of them, I either have to take the long way around, or unload everyone and lift the whole thing over the poles.

Soooo, I'm looking at alternatives that are narrow, but will carry both kids. Here are my thoughts, any others that anyone here has tried with any success?

1. tandem with kidback + trailercycle. That's a lot of $$! not gonna happen...

2. front mounted carrier (I like the Ibert the best of what I've seen online) for the 3yo (currently ~30 pounds), + trailercycle. Seems doable, but young one would outgrow the carrier within a year. It would at least get us through the summer though, assuming it works well? unsure about knee clearance, and room for the kid, since my bike is set up with a long reach stem and flat bars. I'd rather not compromise my solo riding position for the relatively small amount of time I ride with both of them.

3. tandem trailercycle. Again, too much $$ since they are no longer made, and go for a premium from what I've seen on ebay and craigslist, plus I think the 3yo is too small for that still, maybe in a year or two.

4. What am I missing?? others must have dealt with this before, right? Or does everyone just use trailers and avoid narrow trails?
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Old 03-20-07, 04:54 PM   #2
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I don't know how it would work, but you could try putting the rear carrier on the trailercycle. It might actually work out better since the carrier would be lower. Since you already have the carrier and the trailercycle, it wouldn't cost you anything to try it. Maybe a second trailercycle attached to the first would work, I pulled a trailer with a trailercycle and it worked great.

I would also petetion the city to widen the posts to accomodate trailers, surely you aren't the only one running into this problem. That or buy a cordless grinder and solve the problem yourself.
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Old 03-21-07, 08:57 PM   #3
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I did talk to the city, I eventually got in touch with the man in charge of this sort of thing (so he claims), and he said 30" is wide enough, any wider would let through 'other vehicles.' Not sure what other vehicles he is referring to, but obviously he's not interested in fixing it for me. My trailer is ~34" wide. I did think about a midnight fixin, but I left my name and number on his answering machine when I called so I don't think it's a good idea...

I thought about the rear mounted seat on the trailercycle, but it won't mount up. For my 5yo to ride the trailercycle, the seat is all the way down. This means I can't clamp anything to the seatpost (which both my kid seat, or another trailercycle would need to do.)

I'm still wondering about the ibert. Anyone have any personal experience with a larger child (~30#) in one of these?
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Old 03-22-07, 06:44 AM   #4
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Wait a minute. Is the trailer wider then your handlebars? If you can fit your bike between two objects, you should be able to get the trailer through. Most trailers I've seen, used, and rented out are as wide, if not narrower then your handlebars. If the handlebars fit, then the trailer should fit. Get a tape and measure, or test ride it without the yougins.
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Old 03-22-07, 02:07 PM   #5
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I just took a tape to the bike, my bars are 23" wide with the bar end mirror folded in, 28" with it out. The trailer is 34" wide. The poles are right around 30". I did a quick web search and found that the Burley D'lite trailer (the most popular around from what I can tell) is 32" wide, so it would not fit either. I do find it hard to believe I'm the only one who has complained about this in our town!
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Old 03-22-07, 06:24 PM   #6
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You need to find out just what "other vehicles" he's worried about. Most motorcycles will already fit and I don't think there's a car on the market that would fit between two poles spaced 35" apart. He's trying to avoid doing his job, you may need to speak with his superiors on this one. Write a letter to the newspaper or something if he refuses to help you.

Remember, a voice-mail is not evidence of a midnight fix.
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Old 03-22-07, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
Most trailers I've seen, used, and rented out are as wide, if not narrower then your handlebars. If the handlebars fit, then the trailer should fit.
Are you kidding? My trailer is way wider than my bars, easily half again as wide if not twice as wide.
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Old 03-22-07, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camperdave
I just took a tape to the bike, my bars are 23" wide with the bar end mirror folded in, 28" with it out. The trailer is 34" wide. The poles are right around 30". I did a quick web search and found that the Burley D'lite trailer (the most popular around from what I can tell) is 32" wide, so it would not fit either. I do find it hard to believe I'm the only one who has complained about this in our town!
I must really like wide bars.
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Old 03-23-07, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
I must really like wide bars.
*really* wide ones. 34" bars would be pretty cool though.
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Old 03-24-07, 07:30 AM   #10
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My Burley solo is under 30 inches. Have a look around on the 'bay. I'm sure there's plenty of choices there.
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Old 03-24-07, 09:18 AM   #11
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There really aren't plenty of choices for two kids. I think the narrowest is the Chariot Cougar II at 31.5 inches. We just bought the Cougar I after thinking maybe we should buy a two-seater just in case, but the two-seaters are all too wide for the barrier on our access point to the local bike trail.
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Old 03-26-07, 11:48 AM   #12
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My boss says he has a tandem trailer, 2 kids sit back-to-back rather than side-by-side, but I didn't find out about that until after we'd bought our burley, and I have no idea what the make is. His kids are all college age, for a guesstimate on the age of this potentially narrow trailer. I wonder if you could get away w/ only one wheel on a trailer like that?
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Old 03-26-07, 04:39 PM   #13
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There was a very good option, the Tanjor (or Tangor?) that had a 2-seater and even a 3-seater available. Children were seated one behind another, and the trailer had even a nice aerodynamic shape.
Alas, it doesn't exist anymore.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemmer
You need to find out just what "other vehicles" he's worried about. Most motorcycles will already fit and I don't think there's a car on the market that would fit between two poles spaced 35" apart. He's trying to avoid doing his job, you may need to speak with his superiors on this one. Write a letter to the newspaper or something if he refuses to help you.

Remember, a voice-mail is not evidence of a midnight fix.
+1.
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Old 03-27-07, 08:46 AM   #15
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Regarding the idea of a cart-type carrier for BOTH kids... even if you could find one narrow enough, your five-year-old might be a little "past" riding in a cart, if you know what I mean. I carted my son around in a burley solo for two years, which was great at the time (and, incidentally, narrow enough to put your 3-year-old in behind a trailercycle or tandem, as That Guy mentioned). BUT by the time my son was four and a half he started refusing to get in the thing. Your daughter may be different, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Not only was he WAY too long in the torso for the safety harnass (this may just be a solo problem, I don't know), but he was really itching to be a part of the action. That's why I'm replacing my burley solo with a trailercycle first chance I get.
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Old 03-27-07, 10:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genevieve
Not only was he WAY too long in the torso for the safety harnass (this may just be a solo problem, I don't know), but he was really itching to be a part of the action.
I'm running into the same thing with my 4 1/2 year old. The safety harness is too small in our trailer (pacific brand) and she would rather be on her trailercycle anyway.
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Old 03-30-07, 01:13 PM   #17
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Make the city move the post this might help notice 4.3.3 http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm#4.3
I bet you start mentioning ADA requirements around you will get them off their butts.
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Old 03-31-07, 06:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cminter
Make the city move the post this might help notice 4.3.3 http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm#4.3
I bet you start mentioning ADA requirements around you will get them off their butts.
That is a great idea.
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Old 03-31-07, 03:12 PM   #19
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Hi. We had a similar problem, 2 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. We now have a "tag-a-long" on the back for the older one (and i get some help on the hills!) and a Bike Tutor on the front. This works for us although some of our friends have both kids in a burley trailer behind (although they do seem to fight alot!). The tag along is great, especially as we got it on Ebay for next to nothing. Rubbed down, re-painted, rebuilt and it all matches. As for the Bike Tutor we love it, got it on line from their website, our son now rides on it as our daughter had outgrown it when she was 4. Have to say it all works really well and the weight on the front means things are surprisingly stable. Looked at the Tbert and Bo Bike front seats but liked the fact than the Bike Tutor is metal not plastic. This might be easier and more productive than locking horns with a jobs worth in the council. Good luck.
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Old 04-01-07, 06:45 AM   #20
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This might be easier and more productive than locking horns with a jobs worth in the council. Good luck.
Yes, it likely would be easier for them to buy something to fit. But chances are that there are others in the community that would appreciate the wider access. We have a local trail with the same posts. I don't have wide handlebars and I have to lift the bars over the post to get through. The only saving grace for us has been that beside the post entrance is a single wire fence that I can lift high enough to fit the bike and trailer under. I have been sliding my bike and the trailer under that wire for years, but I think I will write to the county parks folks and mention the ADA.
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