Wanted to ask if any of you have any experience towing a trailer bike behind your tandem with a child on it for a week long journey? I am looking at and thinking through a few options.
I currently have 2 tandems for our family, but we have some friends that will be making this 500 mile ride (RAGBRAI) with us this summer who will be coming from overseas (Vienna, Austria) and do not own a tandem - nor will the father and son be bringing their own bikes because they need to ride together on a tandem. Which means I am trying to make arrangements for wheels. This is a couple with their 10 year old son. I have found a local rental shop that can rent a low end, 21 speed 26" wheeled tandem for the week at a fixed price. I could just about double that price and pretty much buy the same low end tandem.
I am also toying with letting the father and his son use one of our tandems so my wife could ride solo this year on her bike along with her friend (who is bringing her bike from Austria with her) on RAGBRAI. If we did that arrangment, it would mean I would have my 11 year old son as a stoker with me and would need to pull my 8 year old daughter behind us in some sort of a trailerbike. My 2 kids and the son of our friends could all rotate who rides where and take turns over the course of the day or week. That is if we go with a trailerbike option and my wife rides solo instead of captaining her tandem with my daughter. It is all still up in the air and we are trying to figure it out.
One of the more interesting (and costly) options I am looking at is a recumbent trailer bike to pull behind a tandem this summer for this 500 mile trip. It is made by a German company called Hase. It fits someone that is up to 5'2" which means the three children coming along on the 500 mile trip this summer could rotate or take turns sitting on the Trets behind the tandem.
The other option is something like the Burley Piccolo or one of the trailer bikes from Trek (either a 20" or 24" wheeled, geared version).
In all of the above options, gearing seems to be limited to 6 or 7 gears which probably means little contribution will be coming from the children in terms of providing any forward momentum, but would be better than nothing. In addition, it would be an expense for an item that for all practical purposes is not going to get used that much beyond the 500 mile trip. I can't find any of those options to rent around here.
Do those of you that may have ridden a tandem with a trailerbike have any suggestions? Or do any of you know any outfits that rent better than low-end tandems for a week's duration?
Is it even feasible to think that I could captain a tandem with a child stoker while pulling yet another child in some sort of a trailerbike?
Thanks for any input.