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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 06-05-14, 07:00 PM   #1
syncro87
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thought you guys might enjoy this. lots of utility.

I thought some of you might get a kick out of this.

My daughter likes to ride to and from preschool on this trail a bike. Always asking me to take the bike instead of the car. Most of the route goes through neighborhoods, so no biggie.

One day, I needed to stop at the grocery store that we ride right past. No way to easily carry stuff home. Then the light bulb went off. Could I attach the Nomad to the trail a bike and have a THREE car train? lol. Kiddo AND food hauler.

Old late 90's Spec Hardrock steel MTB with 26x2.0 Michelins for bombing around the broken pavement, generic trail a bike, Burley Nomad cargo trailer.





Last edited by syncro87; 06-10-14 at 02:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-05-14, 11:56 PM   #2
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That looks fun...and probably dangerous on the down hills, lol.
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Old 06-06-14, 05:45 AM   #3
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That looks fun...and probably dangerous on the down hills, lol.
yeah, fortunately we live in flat neighborhood land, but you're right. no hills for us in the immediate area.
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Old 06-07-14, 03:25 PM   #4
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That warms my heart!

Sometimes when I put weight on my bike, I'm impressed how the brakes continue to work well. It depends, it depends.
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Old 06-07-14, 03:28 PM   #5
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We get a lot of odd looks, for sure. Preschool and elementary school age kids seem to like the setup the most. ha ha
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Old 06-08-14, 08:57 AM   #6
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Sometimes when I put weight on my bike, I'm impressed how the brakes continue to work well.
I weight 155lbs. Even with 70lbs of camping gear and food strapped to my touring bike the whole rig with me on it STILL weighs less than some of my larger cycling friend's bodies alone. So for me it's not too surprising what extras my bikes can handle.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:11 PM   #7
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[MENTION=153831]syncro87[/MENTION], I was discussing trail-a-bikes with a friend, and he mentioned that the attachment mechanism is not meant to bear a lot of weight. Attaching a trailer to the trail-a-bike might be a risk. Check it out.
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Old 06-09-14, 05:27 PM   #8
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Yeah, I've considered this. Looking at the attachment mechanism, it's pretty stout and I can't visualize it failing under anything near the stresses I'm putting on it. I'm only hauling a couple bags of groceries at most with Molly back there and the Nomad. Maybe a gallon of milk and 10 more pounds of groceries on the max end. But yes, I've pondered this, and do appreciate the input. I'm a pretty conservative rider with her back there. Probably 8-10 mph average speed. 15 tops, I'd say, and generally on side streets with little to no traffic, and no ridiculous cargo in the Burley. Most of the time, the Nomad is empty and I just leave it attached in case it occurs to me that we need some bananas or a box of cereal on the way home.

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Old 06-09-14, 07:18 PM   #9
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It sounds like you're duly cautious. I, on the other hand, have towed well over 100 lbs in my kiddie trailer attached directly to my bike. That's probably within spec, but lemme tell you, it can feel heavy. Last year, I towed about 120 lbs of belgian blocks, with the top and sides removed from the trailer. I had two people yell out at me, "Yo, where your kids at?"
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Old 06-09-14, 08:46 PM   #10
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It sounds like you're duly cautious. I, on the other hand, have towed well over 100 lbs in my kiddie trailer attached directly to my bike. That's probably within spec, but lemme tell you, it can feel heavy. Last year, I towed about 120 lbs of belgian blocks, with the top and sides removed from the trailer. I had two people yell out at me, "Yo, where your kids at?"
Shoulda told them you traded them for the blocks.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:55 PM   #11
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Red face

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I thought some of you might get a kick out of this.

My daughter likes to ride to and from preschool on this trail a bike. Always asking me to take the bike instead of the car. Most of the route goes through neighborhoods, so no biggie, and all the other little kids treat her like a superstar and tell their parents they want a bike like this.

One day, I needed to stop at the grocery store that we ride right past. No way to easily carry stuff home. Then the light bulb went off. Could I attach the Nomad to the trail a bike and have a THREE car train? lol. Kiddo AND food hauler



Really cool set up and lots of fun for everyne. Funny how kids appreciate the coolness of bikes and grownups ignore them for the most part.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:23 PM   #12
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Really cool set up and lots of fun for everyne. Funny how kids appreciate the coolness of bikes and grownups ignore them for the most part.
When my daughters were little, I occasionally towed both of them in the trailer. I wondered if they liked it, though they seemed to. My older daughter was about seven years old when I asked her if she gets bored in the trailer. "Oh, no! The bike goes faster than the car!"
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Old 06-10-14, 02:07 PM   #13
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Really cool set up and lots of fun for everyne. Funny how kids appreciate the coolness of bikes and grownups ignore them for the most part.
It does crack me up how kids think, and how they just say stuff a lot of times rather than internalizing it.

One day, as we rode by with this rig, I heard this little boy tell his dad "that's the coolest bike ever!" Other kids at Molly's school have expressed similar sentiments. One little girl told her mother "we need to get a bike like that" and one other kiddo said "I want daddy to pick me up on a bike, too..."

The adults think I'm half crazy, I believe, but the youngsters seem to like it.

lol
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Old 06-10-14, 06:31 PM   #14
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Gives me confidence; I'd considered biking a future kid to school when he goes to middle school (elementary is basically three doors down from here). I'm surprised how well that setup stands with the kid sitting on it - guessing the trailer adds considerable stability.

M.
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Old 06-12-14, 07:38 AM   #15
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Middle school is old enough to bike on his own if there isn't too much traffic (That's from 12 to 15 years old, right?)
Other than this, it looks great! And if the kids find it cool, you're on the right path.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:55 AM   #16
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Well, at least the first couple of times. He would have to go down the main road (which features bike lanes) but would have to negotiate intersections to do this.

M.
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Old 07-24-14, 05:18 AM   #17
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That warms my heart!

Sometimes when I put weight on my bike, I'm impressed how the brakes continue to work well. It depends, it depends.
One of my favorite sights on my old commute was I'd frequently see a family passing me on the cross street while I was waiting at the light at that intersection. They were a father on a bike, a kid on a seat behind him, and another kid on a trail-a-bike, all moving at speed with traffic on a four lane arterial, with the kids having the biggest smiles imaginable always in place. The looks on their faces reminded me of nights I've had with friends that I've laughed and smiled so much that my face was sore the next day. This sight always warmed my heart to see them on their way. Something about seeing them not only made me smile, but somehow relaxed me, like the world was actually going to turn out alright. You know those kids will have the strongest possible pleasant memories of cycling for the rest of their lives. Is there a better way to pass on our love of cycling to the little ones?
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Old 07-24-14, 05:44 AM   #18
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Very nice. Now that front bike needs to be a tandem.
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Old 07-24-14, 08:17 AM   #19
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I went from trailer to trail-a-bike to tandem with my son. As he got bigger, the trail-a-bike was hard to balance and the tandem was less of a problem in that regard. We went with a Trek T900 which has a sloped top tube that let the 8 (now 9) year old ride without any mods other than changing out the suspension seatpost for a regular one dropped to the lowest position.

We do go on grocery runs with this rig (panniers). And when he's properly motivated and pedaling we can really get moving once we overcome the weight of the bike and load.
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Old 07-27-14, 04:16 PM   #20
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I'd put a brake on the Trail A bike, set it so it cannot be locked up then teach her to apply full brake on your command....

Maybe have her learn 'Trail Braking' on corner entry and you two could be scaring mom to death when she see's your rig
and stoker lean way over and drag a knee while sweeping a corner at speed

Just sayin,,

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Old 08-02-14, 10:44 PM   #21
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Trumps! I did this earlier this summer with my 3yr old in the trailer at the back - then rode off to my 7yr old's school to pick her up - up hill ... thank goodness for granny gears.

The little one was asleep when we got to school - the big one was thrilled that she got picked up by bike - and we went DOWN that hill dead slow.

Little one was still asleep in the trailer when we got home.

Much easier riding with my little stoker on the trail-a-bike though. That's fer sher.

... we have since gone grocery shopping with this rig, but I have to be careful not to buy too much. With most of the trailer full of toddler I only have my panniers and the front basket for stuff.

And yes ... it is flat to the grocery store. I'm not THAT dumb.
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Old 08-07-14, 12:58 AM   #22
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It does crack me up how kids think, and how they just say stuff a lot of times rather than internalizing it.

One day, as we rode by with this rig, I heard this little boy tell his dad "that's the coolest bike ever!" Other kids at Molly's school have expressed similar sentiments. One little girl told her mother "we need to get a bike like that" and one other kiddo said "I want daddy to pick me up on a bike, too..."

The adults think I'm half crazy, I believe, but the youngsters seem to like it.

lol
That's what i'm talking about!

- Andy
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Old 09-27-14, 07:10 PM   #23
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Nice memories for them to remember you by in many years to come.
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Old 10-29-14, 09:48 AM   #24
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We don't appear to have any surviving pictures, but we did this for years. Erin would help tow Errol. When Erin graduated to a separate bicycle, Errol would help tow groceries. I think that the coolest picture that I have ever seen was a tandem towing a tandem trailerbike towing a burly.
Only issue that I ever had was Long John Silvers refusing service at the drive in.
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Old 10-30-14, 12:19 AM   #25
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yeah, fortunately we live in flat neighborhood land, but you're right. no hills for us in the immediate area.
Very cool. I must keep it in mind.
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