extra hauling capacity

i’ve been trying to reduce my reliance on a car for the last few years.  the goal has never been to get rid of a car, but figure out how to live without it less.  if at one point we were part of a car share or something like that i for one would be much happier, but ma’s work has her on the road too much to make that work.

one of the bigger goals has been to enjoy not using a car instead of taking some idealistic stance or holier than thou  attitude.  at the end of the day my reason for riding bikes has almost nothing to do with the altruistic reasons, it all has to do with the sheer joy it brings me.

i invested in panniers last year, and they have been wonderful, freeing my back of burdensome loads, and adding flexibility, but panniers do have drawbacks.  they can only take so much weight, tend to add some instability to the ride, things get lost in them, and the added weight can tear up a wheel/frame not well prepared for extra load.

to add to versatility and hauling capacity ma and i have been looking for a bike trailer.  bike trailers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are designed for different purposes, no one trailer will do everything.   i stumbled upon this one while trolling the local online classifieds, and it was priced at almost a quarter of the price of a brand new trailer.  ma read reviews and it seemed pretty well suited for our needs.

like so many things i take a long time to purchase i find myself wondering why i took so long to purchase this trailer, of course i know the reason – i’m cheap.

i’ve been riding around a bit taking a few trips with this guy unloaded and loaded and have to say i’m surprised at how little additional drag it adds, and i like the fact that the bike handles pretty much like it does without the trailer, i think this will be especially useful in hauling in snowy conditions in which panniers can really mess with balance.  it doesn’t take long to forget you are hauling stuff, which can be  a problem on tight corners.

so now we can ride with up to 100 pounds in the trailer, plus another 80 pounds in the panniers.  ma can take her bee keeping supplies to work, we can buy at market with reckless abandon, i can only imagine the ridiculous stuff we can try to haul.

perhaps the best reason for getting this trailer is it’s ability to get us touring quicker.  ma and i have been wanting to go touring more, but don’t really have bikes well suited for touring, with this trailer we can just throw a bunch of stuff in the back and get going.  no need to carefully balance loads, no needs for special bikes – though i will still let anyone who want to purchase me an atlantis.

 

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3 responses to “extra hauling capacity

  1. Im intrigued. I have been searching for a reasonably priced bike trailer to use around Detroit and haven’t had much luck. Has the Burley trailer worked out well for you thus far?

  2. it’s been working out welll. – i usually see trailers listed every other day or so on craigslist- but most are the ones for hauling kids.

    I have a friend that has been building trailer up in brightmoor – you might want to send him a note – http://brightmoorbikes.com/about/

    you might want to think about building one as well. there are plenty of plans out there – some local organizations have had classes as well – the hub and omnicorpdetroit have done them in the past.

  3. I have a Haulin Colin bike trailer here in Seattle. It’s great! I’ve hauled over 300 lbs on it as well as moved with it. Take a look at haulincolin.com.

    -Scott Behmer

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