The three-year old and I enjoyed a bit of trailer time these last two days. I’m all about cargo bikes nowadays, but we still have our single and double trailers and I often find occasion to use them. We got both of our trailers used via Craigslist, but if I had to go new (and I’m sometimes tempted to save up for one), I’d get a Wike, having read such great things about it by Pedal Powered Family.
I only took one picture of my bike with the trailer attached during our recent excursions–when we got stuck crossing the Ballard Locks. The little lock is currently empty with the gate slightly open, making the walkway angle harder to negotiate. Trailers can be such a pain to maneuver! I had to lift and rearrange a couple times to get through.
Yesterday we opted for the trailer because the little guy stayed home slightly sick from preschool and I really wanted to do some Critical-Lass-rides-to-Pedaler’s-Fair route scouting. The trailer meant he could immerse himself in stuffed animals and snacks while staying warm. It was incredibly windy out, too, so the trailer was a winner in that respect, too. He stayed unbuffeted and I think it probably kept me anchored in my lane, too.
Today didn’t start out quite as planned. I wanted to take Engine Engine Engine, but I couldn’t get engine one running. I do think it’s useful that I demonstrate one can be painfully clueless about bike maintenance yet still successfully bike with kids every day…but it was so frustrating when I couldn’t get the front wheel back on my cyclocross bike when it was time to hit the road this morning. So I whined and threw stuff and took off my clippy shoes and instead dragged the empty trailer to preschool with the Big Dummy so I’d have it for later. Then, after dropping the second kid off, it was a quick four blocks home to swap cargo bike for road bike and the other clippy shoes.
And then it was so great to be on a light quick bike, knowing I had the trailer waiting for me–it’s much easier to time things to get to preschool by a certain time rather than home for a bike swap and then preschool.
I did another pass at the upcoming Critical Lass route and found myself with so much extra time, I headed to the Tom Bihn factory in SODO to pick up a Messenger Stabilizer which is AWESOME! Much better than pulling the waist strap as tight as it’ll go and still having my bag slip.
And I still had a bunch of time left so I had lunch at SODO Deli. I had considered going to nearby Jimmy John’s since I was feeling rather the bike messenger with my new bag strap (Jimmy Johns sandwiches are delivered by fast bike guys), but even on the fast bike, I’m a cargo biker and I wanted to gaze out the window at the SODO Deli delivery trike. And I wanted to check on its status–last time I came by it had recently been stolen and then found in some bushes and in need of repairs. It’s all better now!
And then I still had time left so I checked out Velo Bike Shop. It’s nice! Lots of bikes, including the current Bianchi Milano–same as the old mamabike, though the new look is quite different and will take some getting used to for me. Oh, and the guy at the register and I talked cargo bikes.
Returning to preschool, I had traveled 20 miles with the road bike and I still had half an hour to kill so I grabbed a drive-through coffee at Electric Cloud and headed down to the ship canal. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those Seattleites who can bike one-handed while holding a cup of coffee so I had to walk the two blocks.
But my whole silly point of this post is two incidents that happened once I finally reunited bike and trailer:
Stopped at a red light with kid in trailer, a guy walked by, peeked in, and said, “That’s some cool cargo! Does that carriage thing really work?” I told him it was heavy, but yeah, it did the trick. I really wanted to ask him if he had half an hour to sit down so we could talk about cargo bikes. Poor trailer.
Ten minutes later I saw “Bakfiets Dad” on the Burke-Gilman Trail. We ding our bells and wave to one another when I’m on the Big Dummy, but he never acknowledges me if I’m with the trailer. I tell myself he doesn’t recognize me, but I feel snubbed. Poor trailer.
I think I need a fast bike.
Yes! Plus, they don’t take up much room. And get one with brazons for a rear rack and you can put the Add+Bike on it…there’s currently nothing in your stable to hook it to, right?
Actually we have the Bullitt set up to haul the Add+Bike (and what a bike train that is, worthy of Engine Engine Engine). But I would like to have a smaller-bike option for it and could buy another Roland rack. And then I’d probably put a child seat on it and suddenly it wouldn’t be a fast bike anymore…
I can see Velo bike shop from my office window–sorry to have missed you! I’m also desperately resisting the lure of a new fast bike. Life at 12.7mph isn’t bad, but it would be nice to not be the least aerodynamic thing on the road once in awhile. :)
I don’t know that you would have recognized me, Adrian! I’m glad to know I’m not the only family biker who feels the need to be fast every so often.
Probably not–I have a hard enough time recognizing people when they change their hairstyles. :)
Some day, some day, I will have a bike that cannot haul children. It will be my bike and it will be fast! Sigh. The bakfiets feels pretty fast when I leave the kids home with Matt.
Yes! It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who likes a fast bike on the side :) I think it’d be worth it *now* for those rare instances you are out solo. You could even hang it up for storage so it wouldn’t take up any room.