Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Rachel loves her bike trailer.

Rachel and Clinton, two of the six worker/owners at ABC.
Rachel here, I'm mostly behind the scenes at A Better Cycle, working in my super secret office perch. So if you've never seen me at the shop, it's because I'm hiding.

For the car-less crowd, being the friend with a trailer is like being the friend with the pick-up truck. For the last year or so that's been Clintron. I've been borrowing his Burley trailer to transport all my craft display and product to Bike Craft events around town. I make all the Bike Cozy accessories, and love the craft fairs when I get to come out from hiding and meet all the local cyclists who love Bike Craft. ASIDE: If you're a local bike crafter too, read Tuesday's post because ABC wants to work with you!

Home from MCBF 2010. The burley flat bed with my entire Bike Cozy booth; tent, table and all!

After MCBF this year, Clinton called Ian up and said he wanted to give me the trailer! Just like that! I said "yes please!" and now it's mine, forever. And that establishes that I love it, but why?

It's just so easy to carry a bunch of stuff. I mean look at that photo, that's an entire booth set up.

All this and a 10x10 tent can be packed onto my bike trailer.

Beyond fitting my whole Bike Cozy craft set up, it's also been an amazing improvement for grocery shopping. We've been making due with panniers on my rear rack, loading my basket and Ian carrying a backpack. On these beautiful summer days it's nice to not have to wear that backpack. After getting used to the little bit of lag when you go over a bump or get started, and the slightly increased stopping distance, you barely know the trailer is there.

The hitch is easy to install, just take off the bolt of your axle (or take out your quick release skewer), slip the hitch onto your through-axle and replace the bolt. You don't even have to move your wheel.

Then attach the trailer with its pin and safety cord.

Today was Ian's turn to pull the trailer.

We use a giant rubbermaid for grocery shopping because it's easy to load and secure with the trailer's straps. 

Also, we've learned our lesson about skipping lunch before having to navigate the grocery store. We stopped at the little Po'Boy shop on Hawthorne and 44th. I balked at the $3 lemonade until I saw that it was giant!
Ian with the giant lemonade.
Rachel thankful for the umbrella.
Snapper Po'Boy with delicious cayenne molasses hot sauce.

The bikes parked while we eat lunch within view.

Ian and I shop mostly at the Fred Meyer on Hawthorne, where the bike parking is often full, or difficult to navigate to an open spot. (Hint: there is additional bike parking around the corner. It's a logical choice for cargo bikes, when we rolled up there was an extracycle with a soft cooler parked)

We locked up the trailer and the cooler with the bikes; an extra long cable lock with a sturdy u-lock does the trick for a grocery trip.

The big cart was the perfect size to set our rubbermaid in while we shopped. In checkout just unload it onto the conveyor and pack it all back into the plastic bin after it's been rung up.  I carried the fruit, extra veg and delicate loaf of bread in my basket.

A week's worth of groceries for two (and we love our salty snacks) fits into the bin, add a cooler for dairy and frozen food, and mesquite for grilling, it's a week worth of delicious.


Up the hill, how'd he get so far ahead of me?
Home again, Home again, now to get it all upstairs.

If this looks like your style, we can order them at the shop. They take about a week to come in. The flat bed trailer like mine is $299. The covered version is a cool $349.


Jeremie said...

My wife and I started doing this about a month ago. We may sell both our vehicles and just use our bikes, (keeping the mopeds though). We bought the Burley trailer designed for hauling a pet. Our 60lb. German Shepherd fits just fine. Then I realized that the trailer would be great for hauling groceries. So now I haul it down to People's Co-Op and to Lents farmers Market. We live out at 98th and Powell so its a fairly long trek but well worth it.

A Better Cycle said...

Jeremie, I looked up the Lents Farmers market on It looks awesome! For anyone else in the SE 92nd and Foster area, you should check it out and report back.

Do you take Woodward and Clinton to come west from 98th?


Jeremie said...

My wife rides her bike to the Veterans Hospital next to O.H.S.U at least 5 times a week for her 12 hour night shift job as an I.C.U. nurse. I know she travels down Holgate and then over to Center, Gladstone, 26th to Ladds and then over to Hawthorne and into downtown. That's usually our route as well for shopping at People's. But when I head over to the upper Hawthorne area or Divison to ABC or Ptown Scooters (I ride mopeds with Aaron) I take the 205 path to Division and then cut over to Woodward and then Clinton.

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