I’ve always envied those cyclists who pedal around town with a cargo trailer in tow. The notion of eschewing my GHG-spewing car and running errands on a bike really appeals to me (at least in the warmer months). But I also find it a tad (read: very) intimidating, especially when it comes to busy roads with no designated bike lane.
With the weather warming up nicely, I’ve decided this is the year I’ll seriously look into cycling with a bike trailer. I was further inspired when I learned there’s a bike trailer manufacturer right here in town, since I’ve become one of those people who goes on and on about buying local (check out Wicycle’s bike trailer for a visual).
So here’s what I’m calling the newbie’s guide to cycling with a bike trailer: links to resources written by people who know a lot more on the subject than I do.
- Top 5 Tips for Cycling With a Child Trailer: Bikeablejo’s blog post was my starting point for learning about cycling with a trailer. Her advice on manoeuvring is particularly important — the physics of towing a trailer are pretty different from cycling alone.
- How to Attach a Bike Trailer to a Bike: One of the biggest fears going into this venture is that the trailer will somehow detach mid-flight, putting myself and everyone else on the road at risk (not to mention embarrassing me to death).
- How to Secure Your Trailer Load for Transit: This tackles the second major fear I have, which is losing my cargo. Though the article pertains to motorbike trailers, the tips are equally applicable to bicycle trailers.
- REI’s Guide on How to Choose Bike Trailers: I’ve used REI’s resources in the past, when I was in the market for a tent and camping knapsack. This article covers the three main types of trailers (child and pet trailers in addition to the aforementioned cargo trailers), and rather than suggesting specific models, it gives advice on what to look for when choosing one for yourself. I’ll go ahead and give another shout out to Wike — they’re local, and one of the only manufacturers still building in Canada. Check out Wicycle’s bike trailer.
So that’s my starting point. All I need now is courage. Wish me luck!