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Iohannes fac totum
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone do this? Any tips for trailer/bike lockup? Year round and temps?

I use to commute before we had a daughter and now she's 1.5 years old and pretty good about riding in the trailer. SO, I want to get back to commuting, and taking her with me. She's in the daycare at my work, so my commute will be a straight shot to work. 6.5 miles one way, and we have bike parking in the parking garage, so I'm not overly worried about theft or weather. I'll still lock up my stuff, but I don't have to batten down the hatches just in case of a shower. Most of the roads have bike lanes with a few stretches without.

This will be a great way for me to get back to adding some extra miles in (with extra weight!), and a great way to introduce her to biking at a very young age.

FWIW, I have a Yakima Tot Rod.

So, any veterans out there?
 

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Great White North
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Have done this, works pretty well. My kids daycare is on the way to my office, so I can throw them in the Chariot and take them to DC, then continue to work.

I use a long (maybe 6') heavy cable with a pad lock, locking it through the frame, both wheels, etc. Have been fortunate so far in that it's never been messed with during the day. I don't have inside parking, so if I'm locking up outside for the day, I carry a codura grill cover (for a gas grill) that I just use over the whole thing.

If you don't have a snack trap, get one, as it greatly reduces the time spent in the morning. Before we had the second kid, I used to be able to take my daughter from her room straight to the trailer and leave for work..

Good luck.

Plum

88 rex said:
Does anyone do this? Any tips for trailer/bike lockup? Year round and temps?

I use to commute before we had a daughter and now she's 1.5 years old and pretty good about riding in the trailer. SO, I want to get back to commuting, and taking her with me. She's in the daycare at my work, so my commute will be a straight shot to work. 6.5 miles one way, and we have bike parking in the parking garage, so I'm not overly worried about theft or weather. I'll still lock up my stuff, but I don't have to batten down the hatches just in case of a shower. Most of the roads have bike lanes with a few stretches without.

This will be a great way for me to get back to adding some extra miles in (with extra weight!), and a great way to introduce her to biking at a very young age.

FWIW, I have a Yakima Tot Rod.

So, any veterans out there?
 

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My kids were trailer pro's. We did this for about seven years in total taking them to daycare and school. I went through three trailers, the first two were stolen but that is life in the big city. Their daycare and school were at the University of Toronto, so we rode through downtown traffic everyday and I can honestly say we only had one close call. For the most part drivers see the trailer and are extra careful going around it.

What you get are lots of negative comments berating you for taking kids on the road but I get that just riding my bike as a single commuter so I really didn't care. Plus I had a standard retort that shut them up rather quickly.

In cold weather, I would bring blankets or a sleeping bag to keep them warm. Always made sure they had books or toys to play with in the trailer and that is about it.
 

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yeah I find books are the key. I loaded my 18 mo. old with 4 or 5 books a sippy cup and a blanket we did a 30 mile commute last monday, mostly bike path and side streets. I bring the trailer inside wherever I go though since I can pass i off as a stroller.
 

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Baltic Scum
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No problem. If you are comfortable with the traffic on your route and have a place to park your bike and trailer, you're good to go. Since I have limited space in my office, I prefer a rear rack mounted seat for my daughter's haul to school. In the winter, she gets an extra fleece blanket plus a wool hat under her helmet and loves it.

Since she is going into the first grade, I am starting to dust off the tandem. Can't wait...
 

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Who needs a map?
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blakcloud said:
What you get are lots of negative comments berating you for taking kids on the road but I get that just riding my bike as a single commuter so I really didn't care. Plus I had a standard retort that shut them up rather quickly.
Don't leave us hanging - what was the retort?
 

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I do it a couple times a week.

I'm able to bring my bike and trailer in the office, so I don't have any storage issues. When we're out around town, I use 3 locks to lock up- 2 for my bike (u-lock through frame and front wheel, cable lock through u-lock, frame and back wheel, and cable lock through frame and one wheel trailer).

Here's a few other things I've learned- If the road is wet, make sure you either have fenders with long mudflaps or make sure you've got the plastic screen rolled/zipped down. Otherwise you end up with a wet, unhappy kid in about a block and a half.

My daughter is almost 3 now and she's been riding in the trailer for 2 years. She likes it. If your trailer has a floor that slopes away from your sitting kid, you might have to stop every now and then to get the water bottle or whatever other toy she brought that's rolled away from her. Kids loooooooove blinky lights. teach your kid to use whatever storage pockets are in the trailer as soon as you can.

Have fun!
 

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Iohannes fac totum
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So extra locks, extra entertainment, snacks, blankets, and some patience and I should be golden.

I rode in to work with the trailer the other day (without the daughter) and that seemed to be pretty easy and smooth. No hiccups. Just took me an extra couple of minutes.

My goal is to give it a go this week. Thanks!!

Do you guys carry extra spare tubes for the trailer tires?
 

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88 rex said:
Do you guys carry extra spare tubes for the trailer tires?
No, but I should... Blew a tire earlier this year. Lucky for me I'd already dropped my daughter off at school, but I still ended up having to drive back to the office to pick the trailer up afterwords.

If yer gonna bring a spare tube, make sure you've got a pump that will handle schraeder valves as well.
 

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nonsleepingjon said:
Don't leave us hanging - what was the retort?
I told them each of my kids had a million dollar life insurance policy on them, so if they were killed I would be a rich man. They couldn't tell if I was serious or not and were so disgusted with that comment they left me alone. Gallows humor and it worked.
 

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Who needs a map?
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blakcloud said:
I told them each of my kids had a million dollar life insurance policy on them, so if they were killed I would be a rich man. They couldn't tell if I was serious or not and were so disgusted with that comment they left me alone. Gallows humor and it worked.

lol. Probably not the best for cycling advocacy, but funny. Did you ask if they want to help stage an "accident"?
 

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Avid indoorsman
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I routinely commute with a 3.5 year old in a Chariot. My commute used to be 3 miles but I just moved a little further from work (5 miles). Most of the time I ride on the sidewalks which are pretty broad but on the more quiet residential streets I take the road. There is good covered parking at work and I usually have a U-lock and a heavy wire cable that loops around the frame of the trailer.

The only weather that stops me is snow and I have done this when the temps are in the single digits. I have an insulated bag for my daughter, almost like a sleeping bag, that has holes in the back for the straps of the 5-point harness. Using that, a fleece blanket, good gloves and a woolen balaclava, she is fine. I keep a transparent plastic cover in the "trunk" in case it rains which makes the thing entirely waterproof. The trunk is also great for groceries on the way home.

To be visible, I have three PB superflash lights on the trailer (in addition to those on the bike where I also have a MagicShine), two on the rear end and one on the left side and I frequently get comments and smiles when I pass people as we look like the truck in the coca cola Christmas ad.
 

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Avid indoorsman
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88 rex said:
Sounds like a good idea! What exactly do you use?
It is an accessory from Chariot. My only complaint is that after a couple years use the plastic has stiffened up a little. It still works great but it is not quite as easy to put on.
 

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Great White North
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1,139 Posts
88 rex said:
Do you guys carry extra spare tubes for the trailer tires?
Funny story on that..

My family extended family is pretty large and we were all getting ready to head down to the local summer festival to watch the air show. We had 3 burlies and a chariot in total, with 10 single bikes (some towing, others not). I had stopped by the shop earlier in the day to get a new tube for my mom's bike, and I thought, what are the chances that all 8 20" trailer wheels will survive the day?

I bought my mom an extra tube and I bought 2 20" tubes as well. 1/2 hour into the ride, the wheel on my brother's chariot blows, we pull over, I fix it and 5 minutes later we're rolling again. Saved a bunch of hassle for sure. The other spare tube is still in my chariot for just such an occasion.

Another tip I can share, during the fall/winter/spring colder months, use a hot water bottle to help keep the occupants warm. Use a tea kettle (or just really hot tap water) fill up a leakproof bottle (I use an old 1L nalgene) and put it in a wool sock (I use an old skiing smartwool). The sock keeps the kids from touching the hot bottle directly and helps hold some heat in, and it can keep a trailer warm for hours. I use a combination of blankets and such as well, and the kids are always warmer than me. Have to remember, they're not doing anything to generate heat, and kids don't really generate enough anyway, every little bit helps.

Good luck.

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