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Child Trailer Questions(13 posts)

Child Trailer Questionstxcross
Feb 12, 2003 5:44 AM
I am looking at getting one of the Burley child trailers soon and am looking for some riding tips, both general and specific to the Houston TX area.

Here is my concern, I enjoy going on long rides on farm to market roads north of the city. My wife is a stay at home mother and by Saturday she needs a break. I would like to start taking my 17 month old son out on rides with me but I just don't see it being all that safe. Him dangling out there behind me just makes me very nervous. Most of these roads have very wide shoulders (5-7ft) but the traffic will zoom by anywhere between 55 and 80 mph.

There is another spot I can ride in downtown Houston at Memorial Park (Picnic Loop). It is a 1 mile loop filled with bicycles, roller bladers and the occasional car. I can ride here but it is quite boring.

In the end the safety of my son is absolutely the most important thing to me. So, do you have any suggestions...

Leave him home!! DUH!!! nmRusty McNasty
Feb 12, 2003 6:19 AM
Feb 12, 2003 7:27 AM
for blessing this board with such insightful and thoughtful ideas on this topic. It's a good thing we have people like you here to provide such a wealth of information. I'm sure txcross can sleep easily now knowing his query was answered in such great detail.
On behalf of txcross, myself and the rest of the members of this site I want to thank you, Mr. Mcnasty and encourage you to crawl back in your hole and remain there until your services are once again required.

p.s. Does anyone know a good oral surgeon that can help me remove my tongue from my cheek?
I worry, tooDougSloan
Feb 12, 2003 7:35 AM
The trailers seem really safe in all circumstances except getting hit by a car. Turn over shouldn't be problem. Basically, it boils down to your understanding that the kid is taking the same risk as you are if you are riding around cars. Everyone is going to have their own risk/benefit analysis. While we can't go through life risk free, we can limit the risks to reasonable ones under the circumstances.

At the moment, I am limited to using mine within our neighborhood or on the bike trail. It appears the mothers do a different risk/benefit analysis on these things than the fathers do.

I would not take him anywhere that you feel there is a chance an inattentive driver might hit you. Around here, cars routinely run off the freeway and hit parked trucks and CHP cars sitting there with their emergency lights on. If people will do that, they a little yellow trailer with a flag on it is not immune from danger. Nonetheless, the odds are still pretty good.

I would go for boring and safe.

Thanks DougSloantxcross
Feb 12, 2003 7:45 AM
I figured boring and safe was the way to go. The neighborhood I live in is quite large 70,000 people but we do have nice paved walking/biking trails that wind around throughout.

I won't get the same workout but at least my wife will get a break...
Thanks DougSloanPygme
Feb 13, 2003 12:55 PM
Would it be Kingwood or the Woodlands?

I would NEVER take my little one on a orad ride behind a trailer. When she wants to go for a bike ride, we stay on the greenebelts.
Feb 14, 2003 9:11 AM
Kingwood, I like the greenbelts. I have a tendancy to get lost alot on them. Cannot seem to find a good map of all the trails.
Better Safe than SorryRJF
Feb 12, 2003 8:11 AM
I agree with Doug. I live in an urban area so when I take my daughter (16 months) out in the Burley, I stick to neighborhood roads. If I can't avoid a busy intersection, I get off the bike and walk it on the sidewalk until I am past the danger zone.

Even if the street has a bike lane, if there is a lot of traffic or if the cars are fast, I avoid it at all costs. I commute every day and see so many dumb ass drivers. No way is it worth it to risk my daughter's life.
Do YOUR ride early...brider
Feb 12, 2003 8:35 AM before mom and kid wake up. Let them sleep in. Be back about the time they get up (or a short time thereafter), hook up the trailer, and go for a spin-down. Or do it some other time of day (when mom is at the end of her rope). Don't try to think of the time pulling the trailer as a workout -- you'll never get the quality you want with the safety factor that your wife desires.
Better yet:Alexx
Feb 12, 2003 1:07 PM
leave the trailer hooked up to a hybrid or ATB. Will save you time switching over. Might want to put road pedals on the hybrid, too.
I would stick to bike trails...config
Feb 12, 2003 9:50 AM
I would stick to bike/jog trails. I wouldn't ride on the road because of so many inattentive drivers - I just wouldn't risk it.
I generally stick to MUTS,djg
Feb 12, 2003 11:01 AM
with occasional, short, side trips on quiet residential streets. The thing is, when I'm on my bike, by myself, cars often either cut too close or don't seem to see me at all. I just don't want to take a risk with them misjudging the distance to the trailer, which sits quite a bit lower to the ground than I do. A secondary factor is that although my trailer follows pretty darn well, I wouldn't say that emergency evasive maneuvers work as well as they do without the trailer.

You know, buying the most expensive trailer doesn't make the project safe. Buying a trailer that's not obviously defective and riding it someplace safe (and in a safe manner) makes it (relatively) safe. Sorry for the lecture--it's clear you put your son's safety first and this is my opinion on how to protect what's important to you. You don't have to stop riding by any means, but you do need to compromise.
yep, nothing but trails for me..dotkaye
Feb 12, 2003 3:56 PM
there are quite a few miles of MUT's in our neighborhood, I stick to them when out with the trailer. It's just not worth the risk to take the trailer on the roads, IMO. Recently a cyclist was killed in a 7-ft wide bike lane on one of our local roads, because the driver was rooting around on the passenger side looking for his orange juice, and veered right into the cyclist.. so the wide shoulders don't even help that much.