Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why don't they make a bike trailer for us?

So we've been using this old bike trailer of ours more and more. Mainly for a five-and-a-half mile roundtrip to the kid's two schools in the morning. We got it at a neighbor's garage sale for 10 or 15 bucks and it's seen better days as you can see. We've gotten good use out of it, though I'm ready to have one where I don't need to holler over my shoulder, "Remember, don't stick your fingers in the spokes, kids!"

But as we search for a replacement, it becomes clear that you are supposed to stop dragging your kids around in a trailer once they are about 4. We ordered a Burley D'Lite online (easily the most popular trailer out there) and when it came, we found there was not enough legroom for our 6 year-old - and he's no giant - 25th percentile for height. The Burley had about 5 inches less legroom than our sad, old workhorse.

Since we got a great deal on it, rather than pay to have it shipped back to the online seller we just posted it on Craigslist and sold it the first morning (To a bargain-hunting movie star. This IS L.A., after all...)

So now we are trying to find a trailer that has legroom for a 43" tall kid and his little sister, storage room in the back for backpacks and such, a convenient hitch to the bike, options for different weather, and as light as possible. These things get so laden with options that you curse them halfway up some hill. We're strictly cyclists, so we don't need strollers/joggers/skis and whatnot.

We saw the Chariot Corsaire XL online, which seems to address the legroom issue - the manufacturer said in an email that there is 22" between the rear of the seat pad and the front bar (the Burley measured 17 1/2" there). But some sellers say it has storage in the back, and some say it doesn't! Argggh...

So we'll figure out what we can online, and if we can't find one in L.A. to look at, maybe we'll order from the seller that offers $1 return insurance (, so we can set it up and return it for free if it doesn't work. The guys at have been very helpful, too. We did see the Corsaire online for half the normal price, but a quick Google search proved there is no free lunch. So FYI, is an Indonesian scam site!

OK, on with our Saturday...

Urban cycling

This blog is for me to write about our experiences integrating bikes into our family life here in Los Angeles - Santa Monica to be exact. We commute, pull the kids to school, shop, all the things we normally do, but have found the bike to a far nicer way to do them. We've begun to resent the hassle of parking the car more and more, and the bike completely eliminates that. And as the blog title suggests, we've even been getting out on a some dates on the bikes, too. I love the looks when we pull up to the valet. We love it.

As a busy family, getting exercise while doing all the things we have to do really works for us. We're just not going-to-the-gym, exercise-for-exercise's-sake types. We do some long distance road biking when there's time, but taking care of business with the kids, running errands and getting to work guarantees about 8 miles a day, usually pulling about 100lbs. And free parking...

So that's what this is about, now on to our current task, trying to find a replacement for our sad old, worn out bike trailer for the kids...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009