COVID BOB Irony - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum


Steve Miller/Grampies

This rig carried Dodie across Canada in its glory days. But that was then and this is now. Now, the best job it could land is ferrying tools about the farm.

Our BOB trailers actually fell on hard times before COVID ever arrived. We had switched from cycling from our house out across North America to cycling in Europe, or maybe Mexico.  That  required putting BOBs on planes, so we switched to panniers. But BOBs could ride again, if we stick closer to home because of the virus, and maybe camp again to stay out of guest houses.  We love our Ortlieb panniers though, and could easily talk ourselves back into comfy guest houses. That could land the BOBs back in storage.

Does BOB still live on somewhere in your cycling life?

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
Mike AylingTo Steve Miller/Grampies

At least it is doing some work rather than gathering dust in the shed!


Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
John PescatoreTo Mike Ayling
The Winchester "Brick" Baby Trailer

I've never used a trailer for touring but for for several years pulled my daughter (and occasionally other kids and a small dog) in a Winchester trailer that was designed by someone who apparently believed the cube was the most aerodynamic shape. 

The cool thing about that trailer was the two seats sat the kids in opposing directions, so they didn't slump into each other and could more easily talk.  I think I once estimated the weight of the trailer, two kids and their "luggage" was close to 100 lbs. Didn't really do much climbing, as most of the kid friendly rides were on paths. Much more noticeable was the wind drag - it was like pulling a parachute.

I was in great shape the few years I was pulling that - but it was a great relief when she got big enough to ride a third-wheel attachment and I sold the trailer to another local cyclist who had just started a family!

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

We had a trailer too, for kids, not touring gear.  We bought it used from a friend of Al's brother in Victoria, a single dad with no car.  His daughter was so young when he first used it that he rigged up a bungie system to support her helmet from the overhead strut.  This was a Burley, from around 1990 or maybe older, since we aren't sure if we were the second or third owners.  Somebody had added a leather reinforcement where the kids' feet would go.

We used it mostly for local rides, not very far because you can't get very far in Burnaby without hills--and this would have been a challenge to drag up a hill.  We eventually also acquired a well-used Trail-a-Bike from an acquaintance who actually did use it for touring.  He had seen them in Europe and got a local bike shop to bring it in for him.  The touring done with it, however, was mostly in Denmark.

For a while Al towed the Trail-a-Bike with the trailer behind.  It wasn't until our boys were older that the Lochside Trail was finally built and we started riding from the ferry  into Victoria to visit the grandparents with one boy on his own little bike and the other on the Trail-a-Bike.

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
John PescatoreTo Jacquie Gaudet

I think the 3rd wheel bike we graduated to was a Trail-a-Bike. 

My daughter's elementary school is about 2 miles from our house, with a fairly safe biking route. Every now and then we would bike to school, she thought it was cool - for a while. I still remember the day when she reached the age where she thought it was embarrassing vs. cool - I wasn't ready for that!

Little did I realize that was just a faint foreshadowing of the terror that lay ahead when she hit her teenage years...

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
Robert EwingTo John Pescatore

My first trailer, way back near the begging of time itself, was a Cannondale Bugger An odd, not exactly aero design but it did the job at hand. I had a small sail loft (marine canvas) in Honolulu, Hawai`i near the marina. I could ride my bike right down the docks with the Bugger pilled high to the seat-post to deliver and pick up sails and covers. Never had to look for a scarce parking spot and pack orders from distance to the boats. It also served to bring groceries home to my growing family.  During the Opec oil boycott in the 1970s, I never once drove my car or waited in long lines for gasoline. 

Fast forward some 2 ½ decades when we moved to Portland, Oregon I bought a Burley Mule single wheel trailer, a primitive version of the Burley Coho, for my then new Cyclocross bike and took off to the Oregon Coast and headed South for California. The Mule was a real beast and a burden to pull - set up to hold six panniers! I loaded it up with my wetsuit and diving gear, and dated and heavy camping gear with the intentions of a surf safari. I think the trailer and gear must have weighed nearly 60 pounds. Half way down the Oregon Coast mailed 30+ pounds of diving gear home.

The Mule’s mounts started to fail, creating a rhythmic jerk through my handlebars leaving me with some painful “tennis elbow” in both arms. South of Yachats I was picking up downhill speed when hit by a sudden side gust of wind. The Mule and bike started to jack knife uncontrollably lurching me back and forth across both lanes of 101. With a rock face on one side and a cliff and ocean on the other I came very  close to buying a section of the Pacific Coast Bike Route. If a car were coming up hill I would not be here writing this account. When I got to Cape Blanco I called in the cavalry - MJ, the grandkids and my son in law drove down from Portland to rescue Papa. I sold the trailer and bought Ortlieb panniers and a Tubus rack. I’m still using that rack some twelve years later. I never journaled that ride but it was the start of my 21th century touring and also becoming an obsessed gram counter.

Then MJ found a slightly used Trail-a-Bike. With little enthusiasm, the two older grandkids gave it a try for a couple of short rides. After a suitable time mothballed in the shed, a young family was found to take it off our hands.

When the youngest grandchild was around three we got a two wheel child trailer. My youngest grandson hated it from moment one. No rides, even to the ice cream shop, changed his attitude. With its clear windows and flagpole waving a child onboard pennant, I was amazed at the courtesy and caution drivers gave me when I started using it for grocery runs. It didn’t last long and I doubt I will ever be talked into a bike trailer again. The youngest is becoming the best cyclist of the 3 grandchildren.

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago
John PescatoreTo Robert Ewing

When my daughter was first born, I went with the old rear rack mounted seat for her but I never liked the feel or risk of that - and on a ride on the Youghiogheny River Rail Trail from Confluence PA to Ohiopyle, she managed to rip her little helmet off and toss it down the embankment towards the river! With the trail, I could zip the netting closed and save the poison ivy scrambles to retrieve helmets...

As a teen, she rebelled against biking after all those years and claimed she always hated biking. After a few years of college, the evil beings that had taken her over seemed to disappear and she got interested in biking again. She is now married, will be having her first child towards the end of the year and she is already talking about that trailer she used to ride in...

(Old joke: Grandparent asks college graduate "What did you learn in 4 years of college?" "Not much," replied the graduate, "But, my parents got a lot smarter while I was gone."

Reply    Link    Flag
5 months ago