15 February 2008

Burley D’Lite trailer: Initial ride(s) report

Posted by todd under: Burley D'Lite; Reviews; Riding with children .

Summary: Yessssssss!

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I bought a used Burley D’Lite trailer off EBay, and it arrived two days ago. I put it together in the dining room. Even though I’m technically challenged it took only a few minutes. The assembly is intuitive, and the design is simple.

I love the hitch. It goes on and comes off quickly, and there is no part that has to stay on the bike. It’s also a very tight connection.

I fastened the trailer to my Breezer Uptown 8. The moment of truth came when Mary (3) and Jackson (1) piled in. It was a snug fit, but they didn’t seem to mind. Mary loved it right away.

Jackson had logistical trouble with the helmet, which was too big — we had to resort to Mary holding it up so it wouldn’t slip down over his eyes. He hollered the whole time while being buckled in, but once we got rolling he quieted down (as long as he could see). Caleb (7) rode alongside and gave me updates on Jackson’s facial expression, and most of the time it alternated between neutral and a half-smile.

(G picked up a Thomas the Tank Engine infant-size helmet at Meijer that looks like it will fit Jackson a lot better, so future rides should be less complicated.)

It was in the 40s, so I fastened down the plastic rain cover. It kept the wind off of them, and kept some heat in the trailer.

Today, I hitched the Burley to the Bridgestone XO-1 and took Mary with me to the bank and the library. It was about a 40-minute errand total, maybe 4 miles. I put a blanket on Mary and she was snug as a bug in a rug — her only complaint was that her helmet made her head itch.

Side note: When Bush set up the XO-1, it turned out that the granny (smallest) chainring wouldn’t fit. I don’t usually miss it, but I did today. Going up a hill, I suffered as I have never suffered before. Or at least as I have not suffered for a few months. :)

I will post pictures of the trailer later. Also watch for everyday-rider reviews of the new O2 3Flow rain pants; MKS-GR9 pedals; Carridice Nelson saddlebag; and the Bell Metropolis helmet.

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.

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Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!

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