Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Winter Cycling
Reload this Page >

Child in tow

Notices
Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

Child in tow

Old 11-07-14, 01:52 PM
  #1  
fotooutdoors
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 358

Bikes: Salsa Fargo, One-One Inbred 29er, Blue Norcross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Child in tow

I have been commuting year-round in Madison Wisconsin for several years, so I have the whole winter riding thing down pretty well. However, this is my first winter with a child in tow. He had been riding in a single person chariot, which will continue to be his spot over the winter.

As it has gotten cold, I have added blankets in the trailer, and I an planning on installing a flap to prevent the exchange of air through the back panel, which is mesh. Obviously, we travel lit up like a Christmaa tree and avoid high traffic routes. Is there anything else I am missing? Do other parents swap out tires on the trailer? I run studs on my bike, but figure that the trailer will rarely, if ever, need then, and I was assuming (wrongly?) That float isn't that useful. Any supplementary heating? I plan to tow down to 0°F.
fotooutdoors is offline  
Old 11-07-14, 02:57 PM
  #2  
Bat56
Senior Member
 
Bat56's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: St.Paul, MN
Posts: 1,809
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll need a stronger saddle to support your huge balls.

You are braver than I am. Setting aside the obvious safety risk, here is why I never successfully towed the kid in a trailer. I tried. I prototyped by pulling two bowling balls around in the trailer. (I pushed a jogging stroller into sub zero temps for reference.):

Assuming a ride any far enough away from your house that you can't grab the kid and walk home safely:

1. A flat would suck. Frozen flat-changes are bad enough.
2. Any injury to you will be that much harder to deal with.
3. If the trailer breaks or the attachment or you lose a little pin or whatever now what.

Generally:
4. I won't tow a kid down single track so I won't tow him on a plowed road. You've done this long enough to know that you dodge or ride over some big ice chunks. That stuff will flip a trailer.
5. If you absolutely must get off the road ASAP it's much harder with a loaded trailer.
6. Slogging through certain conditions can be hard enough without a trailer.
7. I had a big scare one time when I lost a brake while towing my kid down a big hill. The situation allowed for various avenues of safety but margins get thinner in winter.
8. I would try to improvise a drag brake on the trailer so if things go south you can e-brake somehow.

i could go on.

however, if you have clear conditions, clear forecast, and clear roads, and a known route - keep the child warm and party on!

(we graduated to a weehoo igo when my son was about 3 or 4 because he flipped his Burley. He leaned way out while we were turning. I dragged him about 15 feet on his helmet. That was nothing compared to the pre child days when I had two dogs in a trailer, tied in with leashes, and they both jumped out going down a hill)
Bat56 is offline  
Old 11-07-14, 03:18 PM
  #3  
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
When it gets cold, you need to insulate your kid from the trailer seat first. We use a piece of thick camping pad that runs all the way up along his back. We cut holes as needed for safety belts. On top of the bag comes a thick down sleeping bag (we have this one, it's pre-cut for safety belts). If it's really cold, we may add a sheep hide between the pad and the bag.

It's equally important to make sure the kid's not too toasty. I suggest putting a thermometer inside the trailer, or somewhere close to the kid (in our case, we put it inside the sleeping bag), and checking it often at first.

We don't use studded tyres in the trailer, but our bikes have them. I've never noticed loss of traction for trailer, and it actually makes for a more stable ride in winter conditions. Then again, we mostly ride on grade separated MUPs over here. Mechanical problems can be a pita in winter, that is true. However, there's very little that can go wrong with the trailer. I figure it's far more likely my bike breaks, and should that happen, I can always leave it and walk the trailer (our Nordic Cab doubles as a stroller, I'm pretty sure Chariot works the same way).

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines

Last edited by Juha; 11-07-14 at 03:23 PM.
Juha is offline  
Old 11-07-14, 09:44 PM
  #4  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,799

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 484 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6816 Post(s)
Liked 1,417 Times in 907 Posts
I wonder what they do in Denmark and the Netherlands in the winter. Would a bakfiets make sense?
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 11-08-14, 04:29 AM
  #5  
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
The Dutch don't do winter.
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines
Juha is offline  
Old 11-08-14, 01:57 PM
  #6  
fotooutdoors
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 358

Bikes: Salsa Fargo, One-One Inbred 29er, Blue Norcross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks juha! This is exactly the type if advice I was hoping for. I had thought of the sleeping pad insulation, but it had fallen off my radar.I just went put and hacked up a cheap sleeping pad. I may go double layer when it gets really cold. I just need to find a thermometer. I think I have a little one that I used when winter backpacking, so I should be set. The sack is a bit rich for my blood, but I should be able to sew up something similar...maybe fleece and batting? Down is pretty pricy, and since the weight and stuff size don't matter like they do for backpacking, I will go for a cheaper material. Thanks again!
fotooutdoors is offline  
Old 11-08-14, 02:49 PM
  #7  
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Fleece should be fine. We bought the bag from a sale, but it was still fairly expensive. We've gotten a lot of use out of it though, so we're OK with the cost. Even if you go DIY, make the bag long enough to last several winters. Seeing you have done winter backpacking, you probably know extra space in a sleeping bag is not a good idea, but you can always "cut" the bag shorter by tightening a backpacking strap at the proper length if needed. We've never even had to do that, we've just tucked the extra length beneath the bag to get rid of excessive legroom.

The same setup (pad, sheepskin and bag) works well in a pulk too when we go XC skiing.

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines

Last edited by Juha; 11-08-14 at 02:54 PM.
Juha is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nwmtnbkr
Recreational & Family
14
08-21-12 07:54 PM
PJCB
Utility Cycling
13
06-12-12 12:13 PM
solidfish
Utility Cycling
10
04-10-12 12:05 PM
SamChevre
Recreational & Family
4
01-08-12 09:52 AM
bbllaakke
Utility Cycling
15
01-13-10 09:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.