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Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 6:05am
by Wheeledwidewebb
I’ll try to keep this brief. I have read other trailer type questions on here but my situation might be slightly different.

I bought a CF trailer a couple of years ago and haven’t used it so I fancy using it for a JOGLE.

I do not need the extra carrying ability of a trailer, I just fancy using it.
I have panniers available as well that I could (maybe should) use instead.
The extra weight and drag of a trailer uphill does not concern me.
The logistical complications getting a trailer/bike to and from start/finish does not concern me.

However what does concern me is the likely hassle when it comes to urban areas (though I will try to avoid) and general width restrictions and the like of cycle paths. Also I read lots of accounts of single track roads in Scotland and it worries me that a trailer would give me an extra headache on these.

I’m planning on using the Arran route to avoid Glasgow & Edinburgh but I’m sure I cannot avoid all busy parts and the potential faffing required really worries me.

So those who have done it using a trailer, is it really worth it, my using the trailer just because I can, is it as idiotic as it sounds?

Cheers peeps.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 6:50am
by Stradageek
Sounds like a good idea, drag and perceived weight are minimal, it fits between most cycle path bollards and the major advantage on busy or urban roads is that passing motorists give you LOADS of room, so it really enhances safety

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 9:18am
by Tigerbiten
I've done around 50,000 miles with a large Carry Freedom trailer behind my recumbent trike.
The extra width of a trailer is both a disadvantage as well as it's advantage.
With a trailer on it's harder to filter in traffic as it takes more forward planning.
But the extra width means you'll get a lot more room when being overtaken.

Most anti-cycling barriers are designed for wheelchair, so as long as you have a reasonably straight approach/departure route then a trailer will pass through will little extra hassle.

I think single track roads are easier with a trailer. Car drivers can see the extra width and are less likely to try and bully you out of the way. Just be willing to stop in passing places as needed.

Luck ......... :D

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 9:42am
by Tinnishill
How much beer do you plan to carry ? It is available in Scotland.


Further to my last. I have done a good few miles up and down the west coast pulling both single and double wheeled trailers hauling children and camping gear. The CALMAC crews are usually pretty good with cycle trailers. What Tigerbiten says is spot on. If you aren't used to remote single track roads, try to pull in and let faster traffic going in either direction past. Be aware that the trunk roads in Argyll can be quite busy with heavy goods convoys. Also, a bit of planning can find fairly quiet routes through or round Glasgow.

Anyway, if you fancy it just do it.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 10:44am
by philvantwo
Mick F used a trailer, it kept tipping over on some corners though.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 12:22pm
by Wheeledwidewebb
Thanks for the opinions and information everyone.

The wheelchair width issue for cycle path barriers does make me feel a little better about likely hassle, thats for sure :)

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 1:00pm
by mercalia
there is a sumation article on the archive section on using trailers, mainly single wheel but worth a look?

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 1:17pm
by Mick F
philvantwo wrote:Mick F used a trailer, it kept tipping over on some corners though.
Not correct.
I had an orange suitcase strapped on the load bed.
It turned over twice, once when I was a bit cavalier over the bumps on the Old A90, and another time bumping against a traffic cone exiting some roadworks in Dalwhinnie. I did LEJOG and BACK with it, and they were the only times.

Years later, I fitted an alu box to it, and once tipped once in Plymouth going down a kerb. I did JOGLE on a Chopper with it, and it was faultless.
br Finger.jpg

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 2:16pm
by charliepolecat
Mick F, the intrepid traveller. 8)

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 4:05pm
by philvantwo
He did get lost going over the Forth road bridge though! :(

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 5 Dec 2018, 7:26pm
by Mick F
Don't get me on to the FRB subject! :lol: :lol:

Having lived up there for half a dozen years, I was well aware of the bridge. Walked it, driven it, cycled it. 1974 to 1980.

The issue I had on the bike in 2006, was that heading north, I went down the western sliproad onto the western walk-way cycle track only to find it closed. No notice on the slipway.
I trundled my bike and trailer down the steps and under the road, then up the other side to the eastern walk-way cycle track to cross over to Fife.

Coming back south, I went up the eastern sliproad and found that closed! :shock: :shock:
I gave the workers a piece of my mind and asked them to tell their bosses to make sure that a warning sign is placed BEFORE you enter the sliproad.
I turned round back to the road below, rode round to the western side and up to the motel(?) where I knew there was a path to the walk-way cycle track.

This same thing heading south happened on my JOGLE on a Chopper in 2010. I was riding some of the leg with DougieB on this forum, and although he was an Edinburgh native, he had no idea of the alternative route heading south on the western side. :lol:

Trouble is, if you go on and off the bridge on the "wrong" side, you're going up/down the sliproad against the traffic.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 6 Dec 2018, 7:56pm
by philvantwo
I think one of those blue plaques would look good on the bridge marking the exact spot where the legendary Mick F and his trailer got lost! :lol: :lol:

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 7 Dec 2018, 5:29pm
by Wheeledwidewebb
I know you have all been waiting for my decision :lol:

Going with the pannier option I reckon.

You can all sleep easy again.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 8 Dec 2018, 9:42am
by Mick F
Before you make the final decision, no-one has asked my WHY I used a trailer.

I did my first JOGLE in 1994 and Mercian was equipped with panniers.
I hated them on Mercian. The bike felt like a tank instead of a lightweight sprightly 531c bike. I had borrowed the rear set and rack and bought the front set, which I used on Chopper to hold the front end down so it wouldn't do wheelies!

When I came to do my LEJOG and Back in 2006, I fretted for months about luggage carrying, and it was this forum that had enlightened me to the idea of trailers. I never looked back, and I heartedly recommend them.

The trailer sits behind faithfully. It isn't loading the bike, you can still feel your bike is YOUR bike, and there's no weight on it to wear out tyres so you can use your normal tyres and wheels. The trailer will fit on any bike at all. One trailer for every bike!

The trailer is of used for all sorts of cycling tasks. I've often gone shopping and the box I have on the back is perfect for groceries and fruit and veg alike.

Re: Trailer users experience sought

Posted: 8 Dec 2018, 3:22pm
by PH
You can't defy gravity and physics, the extra weight and drag of a trailer require extra effort to move. The need for one depends on both the load and bike. Choose both for yourself, I can't imagine taking the amount of kit Mick F carries on a B&B tour even when I'm camping, I just don't get invited to anywhere that requires the full dinner suit! But that's entirely up to him. My answer to a bike feeling unpleasant with four panniers would be to reduce it rather than add more.
I've toured a couple of times with a Bob Yak trailer, I was carrying camping kit and luggage for two, it was no big deal but I wouldn't choose to use it if I didn't have to. I was doing considerably less daily mileage than on a solo tour and that was enough. The only time I really didn't like it was on steep downhills, maybe a two wheeled trailer is better but the feeling of being pushed by the trailer I found unpleasant.