trailbikeYesterday was a big day for the TucsonVelo family.

Luci took her first ride on our trail-a-bike, which isn’t actually a bike because I’ve been banned from buying anymore bikes. Instead it’s a bicycle accessory. At least that is my story and I am sticking with it.

Luci’s legs are a little too short for the pedals, so I had to add some blocks to allow her to reach the pedals.

I drilled two 2×4 blocks to each other and added some grip tape to the blocks to prevent her feet from slipping. The design doesn’t work quite the way I wanted as evidenced in the photo.

I also need to get another set of shims to get the mount to work on my commuter bike. The setup on the mountain bike will allow me to take her to school, drop her and the bike off and then ride out to the trail.

I’m hoping it will help her practice and begin to ride her own bike.

Anyone have experience with these? Anything I should be on the lookout for?

7 thoughts on “Photo: A big day for on a big girl bike”
  1. I used one with my daughter for years. We put a lot of miles going to parks and running errands over the summers she was on it. We never had issues once she got comfortable – aside from it was easy for her to stop pedaling. When she hit 75# the weight started getting really cumbersome on hills of any size.
    We did a two day, 85 mile ride on the C&O canal tow path (Cumberland, MD to Williamsport, MD) where we carried our camping gear in a kid trailer attached to the tagalong and panniers. The tagalong worked fantastically. The double articulation made moving the bike (train?) around hard, especially if you had to back up.
    Day-to-day wise, sharp turns take a little getting used to and it’s worth keeping in mind that there is nothing protecting the rider from spray from the rear wheel.
    We have since moved to a Cannondale tandem and it’s a blast. We did a six day tour last summer covering 350 miles in the Finger Lakes region of NY. It’ll be hard to beat that father/daughter vacation (until she can do it on her own bike).
    — Hal

  2. Great picture and thanks for sharing! The last time I rode one of these was many years ago, and I was on the back trailing behind my dad. Many fond memories. Enjoy the father/daughter time!

  3. One of my good friends used this same type of set up with her daughter. She added an extra rearview mirror, tilted so she could keep an eye out, without having to turn her head, which she was doing constantly, when “kissy” first started on the trail-a-bike.

  4. I use one of these for riding my son to Kindergarten and around the hood but mine must be an older model because it’s not easy to disconnect the seatpost mount. I also had to add shims to the part of the mount that pivots because it leaned back and forth an alarming amount. My solution was to just use an old seatpost/saddle combo that remains attached to the trail-a-bike. I swap seatposts when I want to hook it up.

    My son really likes it, he calls it “the bike with one tire”

  5. Definitely need a full fender on the tow bike. Not just for water and liquid “nasty”, but even more so for small rocks and sharp things that would be launched directly at your daughter’s face.

  6. >>>I’ve been banned from buying anymore bikes.
    The Velomanati Rules address this question:  “While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.”

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