Taking A Lane With Two Bikes (Or A Sidecar)

By | April 19, 2007

Yesterday was quite fun – I picked up my bike and my wife’s bike from the bikeshop yesterday after getting them both tuned up, mine cleaned (I had forgotten what it looked like clean, under all the dirt and salt from winter riding) and Tracy’s with new hybrid tires.

I decided that since I had never biked on two bikes before, I would try it.

I steered and braked Tracy’s bike with the muscles of my right arm all the way home (it was a lot easier than I thought it would be), nicely taking the lane the whole way.

A couple cars passed two closely, but there was a huge difference from when it’s just me.

This all expanded on my idea of a cool sidecar for a bike instead of a trailer.

I’ve seen it done (most recently on Wheel Revolution) before, and you may have an idea of what I’m taking about if you watch the Amazing Race, as they were in Malaysia a couple weeks ago, picking up recyclables with cool bicycle sidecars (photo).

What I’m thinking of though is building something (when I have more room to build things) where the bike is on the left side and the sidecar is on the right…. I’m thinking this is the best arrangement because I foresee carrying kids in such a thing, and I’d want to be between them and any crazy traffic.

Anyone know if you can buy bicycle sidecars in Toronto? It would be so much more useful than just for carrying kids… you could fit a lot of groceries in there! Also… and this is important… it would be a great traffic-calmer. :)


11 Comments

duncan on January 12, 2010 at 9:34 am.

While it’s not an add-on, the Smike is a bicycle with sidecar seat: http://smike.ch/

Joe T. on January 12, 2010 at 10:37 am.

Thanks for the Smike link, Duncan. In the 3 years since I originally made that post (I’m moving personal blog posts over to this blog), I’ve come across cool things like KangarooBikes (http://www.kangaroobike.com/pages/index.php), basically a Dutch Cargo Bike with a trailer like enclosure instead of the traditional box.

I just have to find something similar in Canada.

I’ve seen something involving a bike, a stroller, and a way to put them together to make a bike like the Kangaroo, but can’t recall the name of it.

duncan on January 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm.

I didn’t even notice the date on this one!

There’s the Taga, http://www.taga.nl/ but I know there is another one… I saw it in use in Nanaimo actually, just can’t recall the name.

Joe T. on January 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm.

Yeah – the system thought it was a new post because I forgot to back-date it originally. :)

Thanks for the taga link. This is all really good info… I may have to put together a page on the site about bikes for carrying kids around. :)

Joe T. on January 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm.

Found the one I was thinking of… Zigo – http://www.myzigo.com/ It can be a regular stroller, a jogging stroller, a bike with the stroller on the front, or just a bike.

iPop on January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm.

I’ve been using a Chariot sidecar pretty intensively for almost three years (my daughter is almost four). It is brilliant. My partner and I have used it for daily runs to/from daycare, shopping trips to St Lawrence market (most of the load being hauled by pannier), 5okm route on the Ride for Heart, and for general recreation. This device has greatly facilitated our car-free life these past years. Check out http://chariotcarriers.com/english/html/sidecarrier.php

Joe T. on January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm.

Thanks iPop… that looks like a good option.. and I’ve heard good things about Chariot trailers… so their sidecarriers are probably good too.

Joe T. on January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm.

I found the Chariot sidecarriers on the CycleSolutions Bikeshop website. :)
http://www.cycle-solutions.com//Sidecarrier-P1658.aspx

Joe T. on January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm.

And… Urbane has it too:
http://www.ucycle.com/products/trailers-and-strollers/kids-single/chariot-side-carrier

It retails at both stores for $500.

duncan on January 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm.

Those are some very cool options. The Ziga makes the most sense to me as you can lock the bike part outside and then use the stroller for errands. Although I do have some time before I’ll be considering these options… good to know they exist for when I do.

Joe T. on January 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm.

Yeah… I have a little bit of time (though not much). :) It’s generally accepted that kids are okay on bikes when they reach about 12 months old (all the serious spinal cord and brain stem development is done by then), as they can handle the bumps and potholes better then.

I guess you’ll see me tooling around with one of these options during BikeMonth 2011. :)

BikeMonth 2010 is going to be one of little sleep and many feedings. haha.

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