You Following Me?

Back when I got my velomobile, I wanted it to be useful for getting around but also for getting things done.  Most of the things I have to get done around here are trips to the grocery or hardware stores.  And although you can fit a whole lot of stuff into the velomobile, sometimes it just isn’t convenient.  For instance, the thin floor of the velomobile cockpit probably isn’t my preferred place to carry a few gallons of paint or a jumbo bag of dog food.  Want an exercise in futility?  Just try bungee-cording that 24 pack of toilet paper to the exterior of your slippery, sleek machine.

I needed a trailer.  So after searching through all of the options, I finally decided on a Bongo because it’s very adjustable and can be broken down for storage.  It is sold as only a basic frame, hitch-arm, and wheels so it needed a box.  This could have been done easily with a big Rubbermaid bin, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hitch a gigantic piece of Tupperware to the back of my spaceship.  I also wanted it to be lockable so I could make several stops in one trip.  Well, I decided to make my own.

Here’s the YellowMobile harnessed up for work…

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Yeah, I know – kind of looks like a Conestoga Wagon hitched to a spaceship but it does suit my quirky sense of surreality.  The foamy stuff in the bottom is to keep the eggs from mingling too much on the way home…

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All of the metal loops on top are tie-downs for oversize loads – works well with a cargo net…

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There’s also a locking top so I’m not afraid to leave stuff in the trailer…

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That’s our first snow of the winter

The wheels and hitch-arm are quick-release so I can quickly tuck all of the protruding bits into the box for compact storage…

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I also like the hitch-arm design because it’s adjustable both horizontally and vertically.  You can exactly center the trailer behind your bike.  This is important for a velomobile so you know that whatever opening the velomobile can fit through, the trailer will too.  And because the Strada’s hitch is so much lower than upright bikes, it’s great to be able to set the trailer nice and level horizontally.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Bongo, at least for a velomobile, was its hitch.  The hitch mount on my Strada is horizontal while the Bongo’s hitch has a vertical orientation.  To attach it, I had to order some aluminum angle stock and fashion my own adapter.

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This was inconvenient, but worked out well enough.

Wagons Ho!

9 thoughts on “You Following Me?

  1. The Strada is a very good ( agile enough ) workhorse to be used to tow cargo and child carrying carts. Maybe you have seen my Strada even pull 2 child carrying carts ( with potentially 4 kids ) in tandem with no problems, save that it is reduced to 15 km/u if i want(ed) to pedal with comfortable effort on flat surface. Climbing is no doubt a bad idea with that combination though :-))

    My current Quest had a cart towing attachment joint also, but lost it since the arrival of an e-assist 3 wheeled cargobike that now carries the loads. Although it can pull carts just aswell as the Strada i think the Quest less enjoyable because of its truck-like turning radius in combination with being hampered manouevering backwards with a cart behind you.

    Still, with 1 cart the Quest could ride faster, more comfortable for the children or cargo and with longer range then the very heavy and very un-earodynamic cargobike with no springs and no steering wheels. And everyone stays dry in a cart pulled by a velomobile (with a hood) in the rain. Wich is not the case with the cargobike :-)))

    • Wow, two carts and four kids at once – you are a workhorse! I can see how a Quest might pose some navigation problems with a trailer. I was very impressed at how easy it is with the Strada and, as long as the trailer is positioned to track directly behind, how little attention is needed while riding. I also get weirdly self-satisfied when hauling things under my own power. Notice how I carefully avoided the word ‘smug’? So far, no problems going uphill, just slower – but then, I am only pulling one trailer. All the best to you Arjan!

  2. Yup! I like it! Looks like a boy could get several packs of beer in there and still have room left over for some crisps (that’s potato-chips to everyone there in Yankeeland) … not that I’m suggesting you would use it for such a purpose; heaven forfend … but, hey, the option’s always there ;0)

  3. PS
    I forgot to mention that I like the name as well. I mean … come on … BONGO … it just blends perfectly with the whole look. Just a thought; if you hitched up a bunch of these you could take children and small dogs for rides! OK, maybe not my best idea … just the best one I could come up with right now. ;0)

    • When I was a kid I loved the “Little Engine Who Could” but I’m not sure I’m up for being the engine in a circus train of trailers filled with kids and dogs. Crisps and Guinness sounds much more fun to me. Thanks for coming by Andy!

    • Glad you like it Kevin! I did order the hitch with the Strada because I wanted to phase out one of our cars for getting around and getting things done. Also, I was looking at where the hitch is installed on the velomobile – it didn’t look like a super-friendly place to get to as an add-on later. I’ll bet Ray could give you some advice on that if you’re thinking about it.

      Besides, you’re way too fast. You really should be hauling something – if only to make the rest of us feel better.

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