Kids in the Trailer


My friend Virginia sends this question:

“You’re the only person I know who commutes regularly with kids in a burley. Do you ever ride on Third Avenue? Is it safe with your daughter in the back? I am a bit apprehensive because I’m not sure if motorists are used to the trailer (with or without the orange flag).”

I don’t think 3rd is really unsafe, it’s more unpleasant. Because it is 3-lane oneway street you can take a whole lane with a trailer and it’s pretty simple for cars to go around you. But the speed and volume of traffic on 3rd is rough if you are on a bike. Main, Riverside, 1st, and even Sprague seem like much better ways of getting east to west downtown.

With kids in a trailer downtown I would consider these things:

– It’s easy to flip a trailer going up and down curbs. I stopped sidewalk riding after this happened once. I think you are safer for you and your kid staying in the street, avoiding multiple curbs and going in and out of traffic.

– Don’t mis-judge your speed. Trailers slow you down more than you might realize. Make sure you don’t get caught in interesections because you can’t get through them fast enough.

– Be visible. That means flags, lights, and bright colored helmets.

– Take the whole lane if you need to. All downtown streets are multi-laned so cars can pass you easily. Cars can see you better in the middle.

Hope that helps.

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