Not your average bike

A one wheeled trailer can carry groceries or touring/camping equipment. Joy Henderson, HBC board member, uses a trailer for short and long distance trips.

Even the most dedicated bicyclist occasionally needs to haul something too big for a pannier (a bag attached to a bicycle) or a messenger bag. Trailers and special-purpose bikes make human-powered hauling easier. Whether you need to move equipment, clothing, or your kids, there is probably a bike available to do the job.

Two-wheeled cargo bicycles with a load on one side can be surprisingly stable, and there are options with three and four wheels, too. As with almost everything related to bicycles, the best solutions are often a blend of old and new technology. 

Classic technologies, such as hubs that shift internally, disc brakes and the latest electrical-assist packages, can make hauling more efficient. Internal hubs are convenient because they allow shifting even when the bike is sitting still. Power-assist options help with longer distances and heavier cargo. With all that help getting going, good brakes are also essential. Many cargo bikes are fitted with disc brakes that can improve stopping distances, especially in wet conditions.

The Heights Libraries Book Bike, a bicycle book mobile, has a front-mounted box that opens into bookshelves. Bikes like this, made especially for hauling, can come in many configurations, from one that looks like a longer version of a regular bicycle to something that looks almost like a small car.

Sometimes a dedicated bike is not practical. In those cases, a bike trailer might be a better choice. Some trailers have one wheel and they tend to be narrower and more maneuverable. Wider trailers with more wheels are also available.

Some trailers are equipped with a child-size modified bicycle that includes pedals. These trailers are a great way to introduce children to the skills they will need to ride their own bike, and to introduce family cycling trips, whether they last from 30 minutes to 30 days.

Heights Bicycle Coalition

The Heights Bicycle Coalition was formed in the spring of 2010 and works to encourage citizens to ride their bicycle for fun, fitness and transportation.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 08.30.2013