Trailer park frolics

This is the way to do it. Six months’ supply of premium Basmati rice bought in bulk by a happy customer from a happy local trader…

It’s so hard to find a space…

… but you can’t complain about the price when you do!

Off out spending money in local shops again this afternoon – something I wouldn’t really bother with if I had to park the car, carry a ton of change for the meter and still get it wrong (somehow) and end up with a £60 fine.

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No, this is the way to do it. Six months’ supply of premium Basmati rice bought in bulk by a happy customer from a happy local trader. (Even more fun when you can park “properly” too, instead of blocking off the pavement for pedestrians!)

FYI, Chain Reaction Cycles are selling both large and small Y-Frame trailers at a large discount. This is how I bought mine, and I can only recommend it (get it delivered to the office, put it together and tow the empty box home!)

It’s really strange that local government and shopkeepers both seem convinced that Edinburgh’s life blood hinges on facilitating maximum motorcar throughput (often just people heading to the nearest retail park outside the bypass anyway) rather than making local journeys like this one simple and safe-feeling by bike.

Biking a washing machine

We had cause to get rid of our washing machine recently. It could go in the back of the car, but messy messy… cue the Carry Freedom Y-Frame!

Because they said it couldn’t be done

A moving tribute to readers of the Edinburgh Evening News

When we recently had cause to get rid of our washing machine, I had two choices. I could get it in the back of our spangly estate, no problem – if I didn’t mind the risk of “bad water” from the plumbing getting into the upholstery (and didn’t trash the bodywork pulling it out at the other end).

Or, there was the Carry Freedom Y-Frame.

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Continue reading “Biking a washing machine”

Who cares about fuel strikes?

The country is in the grip of a government-fuelled panic over… fuel. A tank normally lasts us a month, so it’s no big deal. I did enjoy whisking past the queues with large white goods on tow though!

Cunning cyclists circumvent car combustibles crisis

Bakery Workers Union: “Cake supplies holding up”

Today I took delivery of a new fridge freezer and so I had to run the old pair out to the dump Community Recycling Centre. I could have got them in the back of the car, but I hadn’t bothered to defrost or clean out the insides, so chucked them on the Carry Freedom Y-Frame instead.

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It took two trips instead of one, but taking into account the mess advantage (no hovering up polystyrene chunks from the upholstery!) it came out as a wash.

  • I poked the people queueing for fuel at the local station in both eyes (one each trip 😉 )
  • I’m in pocket to the tune of £1.64 – maybe more if the pump price is being hiked
  • I can eat a large cake and still need trousers with a smaller waist
  • My CCE awesome “power” rating has crept up a notch

What a winner.

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At somewhere north of 320 litres, the fridge represents the largest load I’ve carried (by volume) although certainly not the lightest or longest (for those, see the links below).

If anybody is interested in the Y-Frame, I’ve touched on it a couple of other times. You can check it out directly at the Carry Freedom website.

Very highly recommended.

See also

Carrying a bike on a bike trailer

My bike was at work, so I rode in on my hardtail, but couldn’t ride it back because it doesn’t have lights. Carry Freedom to the rescue!

My bike was at work on Monday, so I rode in on my hardtail, but couldn’t ride it back because it doesn’t have lights.

Luckily there was an easy solution to this problem, in the shape of my Carry Freedom Y-Frame and a Thule 518 front-wheel-removed bike carrier that is more usually found on the roofrack:

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I chose this over our “wheels stay on” racks just because it doesn’t project forward of the front mounting point, which would require a longer trailer hitch. It’s very solid, although I had to use a couple of small bits of wood to pad out the clamps.

Very rideable, but with quite a high centre of gravity I did manage to roll the trailer (!!) just outside the office – dropping off a high kerb at an angle and steering round the roundabout at the same time, the wheel that was last off the kerb bounced up again, and up.. and up… should have steered into the turn, but working out how to do that while staring over your shoulder is pretty difficult!

No harm done, and a good cautionary lesson learned on a quiet bit of road…

See also

Caution – Long Vehicle!

2m of coving makes this the longest load I’ve had… just about the limit unless you’re sure you won’t be going over speed bumps!

Just back from B&Q where I picked up, amongst other things, a box of coving that weighed in just over 2m long. This is about as long as you can go on a stock Carry Freedom Y-frame, in my opinion:

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Continue reading “Caution – Long Vehicle!”

Bicycle trailer: wooden logs

73KGs of fallen lumber transported with aplomb by the Carry freedom Y-frame. The trailer managed easily enough… more than can be said for me!

I’m a lumber jack and I’m OK…

Needless to say there’s been quite a bit of tree falling down in these parts recently, what with a hurricane and then an even worse storm a few weeks later.

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This is my Carry Freedom Y-frame trailer with a startling 73KG of wood logs ready for drying and then to be put to good use…

Continue reading “Bicycle trailer: wooden logs”

Life with four wheels

In-depth discussion of the Carry-Freedom Y-frame trailer, which is thoroughly excellent (if not completely perfect).

Sliced bread usurped as best invention ever

I’ve now put a hair under 50 miles on my Carry Freedom Y-Frame trailer, so I thought it was about time to post a quick update on four-wheeled living since the introductory post.

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Continue reading “Life with four wheels”

Carry Freedom Y Frame trailer review

The excellent Carry Freedom Y-frame trailer… a superb load hauler for your bicycle, and it flat packs in seconds!

According to the AA*, the marginal cost of a mile driven in Edinburgh is 22.8p, meaning that after somewhat less than 750 miles, I will have spent as much driving around town as I would have buying a Carry Freedom Y-frame trailer.

Needless to say, this is convenient as I’ve done just that, and already ridden it 25 miles that I would otherwise have driven! (So it’s 3.3% paid for itself in the first day…)

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Quite apart from that, the trailer also offsets the purchase of a pannier rack and panniers, which I otherwise wouldn’t use (except for touring, but we do plan to go touring).

The cheapest imaginable pannier rack and panniers cost £80 from the LBS, about half the cost of the trailer – but you can’t easily carry random bike frames, boxes, or the recycling on a pannier rack, and the rack is always on the bike (unless you have a lot of free time on your hands).

On the other hand, we already have good-quality drybags and other luggage that will fit right on the trailer.

FYI, Chain Reaction Cycles are selling both large and small Y-Frame trailers at a large discount. This is how I bought mine, and I can only recommend it (get it delivered to the office, put it together and tow the empty box home!)

What’s great about the Carry Freedom?

From the first moment I hitched it to my bike, I knew this was one purchase I wouldn’t have many second thoughts about:

  • it doesn’t feel like you’re pulling anything 99% of the time
  • you can still go up hills just as slowly as before (as demonstrated on the ‘Hilly Tuesday’ group ride last night!)
  • because you can’t ride in the gutter, you don’t. While I ignore dangerous or inconvenient cycle facilities as a matter of routine, the nice thing about the trailer is that it’s easy for drivers to understand why you’re not riding 5cm from the kerb.
  • when they do eventually overtake, everybody gives you a wide berth, perhaps rightly afraid of having the side of their car torn apart. No taxi is going to try skimming past in the bus lane with this on the back – it’s almost like having a recumbent.
  • you can still filter on occasion (route dependent) because it’s only a little wider than your handlebars. Mine is 70cm wide. Sure, you can’t skim down tiny gaps, but it’s surprising how little it holds me up in central Edinburgh.
  • it packs completely flat for easy storage in the smallest of bike cupboards. Not only that, it packs flat in literally ten seconds – that is GREAT.
  • You can still steer at full lock in both directions thanks to the flexible hitch. If the bike falls over, nothing gets damaged hitch-wise. I have tested this already!
  • you end up with a ~100g connector on your QR, but otherwise after taking 10 seconds to unhitch, your bike is just as fast/slow as it was before you bought a trailer.

What’s annoying about the Carry Freedom?

  • Although it comes with two reflectors, these hit the ground when the trailer is unhitched, and I don’t think they’ll last long.
  • There’s no obvious place to put the legally-required tail light, although a number of bodges suggest themselves.
  • Sometimes you want to fly between stationary vehicles like the urban transport ninja you are. Having a trailer definitely makes you more vehicular.
  • The trailer rattles like a demented castanet player on the cobbles. Who cares in town, but before going on tour you’d want to fix this.
  • I didn’t buy one earlier, it would have paid for itself ten times over by now!

So far I haven’t had anything remotely heavy on it, but the trailer is rated up to 90kg (or more precisely, safe braking on the tractor unit is the limiting factor here. Jack-knifed bikes holding up traffic in town would get the Evening News frothing!

I’ll post an update on how I’m getting on in due course, and pictures/video of course.  Update: see my growing collection of trailer adventures elsewhere on the site.

* for us. Assumptions available on request.