Last week I became the lucky recipient of a Burley Travoy bike trailer, which arrived neatly packed into the tote bag that becomes the basic cargo bag once attached to the unfolded trailer. As you can see the whole thing packs down very conveniently, which is great for someone like me who lives in a small space, the spare bits of which are already taken up by five bikes.
Once unfolded with a couple of easy twists of the wrist and the wheels clicked into place, the trailer was larger than I’d anticipated from the images. Not inconveniently huge, but a decent sort of a size. I was particularly pleased to see this was true of the included tote – I’d had concerns that it might not be large enough for the weekly trip to the supermarket & vege market, but as we’ll see that wasn’t an issue at all. This is good, because the green market bag looks to be about the same size so I’ve been dropping some fairly strong hints about what I’d like for Christmas.
After being stuck at home on all those lovely riding days last week (grr) I finally got the chance on Sunday to test it out. I’d wanted to use it with my commuter bike but owing to the low height of the saddle I couldn’t hitch it on, so it went on my road bike. I was a bit tentative about taking it out for the first time with the road bike. I don’t ride that very often and I wasn’t sure I could handle two unfamiliar elements, but it turned out to be a breeze. (Also I’d forgotten how much fun it is to go FAST)!
After a minute or two I pretty much forgot the trailer was attached to the bike. It was empty at that stage so there wasn’t any significant weight to feel, and it wasn’t until I hit the rougher section of road along Evans Bay Parade that I could hear any road noise from it.
Once at the supermarket I parked my bike at the rack, unhitched the trailer by flicking the lever with my thumb and lifting the arm off the coupling (so easy!), flicked the handle and folded the arm down, and set off into the store towing the trailer behind me. It was great! I have a nana trolley I usually use for grocery trips, and the Travoy was SO much better! It handled well, was easy to pull and steer, stood up by itself with every appearance of stability, and was generally a pleasure to use.
Once out of the supermarket I clicked the trailer back on to the bike and headed across the road to the Waitangi vege market. I parked the bike again, repeated the process, and went easily around the market stocking up for the week.
On the way home I could definitely feel the weight behind me, but it was very smooth and less like towing a trailer on a car than I’d expected. There was a small (small!) amount of pull when first accelerating, but starting from a stop was no problem at all and there were no issues with braking.
The tote bag handled a week’s worth of groceries for two people (although to be fair we only buy a few odds and ends from the supermarket) and was a pleasure to use. I did have a small issue with the empty bag rubbing against the wheels on the way in, but a quick pull of the outside drawstring fixed that, and there were no problems once it was full. At one point I leaned the bike against a tree and it fell over, but interestingly the trailer didn’t go sideways with it. It sort of pivoted at the hitch and lowered itself with the back facing down, and it stayed completely off the ground (and the bike) just as you would want it to. I didn’t think to take a photo, unfortunately.
All in all, it was a great first trip out. I’m very pleased with it so far, and I’m looking forward to using it again.