The Trailer

Last night, I picked up my new bob trailer, which is necessary because there will be an 800km stretch without a town. The dog who lives in the local bike shop and supervises servicing came out to greet me, but kept getting sad when I tried to take a photo. He sits with great elegance, front paws crossed, and oversees proceedings. But last night, as soon as I picked up my phone, he would sit up, his ears would go down and he would look at the Boss and plead for it to stop!

I took the trailer on a thorough test ride today. I can do church and back in about 64km but added a few twists and turns to bring it up to 72km. I took the normal bike path and back street route to Port Road, with all its footpath detours around roadworks and traffic barriers, and then meandered through Thebarton to find the warranty place to get my camera fixed. On smooth bitumen I could not resist looking back a few times to make sure the trailer was still there! On the rough stuff you can hear it bounce, but with a nice solid clunking. Nothing tinny in this trailer.

Coming home was the real test: single rut bike path with gravel and mud, tight and twisty levee top bike path, bike path chicanes— sometimes called "Motor Cycle Deterrent Devices" and, finally, the warren of bike paths that follow the Little Para up to Salisbury. I call this the "where in the hell am I— Oh there's the railway line and Salisbury Highway, but how did I get on this side of the creek?" bike path. The bridge underpasses are all full of mud and slush and the chicanes are only just passable.

The photos are taken on the bike track that runs from Salisbury Highway under Hwy 1 and past Globe Derby Park. It joins up with the Little Para track. It's the sort of desolate place you could do a dystopian urban Mad Max - Wolf Creek variation.

But back to the trailer: It tracks perfectly, and much closer than a trailer follows a car, although really tight turns (180 degrees) can foul the inside pannier. Generally, with any narrowing of the path, if the panniers fit, the trailer is fine.

It will be interesting to see how it handles under load. I did the "keep the body still and weave the wheels around the manhole cover thing" and the empty trailer was fine. And there was no skipping on fast tight turns where I leaned the bike over. But load will, like full panniers, be a bit different!

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