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Attack Cabin Fever with Burley Bike Trailers

Before you know it spring will be here and you're not the only one who's been suffering with cabin fever.  The whole family's been holed up and the kid's will appreciate a bike ride as much as you will.  If they're too young to ride a bicycle all hope is not lost.

After all, bike trailers aren't too difficult to locate, either at your bike store, a box store, or online.  If you're in need of a certain level of guidance in figuring out which trailer’s the best for your family, the amount of useful help you'll get is greatest at the bike store and drops off precipitously from there.

The Burley Genesis

The Burley company has been producing bike trailers from the Eugene, Oregon area for over 30 years.  There's an interesting story to the genesis of Burley. 

Seems Alan Scholz envisioned a 'car-free' lifestyle far before it was trendy... and barely feasible.  Humble Alan was scraping out a livelihood selling bike bags at a bazaar on the week-ends outside of Eugene.  It must have irked him to be driving back and forth to the flea market, because he took some tools to his kid's swing-set and turned it into a primitive bike trailer.  From then on, the 'swing-set' trailer went to the bazaar loaded up with bike bags, and on a good day bounced home empty.

I don't know the time span between the grief that the Scholz children suffered at the hand of Father Alan and his toolkit and when the first commercial trailers appeared.  I'm pretty sure that I must have been pulling one of the first models in 1989 when I purchased a used trailer that was most likely a precursor to the Burley Honey Bee.

It was just a simple model without a suspension, without very many creature comforts, but with enough structural integrity to withstand some gnarly forest-service road adventures that my wife is still unaware of, after-all she loved our little children dearly.

Today's Generation of Burley Trailers

Some of the newer Burley trailers like the top of the line
Burley D‘lite now have an extensive 'feature-set'.  Yes, there are enough highly specialized pockets in the D'lite to make taking a peek at the user's guide worthwhile.  It wouldn't be acceptable to mistake the bottle holder pocket for a place to store your gloves!

Burley D'Lite

The D'Lite has a reclining seat, an elastomer suspension, a helmet pocket, quick detach wheels for easy storage, UV protected windows, a removable seat /5 point harness for quick cleanup, ...and the list goes on an on.  The same applies to the Burley Solo, which is merely a one passenger version of the D'lite.

A Unique Trailer Called the Travois

An interesting Burley trailer is the Travois. 

It looks like a beefed up golf handcart that attaches to the seat-post of your bike.  After it's finished dutifully following you along the bike lane to work, it easily detaches and can be rolled up to the office with all that work you told yourself you wouldn't take home with you.  In case my questionable journalistic skills haven't yet painted a vivid picture of the Travois in your hypoxic brain, here's a description by 'Chris'... “part cargo trailer, part grocery cart, part portable office.”

Burley Hauls Cargo Too

Burley cargo trailers are perfect for extended overnight bike camping trips.  The Nomad can carry up 100 lbs, but only weighs 15 lbs.  It's covered to protect items from the elements.  The Flatbed is even more no-nonsense, consisting of a flat platform with seven inch sides.  It's the kind of trailer that'll carry a hefty load with very little sophistication.

Burley Flatbed bike trailer

Don't Leave Fido Home

I can't leave the discussion of Burley trailers without mentioning the Tail Wagon.  In homes in which the canines rule the roost, this functions as a 'Kings Chariot'.

 The royal pet follows along behind the bike barking out periodic commands to the human servant who's straining at the pedals.  At times, the ride is interrupted so that the pooch can relieve himself beside the path and the human servant can 'glove-up' to pick up and carefully dispose of the 'doggy tootsie treat' into a trash receptacle. 

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip through the Burley showroom with a detour through the historical origins of one of the premiere companies in the bike trailer business.  They're a high quality line of bicycle equipment, from which our family received hours of enjoyment.

About the author: Ron Fritzke is a cycling product reviewer with a passion for ‘all things cycling’. A former 2:17 marathoner, he now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike…and looking for good cycling products.

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