NSL's and trailers

Kiwiavenger

im a little tea pot
Hey guys

Im thinking of getting a bike trailer so I can take my little boy out on rides when the.wife is working. The only problem I have is to get anywhere out of my village I have national speed limit roads with only 1 being a 40 mph road leading onto a nsl.

The road the 40 mph joins has a cycle lane about 1 mile after another village and gets quite busy, however it then becomes a dual use path which is nice and sheltered. I have no problems using the bike and trailer when I get to the bike lane, it's just the nsl roads im worried about! Do any of you use cycle trailers on nsl roads or would I be better off getting a cargo bike with a box on the front and sing that instead!

Sent from my LT15i using Tapatalk 2
 

Ian Cooper

Expat Yorkshireman
I wouldn't have any problem with using such roads with my daughter on a Trail-a-Bike. I would just make sure I was well into the lane for visibility and to discourage close overtakes. Remember, when you're using a so-called 'sheltered' bike path, that the 'sheltering' can make you less visible to other road users and therefore more vulnerable at intersections. About 90% of the published studies done over the past 30 years have shown segregated bicycle facilities to increase collision risk over and above the risk of collision when taking the road.
 
OP
Kiwiavenger

Kiwiavenger

im a little tea pot
The lane runs in the "hard shoulder" so slightly away from the road, the main problem I can see is the increased width of the trailer compared to a tag along. I may pick one up and use it for shopping runs so I can get a feel for it and how it works on the nsl's plus may give the wife more confidence in me and the trailer

Sent from my LT15i using Tapatalk 2
 

MrJamie

Oaf on a Bike
Are these all cornish country lanes? I might be a bit worried about the silly tourists in the summer no doubt racing around there if im honest, but in reality i suspect theyre quite safe.
 

Ian Cooper

Expat Yorkshireman
The lane runs in the "hard shoulder" so slightly away from the road...
By 'lane', I mean the lane in the roadway - not the shoulder. You can, of course, do as you want, but I advise against riding on the shoulder. It's often debris-strewn, it's not built to be used as a traffic lane, and it's too narrow, allowing cars to pass way too closely. In the traffic lane, you force traffic to slow and pass you at safe speeds and giving you plenty of space. In the shoulder, traffic ignores you and speeds past at whatever the speed limit is, often with only inches to spare.
 
If it's a tag-along you're talking about, I'd have no concerns. I rode on such a machine with my two younger children and I found it no problem.

As one of the less risk-averse parents I know (in terms of children and traffic) I used to ride along sinuous NSL A-Roads with one of the boys pedalling away behind me. Lots of close passes, the odd occasion when I thought I'd swaped paint with an artic, but no real heart-stoppers.

As numbnuts says above, a flag is prerequisite.

However... I have the impression you're thinking of the sort of two-wheeled trailer you plonk a toddler in. If so.... I'd think very seriously about it.

On twisty NSL roads some drivers have a hard enough time with moving objects above the bottom of their car windows. It's sad that they do, but it is so. Objects below the bottom of the windows may be missed altogether.

Some will disagree with me on this. They may be right.

Others may say that I'm letting cars bully me off the road. I'm not.

My little darlings were descending at speed in the Malvern Hills and Carmarthenshire when only just in double figures, dicing with heavy trucks. I think a little risk and a modicum of fright is good for the young soul.

However, I would not ride with a tot or a toddler in a trailer on the NSL roads around here (Three Counties) and they are not dangerous roads in the overall scheme of things.

Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear. If anyone wants to take issue with this advice, I am happy to smile and stand back.

My children are older now and choose their own risks. They all made it to teendom despite my approach to their personal safety, not because of it. But a tot trailer is further than I would go.
 
Top Bottom