My new friend Ted

2023-07-27 - Louis-Philippe Véronneau

About 6 months ago, I decided to purchase a bike trailer. I don't drive and although I also have a shopping caddy, it often can't handle a week's groceries.

The trailer, attached to my bike, hauling two storage crates

Since the goal for the trailer was to haul encumbering and heavy loads, I decided to splurge and got a Surly Ted. The 32" x 24" flat bed is very versatile and the trailer is rated for up to 300 lbs (~135 kg).

At around 30 lbs (~13.5 kg), the trailer itself is light enough for me to climb up the stairs to my apartment with it.

Having seldom driven a bike trailer before, I was at first worried about its handling and if it would jerk me around (as some children's chariots tend to). I'm happy to report the two pronged hitch Surly designed works very well and lets you do 180° turns effortlessly.

The trailer on my balcony, ready to be hoisted

So far, I've used the trailer to go grocery shopping, buy bulk food and haul dirt and mulch. To make things easier, I've purchased two 45L storing crates from Home Depot and added two planks of wood on each side of the trailer to stabilise things when I strap the crates down to the bed.

Since my partner and I are subscribed to an organic farmer's box during the summer and get baskets from Lufa during the winter, picking up our groceries at the pick-up point is as easy as dumping our order in the storing crates and strapping them back to the trailer.

The pulleys on the roof of my balcony

Although my housing cooperative has a (small) indoor bicycle parking space, my partner uses our spot during the summer, which means I have to store the trailer on my balcony. To make things more manageable and free up some space, I set up a system of pulleys to hoist the trailer up the air when it's not in use.

I did go through a few iterations, but I'm pretty happy with the current 8 pulleys block and tackle mechanism I rigged.

The trailer hoisted to the roof of the balcony

All and all, this trailer wasn't cheap, but I regret nothing. Knowing Surley's reputation, it will last me many years and not having to drive a car to get around always ends up being the cheaper solution.