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October 4, 2012

a review: the burley encore

Earlier this year I got excited about warm weather and the fact that our youngest daughter was getting close to that One Year tally mark that signifies, above all else, an appropriate age to be strapped in a seat with wheels that travels 15 miles per hour in a relatively bumpy fashion while wearing a helmet. What with having two of these young'ns, a bike trailer was the way to go.  After hours of deep consternation, pouring through internet reviews, images, and videos, I had narrowed my choices to those of the Burley variety.  Coincidentally, our neighbors had a new (2012) Burley Encore AND a two-year old they were willing to lend me.  So with their kid and one of mine all strapped up, we set off on a ride around the block. Ellie enjoyed it. That's all I needed to know. I decided we would go with the same model, as reviews of the more expensive deluxe model (the D'Lite) were mixed and I'd rather keep the difference.

Well, this thing has been a treat. It's light weight, has a good amount of storage capacity, and has made my life better. The handlebar that folds forward to double as a roll bar offers me some peace of mind and adds to the perception of it's safety.  The large 20" wheels appear to offer a fairly stable, cushy ride for the girls.  Granted, our two kids are young (14 months and 29 months) and small, and they don't seem to mind being in such close quarters, but they are pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder.  My one complaint is really that, at such a young age and short stature, my daughters' helmets get pushed forward by the back of the seat. This accounts for the most common reason for fussiness between them.

Our ride to the nearest park is maybe 5 minutes by bike path. It also enables us to get to another cool park about 1.5 miles away without having to drive. Lately, as summer temperatures have cooled a bit, I've set out on a couple longer rides to the grocery store.  That trip turns out to be about 4.5 miles, round trip, exclusively on a bike path.  I'd say I fit about 3 canvas bags full of groceries in the rear storage area of the trailer.  There is a lot more vertical space back there, it just get's tricky trying to stack groceries.

In the past two weeks my two-year-old has fallen asleep in the trailer twice. I think that is about the best compliment a trailer could receive.  Big ups to Burley.

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