Essay: On Chariots of Sidecar Fire
(2016) Dearest Thule/ Chariot,
I’m sure you know why we’re at this point. I’m imploring you to revisit a design of yours from ten years ago. With kid carriers being cumbersome and bulky, you went and thought outside the box to create something truly magical. Then you took it away leaving a black market in your wake of decision destruction.
I’m talking about your axed Thule/ Chariot Sidecarrier child seat. What’s cooler than a sidecar motorcycle? Not much. When you came out with a cycling version of it, you set yourself ever so softly into your own category. Perhaps I’d like to take my child on a bike ride and look over at him (instead of manipulating some mirror system like a sniper peering around a corner). Maybe I’d like to put one of my dogs in the sidecar. Imagine my delight to look over and see her ears flapping in the wind while we both go for a segment. I’d consider putting both dogs in, while adorning both with eyewear to further the country vibe. Or maybe I could put all three in and just never tell you. Isn’t it grand to consider how many different ways a sidecar can be utilized?
Well then, you went and discontinued it. Was it the width? Were pedestrain trail goers displeased at having to step onto the grass when a sidecar action came zipping through? Was it the compatibility? Did bike companies come out with some freakish design that meant only four bikes around the globe were compatible with your hitch? I’m sure there were a couple instances of sending the right side rider into the grass for a moment of excitement. That could be it too.
I can’t imagine children love staring at their parent’s back from a rear-mounted bike seat. The concept of a trailer doesn’t quiet the nerves when they are absurdly wide and are really the first thing to be hit in a rear end collision. I’m not sure I could sell an over the handlebar system. I'm not going to spend $2,000 and have to fly to Europe to by one. The side car should not be more expensive than the bike to which it is attached. But a sidecar seat? That’s just what I’m looking for. Except you did away with it.
So please. Please. Bring back the Sidecarrier so that kids can ride in style, dogs can lean mostly out of it to sniff the breeze, or I could fill it up with groceries and save some gas. Whatever the reason, I gotta have this back on the shelves. It’s too niche-like not to attach to an aero road frame and drop the hammer for a bit.
Feature photo is yanked from the world famous Bilenky Junkyard Cross. I do not own the rights to it.