Enabling Adventure with the Burley Piccolo

  • 4 min read

Written by: Sarah Cook

With two kids that have an almost seven-year age difference, it is nearly impossible to find any activity they both enjoy.

I work from home full-time and had finally reached a point where both kids were in school. Life was good. When schools closed in March 2020, the idea of having both kids at home all the time was daunting.

How would I find time to work, workout, and keep them occupied? Like many families, our new “normal” was anything but.

We were so lucky to receive a Burley Piccolo in May 2020, and I do think it has kept our family sane for the duration of this lockdown. Burley’s mission is to “enable adventure”, and goodness knows that is exactly what it has done for us.

The Piccolo is one of Burley’s two models of “trailercycles”. Unlike a baby seat or a bike trailer, trailercycles are intended for older kids. They’re best for kids 4-10 years old, and have allowed us to teach Bennett, our 4-year-old bike safety while teaching him to ride with confidence.

Living in a town that is 75% hills, our Piccolo lets us take family bike rides without worrying about the elevation or if the kids will keep up. Bennett’s bike comes with 7 gears to prepare him for an eventual “big boy bike”. He’s still learning though, and I will often get to the top of a steep hill, completely out of breath, only to hear “good job Mom, you did that with me on a 7.” Punk.

Burley has been in business for over 40 years and they’re based out of Eugene Oregon. After getting their start creating bike gear for their own needs, the company transitioned to a worker-owned co-op in 1978.

Burley is hyper-dedicated to safety, and all products go through extensive testing. Burley only sources non-toxic materials, which makes me feel even better given the time Bennett spends on this bike.

Our oldest son Jack is at that age where he wants more freedom but is also wary of how to deal with it. Being together on bike rides is giving him the confidence to move toward making his own decisions. And I feel better knowing that we’re there to guide him when he’s faced with new challenges.

Jack is also the kind of kid who gives up easily when things become hard. These bike rides are forcing him out of his comfort zone and to keep pushing forward even when something would normally cause him to quit.

Recently we took a ride up a super steep and windy dead-end hill where he yelled out every excuse he could think of for us to turn around. Even though I was out of breath, I told him “we got this,” and “let’s try a little bit further to see what is around the next corner.” We got to the top and the smile on his face was worth all the burning in my legs (and lungs!).

Heading back down, the hill was so steep that I was actually scared for myself and Bennett. I calmed my breathing, slowed WAY down, and told Jack we were going to stop at the bottom.

When we finally stopped, I admitted to him that I had been freaked out the whole time. He was shocked and said he had no idea and couldn’t tell. We talked about when you’re in a situation where giving up is not an option (there was no other way home except for down that hill!), your only choice is to take a deep breath and just keep going.

Life lessons like that are not taught in video games or any of the electronics we have back at our house.

Bennett’s Piccolo was super simple to install, and we have taken it off, broken it down, and thrown it in my car so that we can ride at other locations. He finds it comfortable, super cool, and is so proud of “his bike”. I love the safety aspect of it, but he’ll tell you the coolest part is the reflectors on the pedals. We all have a thing.

All of Burley’s products come with a minimum three-year warranty and their customer service has been top-notch. When was the last time you called a company and the phone was answered by an actual human? It’s refreshing!

So far, 2020 and 2021 have been years of rapid change, confusion, and the great “unknown”. Having the freedom to ride together as a family has been a uniting force in our lives that gives us something consistent to look forward to each day.

Burley has tons of bike accessories to meet whatever family or cargo needs you might have. Check out their extensive line of products to see how they can help you enable your own adventure.

View Sarah's website at sustainablecooks.com