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Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you kayak with your bike ... and bike with your kayak

By

June 19, 2014

The Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you tow your kayak behind your bike, then mount your bike on...

The Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you tow your kayak behind your bike, then mount your bike on your kayak

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Kayaking down rivers is definitely a fun experience, with new scenery constantly presenting itself at every turn. It does offer one logistical challenge, though – you have to leave one vehicle at your take-out point before you start, then take another vehicle (with your kayak on it) upriver to the put-in. That, or you have to arrange for someone to pick you up. Either way, it's not a one-person activity. Ohio-based inventor Jerry Allen, however, has created a possible solution. His Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you tow your kayak behind your bicycle to get to the put-in, then bring your bike along for the trip to the take-out.

Allen first came up with the idea when his schedule only allowed for him to paddle at a time of day when most of his friends and family were at work. With no one to help with the shuttling, he ended up simply not kayaking very often.

The trailer frame is constructed of 6061 aluminum and stainless steel, and is equipped with a couple of foam flotation blocks ... just in case. For getting the boat to the put-in, it's towed behind the user's bike just like other bicycle kayak trailers (yes, there are others).

Once it's time to launch, the trailer is reconfigured so that it can be mounted on the rear deck of the kayak. Built-in mounting points allow the bike to then be attached to the trailer, in much the same way that it would sit on a car's rooftop carrier. Upon reaching the take-out, the bike is taken off, the trailer is put back together in "towing" mode, and the user then pedals home with the kayak once again behind them.

Inventor Jerry Allen with his creation

The Solo Shuttle Trailer is designed to grab onto the the cockpit combing of wide-beamed recreational kayaks, so sea kayakers and paddlers of sit-on-tops won't be able to use it. Looking at it, one also has to wonder how that added weight on the back of the boat will affect its stability and handling.

"My bike and trailer's combined weigh is about 40 lb [18 kg]," Allen told us. "I would like to ask people that routinely load extra gear on their kayaks for extended trips how they might handle the added weight. I can say for myself the handling has not changed. I can still track a straight line and even stand in my kayak if I want."

He is currently raising production funds for his trailer, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$600 will get you one, when and if they're ready to roll. One of the prototypes can be seen in use in the pitch video below.

... and if this project "floats your boat," you might also want to check out the Shuttle-Bike. It's a kit that's carried in a backpack while cycling, that lets users mount their bike on pontoons when they reach the water.

Sources: Solo Shuttle Trailer, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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3 Comments

ever heard of a packraft? much simpler solution.

wish the creator well with his project .

SamC
19th June, 2014 @ 01:37 pm PDT

Its an interesting idea. Not sure if I would get one, I think I would simply drop off my bike at one end and then launch. Having my bike sitting on my kayak like that would kinda worry me.

Bup per SamC's comment, love the Alpaca Rafts. Would really like to get one for backpacking trips.

Rann Xeroxx
20th June, 2014 @ 11:48 am PDT

Salt water paddling would require stainless/titanium everything on your bike.

sk8dad
26th June, 2014 @ 02:25 pm PDT
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