Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome to Haulin' Colin Trailers

Haulin’ Colin is the world’s best-loved bike trailer.

Hand-made in Seattle, Washington, it is beautiful, durable, and will safely carry as much weight as you can pull with your bicycle.

It’s better than a car for stuff like mattresses, Christmas trees, extra bikes, and bulky boxes of all sizes.

The Haulin’ Colin trailer sets you free and makes errands to the grocery store, lumberyard, and post office a joy.

The bed of the trailer is 5 feet long by 2 feet wide—large enough to carry all manner of items, slim enough to navigate tight spaces and even bike paths.

Unloaded, the Haulin’ Colin weighs about 35 pounds. Because of its superior design, perfected over years of trial and error, you hardly notice the weight when it’s empty. When loaded, it remains stable and predictable even at higher speeds.

The Haulin’ Colin trailer is built to last a lifetime. The trailer arm is burly and bracketed for maximum strength. And welded steel construction throughout means that any part can easily be repaired in the unlikely event of damage.

Sustainability? Hell yes.

When you ride with the Haulin’ Colin trailer, heads turn. People ask you where you got it and how they can get one, too. Everyone instinctively knows: Haulin’ Colin trailers can save the world. Or, at least, help make it a lovelier, healthier, more beautiful place.

You can purchase a Haulin’ Colin trailer by contacting Dave Shapiro, at Haulin Colin’ Trailer Sales,

Retail price is $750.00 NOW ON SALE FOR $550.00!, which includes shipping. Free delivery by bike in the Seattle, WA area. Quantity discounts available and reduced rates for community organizations.

Questions? Comments? Please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Dave Shapiro
Haulin’ Colin Trailer Sales


Today was the first day I first made manifest the “company car” I had in mind when I bought the Hunqapiller. This morning, after coffee, I hooked up the Haulin’ Colin to the hitch I finally installed last night and carried a full load of stuff to Goodwill: three bags of old clothes, a couple boxes of knick-knacks and stuffed animals, an old lawn chair, and a bunch of picture frames. I’m sure it would have been all bittersweet had I had to have driven, what with donating these fondly-remembered aspects of my daughter’s younger childhood, but, as it was, pulling the load along via human power, I had nothing but a good time.

The bike performed just as I imagined it would under heavy weight; built for comfort rather than speed, it can poke along in my stump-pulling low gear at just over walking rate up any hill, secure on my 2.25”-wide tires that I’ll remain upright even moving so slowly.

After dropping off the stuff, I pedaled around town a bit, stopping for a couple of Guinesses and some football at my favorite Sunday morning watering hole. I locked up next to a brand-new Mercedes Benz, and although, of course, I wouldn’t trade the opportunity for any bike ride for any automobile drive, I had to admit that our two rigs looked like kindred spirits in terms of quality, durability, and style.

I thus remain confident that there will come a day when the market for Haulin’ Colin trailers (perhaps combined with Rivendell bicycles) will be as robust as the current market for fancy automobiles. It will take, no doubt, a major change in available resources to get people’s tastes to change, but I believe it will happen quite quickly when it does.

The time will arrive when many more people will consider a day like mine today a really good time; trailers may not sell hotcakes then, but like luxury cars would be just fine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Second Sale

It turns out it’s not just muscular athletic guys who run bicycle frame companies who can use a Haulin’ Colin trailer; it turns out that small female musicians who are scientists in their day jobs also can do amazing things with one.

At least that’s what I learned today in my second sale, this one to Dayna Loeffler, vocalist and pedal steel guitar player for the dreamy psychedelic rock band, Half Light, (among other things) who plans to use the trailer to haul around her musical gear to gigs and rehearsals, (among other things.)

I had a great time doing trailer business with her today, in no small part because it hardly felt like business; what a great “job” where you get to ride your bike someplace with a trailer attached, then, after sharing with someone the wonder that is the Haulin’ Colin, riding home without the trailer and a big fat check in your pocket instead!

Dayna was totally game for testing whether she was really up for becoming a fully human-powered band roadie. We loaded her amp, bass guitar, pedal steel guitar case (sans actual instrument), and folding stool into the trailer and took off for her nearby rehearsal space in order to see whether it was actually feasible to do so. Even with (I’d estimate) about a hundred pounds of gear and a decent uphill to navigate, musician and trailer made it no problem.

Granted, the weather was cooperating and we wondered what it would be like in the inevitable drenching rains of winter, but so far, so good. Braking will probably be more of a challenge than climbing, but for those of us who appreciate the slow and steady pace, I don’t imagine it will be too much of a problem.

I can’t believe I’ve now sold two trailers in just three days; at this rate, they’ll all be gone before the end of September; better get yours today, while there’s still time!

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Sale

I am now officially a capitalist running-dog small business owner—but not yet Republican—as I celebrate my very first sale as exclusive representative for production models of the Haulin’ Colin trailer which, I continue to allege, will save the world, or at least some small part of some small part of it.

I am deeply honored that my first customer is in the bike business himself, Geoff Casey, founder of Seattle’s Baron Bicycles, makers of some of the finest production (and custom) frames in the business. Geoff broke in his trailer a few weeks ago with a 40-mile car-free carry of a trio of his frames to the Sound-to-Mountains Bike Fest, an impressive feat that he chronicles here.

I was all but moved to tears in conversation with him to hear how well he gets the gospel of the trailer; he was talking about how having the ability to carry so much stuff so easily—especially, in his case, complete bikes—completely changes a person’s mindset; no longer do you think that you’ve got to take the car just because you’ve got a load to haul; and what’s best of all, is that you get another free bike ride instead of being cooped up in a cage.

Selling stuff is a little strange for me; I’m used to trading my services rather than goods for money. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m getting away with something to be paid just for providing this thing to someone. On the other hand, I have no qualms about the intrinsic (not to mention instrumental) value of the Haulin’ Colin trailer; it would still be a bargain at twice the price.

So now, I’ve got eighteen more from the initial run; if I keep up the same pace I’m on, given that it’s only been 10 days since I picked up the first finished ones, they should be all gone in six months.

Better order now!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Thanks to the generous assistance two .83 cronies (but lest you imagine they are booze-sodden dirtbags, keep in mind that one is a Ph.D. candidate in neurobiology and the other an expert in the manly art of software engineering), I managed to pull off the first of several scheduled trailer “migrations,” whereby we use human power to transport the rigs from Haulin’ Colin’s shop to my storage unit, and in at least one case, a Distributed Storage location in Seattle’s tony Sand Point neighborhood.

It worked great; each rider hauled a trailer with another trailer stacked on top. As Colin put it, “As long as you’re pulling a trailer, you may as well load it,” and how right he was: all three performed beautifully, cradling second unit above, zip-tied for security and padded to protect the brand-new shiny powdercoat.

It was a beautiful sight as the three of us rode through SODO, Chinatown, and the Central District bringing our precious cargo home. We had a friggin’ convoy, good buddy, and cars—and even trucks and busses—gave us all due respect when we took a lane at necessary moments.

As usual, people stopped at stared at the things of beauty and wanted to know what they were and where they could get one for themselves. I still have to figure out how to translate this interest into trailer sales but it makes me confident that there’s a market out there and that my first run of rigs will eventually find their places in people’s lives sooner rather than later.

One important learning did emerge from the event: the trailer hitch’s hitch-pin should always stay with the trailer itself; I left home with my own trailer’s pin in my hitch; I accidentally left it, then, at the storage unit and so, when it came time to hook my home unit up later in the evening, it wasn’t there.

Good thing the storage unit is only three blocks away.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Distributed Storage

Finding a place to keep the first run of the twenty Haulin’ Colin bike trailers I’ve commissioned has proven to be a challenge, so I’ve hit upon an idea that I believe may be an example of what one of my intellectual heroes, the poet, philosopher, and farmer, Wendell Berry calls a “good solution,” a criterion of which is that such a solution solves more than one problem at a time.

Here’s what I have in mind:

I’d like to offer a select group of interested parties the opportunity to have free use of one of the first run of trailers in exchange for safe and secure storage of it.

The deal would be that these folks would agree to be responsible for keeping a trailer at some place out of the weather and away from thieving hands; for this, each party would have permission to use it at will, just so long as they made a reasonable attempt to keep it from being thrashed—and with the understanding if the trailer was wrecked or stolen, then they’d have purchased it (albeit at the special screaming better-than-friend-pricing price of $575.00.)

The other part of the arrangement, of course, is that each person housing a trailer would agree to give it up at a moment’s notice should the trailer be sold (although, I would, of course, give them first dibs should they fall in love with it and want to buy it.)

The reason I say that this seems like what Berry calls a “good solution” is that, among other things, it solves two problems simultaneously: one, the difficulty of trailer storage and two, the challenge of getting trailers distributed as widely as possible.

I realize that danger here of someone not buying a trailer because they could use one for free this way, but I’m willing to take that chance.

If you’re interested in getting in on this, email me:

Haulin’ Colin trailers save the world.

Monday, July 19, 2010


This is why every household needs a Haulin’ Colin trailer:

Last night, the whole fam-damnily—me, Jen, and the kid—plus Mimi’s friend, along with our housemate, Beth, all rode bikes to the outdoor movie in Cal Anderson park; thanks to the trailer, we did so in style, arriving with a full cooler of soda, beer, and already-mixed margueritas, a stack of blankets for spreading out upon, a couple of lawn chairs for those who like to sit up, and a big box of picnic food, plates, glasses, and utensils, surrounded by all manner of coats, sweaters, and sundry wraps for when it got chilly after sunset; all this was easily carried and I could have even piled on more; had we not had such cargo capacity we’d have had to divvy up the load in much less a practical manner; we couldn’t have brought the cooler, and in the end, we might even have had to (shudder) drive.

As it was, we all got a pleasant little bike ride on a lovely summer night and were able to enjoy—without worrying about the legal status of our sobriety on the ride home—the full experience of watching the hilarious “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” a movie I’d somehow mostly overlooked in my years of film-watching; I had no idea it was so witty, racy, and filled with delights for just about everyone, no matter what your orientation towards cinematic beauty; in addition to the obvious charms of watching Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, you also had to love the dance bit featuring Speedo-clad male swimmers and contortionists as well as the unabashed naughtiness of the signature number “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” especially when Ms. Russell performs it her way in the French courtroom.

After the film, we just piled all our junk back on the trailer and rode home, merrily humming the evening’s tunes; diamonds may be a girl’s best friend; me, I’ll take a trailer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sugarplum Elves

The Haulin’ Colin is now, in addition to being the world’s best-loved bicycle trailer, also the world’s proudest.

Having had the opportunity to “do sound” for Seattle’s Sugarplum Elves in this year’s Fremont Solstice Parade, it blushes brighter than its own original fire-engine red at having been honored with such an important task.

Tiddlefitz even said that the Elves wouldn’t have been possible without it.

Nice thought, and one certainly to be emphasized in the marketing plan, but it weren’t the trailers, nice as they are.

What it was was commitment to a project: showing up and doing it, whatever that was.

Including, therefore, the chicken.

But mainly Seattle’s Sugarplum Elves, who never stopped, not once, really, the entire length of the parade route. I’ll bet I heard “Singing in the Rain” thirty-seven times.

And yet every single time, they did the routine, sold it to the crowd, made authentic connections, even art.

The Haulin’ Colin carried the sound system strapped to some upside-down plastic buckets; it was loud enough, but for next year, I’d like to see how loud and clear you could install; way more weight could easily have been carried.

It turns out the Fremont Solstice Parade is a different kind of fun when you do it than when you watch it. For one thing, you’re trapped, an experience there’s probably all too little of these days.

But more to the point, you’re on the inside looking out, and from the trailer’s perspective, it was a blooming of Elves all around—pretty spectacular on numerous occasions and always meriting great applause.

I enjoyed the role of teamster and saw great promise in the prospect of expanding bike trailer support for events like this.

Mainly, though, it were the trailers themselves done most proud. What wouldn’t absolutely burst with it for an opportunity like this: the sounds on your back, lifting umbrellas aloft, in the middle of Sugarplum Elves doing antics and the crowd going wild?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Six Bags Full

As I was rolling into the parking lot at Lowe’s, some guy asked me how many 2x4’s I could carry on my Haulin’ Colin bike trailer. I answered, “As many as I can haul,” which, I guess, might be construed as circular reasoning, but what I meant was: there’s no limit, really, to how much you can fit in the trailer, just as long as you can still pedal forward with your load in tow.

In any case, I think I pretty much reached my upper boundary with the six bags of compost I brought home. I reckon that was about 200lbs of payload, not really a problem on flat ground, but mighty tough sledding going up Martin Luther King Boulevard from the hardware/lawn and garden store.

Still, I made it, and more to the point, the trailer performed admirably, rolling smoothly and with all the stability of a centipede. Even though I was huffing and puffing up the street, my two-wheeled friend behind me carried on without complaint. And when I got to enjoy the little downhill right before pulling into my back alley, I was able to completely let go and fly, confident that the cart would remain safely behind the horse where it belonged.

The clerks at Lowe’s got a kick out of watching me pedal away; “Good luck on your ride,” said one of them, laughing. And the day-laborer dudes hanging out looking for work by the store driveway’s entrance were all jealous that they didn’t have a rig like mine—at least that’s how I interpreted all their pointing and grinning.

The trailer doubled as a wheelbarrow when I got home; I was able to roll it up right next to our garden and pour the bags into our raised beds without having to lug them through the yard.

Try doing that with your pickup truck!

Once again, the Haulin’ Colin trailer saves not just the world, but your back, as well!

Trailer Love

I bought a new printer from Fry’s online about two weeks ago; it turned out to be kind of a piece of shit, so I wanted to exchange it for something more like the one we had that we liked until it gave up the ghost after around two years, so I decided to ride my bike down to Renton—13 miles away—and hit up the electronics superstore in person.

Enter the Haulin Colin’ trailer to make that not only possible, but pretty enjoyable, too. Instead of fighting traffic on the 405 Freeway, I enjoyed a fairly leisurely ride along Lake Washington with the old printer safely ensconced on the trailer bed on the way down and the new one strapped securely on the way back. The only headaches, really, were trying to find all the manuals, cables, and software disks that went in the old box and then having to beg and plead a bit with the manager at Fry’s to let me do an exchange in person even though I had purchased the unit on the internet.

Oh, and there was that lady who drove past me on the way home and rolled down her window to tell me that I should “use more caution” when I rode my bike, I think because I didn’t run into the back of a parked car, but rather, swerved around it and maybe a foot or two into her lane as she approached to pass me. Other than that, though, it was trailer love the whole way there and back and only made me more confident that Haulin’ Colin trailers will save the world, or at least a small part of it when I get the first run of 20 back from the powdercoater in about a month and start selling them like hotcakes all over town.

The trailer makes me happy every time I use it; soon others will be able to share the love, too.