Essay On My Dream Bicycle Trailer


Project ReCycle was started in 2010 with a purpose of making children smile by providing them a bicycle. Our first run at this venture lead us to create a program that would not only guarantee smiles but would also influence children behavior in a positive manner. Children are encouraged to earn a bike by improving in 3 areas; Respect, Attendance and Academic Growth. Our Dream Bike program (DBP) has benefitted over 2300 children since its inception.

Nominate a School

Supporting Study: Performance-Based Incentives

Researchers Levitt, List and Sadoff conducted a field experiment in 2010 that tested the effects of performance-based incentives on the educational achievements of students in a low performance school district of Chicago. They conducted a random field experiment using high school freshmen and a structured monthly incentive program based on multiple measures of performance such as attendance, discipline and letter grades. This program was either piece rate or lottery, where piece rate students who met monthly standards qualified for a $50 reward and lottery students had a 10 percent chance of winning of $500. If students met the standards each month, they received the money or chance at the money. The greatest effect was seen in students on the cusp of meeting the standards, and these students continued to outperform their peers well into their sophomore year. The researchers concluded that incentives that lead to sustained effort on a variety of performance measures can lead to lasting gains in behavior.


Our DBP is conducted annually primarily at the elementary school level. 2 schools are selected at the beginning of the school year to participate in the program. Schools are nominated in writing. We confirm the school meets our qualifications and set an initial visit with the Principal of such institution. Once the Principal agrees to participate, they are added to our list of candidates for the DBP. Our Board of Directors reviews the prospects and selects 2 schools to participate. Once the schools are selected, written communication is sent to the principals asking for confirmation of participation. Once confirmed is received, we set an initial meeting to establish a baseline for the 3 components we will measure. Once the baseline is established we set dates for visits in February and April to engage children to participate.


Every Elementary or high school participating in our Dream Bike program must be classified as a Title 1 according to the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act ) on the year they participate. Participating schools must be willing to help us measure results of our program. Participating schools must allow us to use the school premises to run the event on the designated date. Participating school agrees to storage the bikes the night before. Students wishing to earn a bike must in addition participate in a drawing or essay contest describing their dream bike. Drawings and Essays became the property of Project ReCycle at the end of the event. 9220 Kimmer Dr. Suite 135 Lone Tree, CO 80124

Data and Use

At Project ReCycle we use information that is gathered from participating schools and compiled to find trends that can support our case for funding. Information is not used on a case by case basis. The information is generalized and then shared with our Grantors as they may request it. Project ReCycle obtains grants from private groups and the public sector. Grantors require substantial, quantifiable data that can demonstrate the results of our dream bike program.

Program Conclusion

At the conclusion of the program period, Project ReCycle will reward the students that have attained progress in any of the 3 categories. A refurbished bicycle, a new helmet, water bottle, bike lock and bike safety education will be given to qualifying students during a celebration event conducted at the school. In addition, every child that earns a bike will be invited to a short 3 mile ride lead by our Team Project ReCycle members.

Follow up

It is our intent to stay connected with the school and the staff after the program period concludes. We rely on the school’s staff to continue encouraging students to improve in the 3 areas assessed. We also ask that they encourage children to ride their bikes to school as often as possible. We will conduct a 1 year visit with principal to determine the long term results of our program.

Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find bits and pieces of wisdom learned from cycling 17,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina together as a family. Hope it inspires you to live your dream!
My book about our journey, Changing Gears, is now released! Read a preview here

I’ve now got a whopping 200 miles on my new BOB, so I thought I’d write up a bit of a comparison between the two trailers. Keep in mind that I’ve only ridden 200 miles with the BOB, whereas I rode 5000 with the Extrawheel – so my feelings may change as I get more familiar with the BOB. I also used the old style ExtraWheel with mesh pouches for carrying gear. They have since redesigned the pouch system to mount panniers so some of what I say  here no longer applies. Most of it, however, is still valid.


The main difference I’ve seen between the two trailers so far is in maneuverability, and I have to say the ExtraWheel wins hands-down. For 5000 miles now I’ve been able to make tight turns and didn’t even notice the trailer was there. I could jockey the bike around in campsites easily. It was rare that I had to ask one of the kids to straighten out the trailer.

The BOB, on the other hand, can’t handle tight turns at all. I have to make wide, semi-truck turns now. If I try to turn too tight, the BOB immediately screams at me by forcing my bike over – making it very difficult to keep it upright. I’ve only ridden a few days with the BOB, but I’ve already had to ask for help more times than I did the whole time I rode with the ExtraWheel.

I suspect I’ll get used to making wide turns in time, but for now – it’s a pain in the rear! I will say that, if I was going to be doing a lot of single-track riding, I would choose the ExtraWheel in a heartbeat!


Both trailers track just fine. I don’t find either of them pulling me to one side or the other at all. Once I’m actually riding, I don’t even feel the trailer is there.


Theoretically, the two trailers have almost identical carrying capacities. However, it seems to me that you can, in a practical sense, cram more stuff into the BOB. The ExtraWheel, with two smaller bags, is harder to cram so full. The BOB, with its one large bag, is a bit easier to pack than the ExtraWheel. I say a bit because there isn’t really much of a difference in ease of packing. One slight advantage for the BOB is that you can pack things that need to remain upright. In the ExtraWheel you pack the bags while they are standing up, but put them in the trailer on their side – so it’s much harder to make sure things stay in one position.

Where the BOB comes out on top, however, is the way you can stack stuff on top of it.The ExtraWheel is limited to only what you can put in the pouches, whereas you can pack the BOB bag full and also strap additional gear on top.

Attachment System

The ExtraWheel comes out on top here. I love the attachment system for the ExtraWheel! It is so quick and easy to detach and reattach. When we pulled into a campground, I could snap the trailer off and run down to the grocery store with just my bike. When I was ready to put the trailer back on – it was on in a grand total of 15 seconds.

The BOB is much more cumbersome to attach. The bike has to be perfectly upright (which means someone has to help me) and it’s difficult to get the forks under my panniers and over the spindle just right. Once I get it in place, I have to attach the pins, which is yet another step. The whole process – as of now – is taking me a good couple of minutes. I might get more proficient at it as I do it more, but right now I miss the quick attachment system of the ExtraWheel.


Once again, the ExtraWheel wins. With the ExtraWheel, getting into hotel rooms was a breeze. I simply took out the dry bags, popped off the trailer, and I was good to go. I had three easy-to-handle pieces to take up to a hotel room.

The BOB, on the other hand, is much more cumbersome. It’s more difficult to take the trailer off the bike in the first place, and then it’s very difficult to carry up the stairs or to the elevator. The one big bag – even if it’s not too heavy to carry easily – is fairly difficult to manage, and the trailer is long and unwieldy. If I do take the bag out of the trailer to carry it, I have to completely repack it once it’s back in the trailer as everything shifts around.


I can’t judge from my personal use on this one, but looking at John’s BOB and my ExtraWheel, I think the BOB wins in this category. The BOB has a metal cage surrounding all the soft gear, which protects it somewhat from thorns, branches, or whatnot. My impression is that the BOB is pretty much bombproof – I’m not sure what could damage it.

The ExtraWheel is much more vulnerable. The pouches, while very useful and convenient, are susceptible to getting caught on branches. The nylon strings of the pouch are sewn into the backing, but can tear out quite easily with a small amount of force. The basic framework of the ExtraWheel is solid and I’m sure that part would hold up. I’m just not convinced the pouches (which are critical to its design) can handle the demands of long-time heavy usage. I’m hoping ExtraWheel comes up with something more durable for future models.

Additional Features

A small selling point for the BOB for most people is the idea that you can use the trailer as a kickstand. I say ‘for most people’ because it doesn’t work for me – my bike is too heavy. If you are only carrying your load in the trailer, you can jackknife the trailer a little bit and it’ll serve as a kickstand – a handy feature! If you have loaded panniers on the bike (like me), the bike is too heavy and the kickstand idea doesn’t work. I can use it in the campground at night once I’ve unloaded the bike, but that’s not all that useful – I would love to be able to use that during the day when I take breaks with no place to lean my bike.


So – what’s the bottom line? If I was doing a shorter tour, and didn’t need a lot of carrying capacity, I would take an ExtraWheel. I would also take an ExtraWheel on single track or anywhere I needed to make tight turns. If I was touring in a situation where I frequently needed to unpack my bike (to put it in cars, buses, hotel rooms, etc.) the ExtraWheel would be a better choice.

On our long journey, where we have gear for four people on two bikes (we don’t have much on our son’s bike), the BOB is a better choice. I’m confident the BOB will be able to handle the demands of a 20,000-mile journey, but don’t think the ExtraWheel would be up to the task.


edited February 2, 2009 to add: I’ve now hauled my BOB about 1500 miles and I still feel the same about it.  It’s a good solid trailer, but just doesn’t feel as good as the Extrawheel did.  I liken the ExtraWheel to a race car – it’s sporty and nimble and fast, but a bit delicate.  The BOB is built like a tank – and rides like one.

A huge advantage of the ExtraWheel that I didn’t mention above is that it uses the same size tire as the bike.  Now that I’ve got the BOB I have to carry an extra 700c tire and tube, but also need a spare 16″ set too.

The other consideration that I didn’t mention above is the distribution of weight.  One of the major selling points of any trailer is the idea that it gets the weight off your bike.  The ExtraWheel, with all the weight concentrated on its axle, puts virtually no weight on the bike itself.  The weight in the BOB is equally distributed between the rear bike wheel and the BOB wheel.

A commenter below mentioned the idea of packing gear flat – and that is an advantage for the BOB.  Since John loves his BOB, we were able to put anything that needed to be packed flat in John’s BOB and I could take stuff that didn’t matter.  If you are only carrying an ExtraWheel, that could be an issue.

In conclusion, I really miss my ExtraWheel!  I loved the idea that I could put it on and take it off by myself.  I could make tight turns and maneuver around campsites/hotel rooms easily.  If the folks over at ExtraWheel could figure out a way to make the netting system more durable, I would certainly go back.  I do have a few suggestions, so if you have any contacts at ExtraWheel please let me know so I can pass on my ideas!

I’ve also written a couple other reviews of my Extrawheel after using it for:
1000 Miles
3000 Miles

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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