Row, Row, Row Your…Bike?

Our bikes are well known for their quality ride, folding capabilities, but most of all their versatility. However, every once in a while a customer comes to us because they need their bike to fill a specific purpose.

Brian D. poses with his New World Tourist connected to his boat trailer

Brian D. is one of those types of customers. Brian called us last fall after his bike was tragically stolen while he was out rowing on his boat:

“For the last fifteen years, I have been towing my rowing shell with my REI touring bike 71/2 miles to Suisun Marsh. I call this my bike/row/bike. Last fall I had the unfortunate experience of having my bike stolen while I was rowing. I had it locked to a fence. The bike thief dismembered the chainlink fence and cut the chainlink to remove my bike.”

Having your bike stolen is disheartening enough that anyone who’s had their bike stolen can tell you it is almost enough to want to give up on cycling all together. Brian was down, but not out. He had previous experience with Bike Friday as a Tandem Two’s’day owner, which he would commonly ride with his wife. However, it was his daughter who convinced him to get back in the saddle and try something different:

“Well, I was going to retire from bike/row/bike, but my daughter talked me into getting a folding bike to use for the towing. That way i could place the folded bike in the rowing shell at the waterfront.”

From there it came down to working with a Bike Friday Design Consultant to figure out how we could build a bike that best served Brian’s needs. Working with Steve, Brian configured a New World Tourist with a few key features that made it the ultimate towing bike:

“The staff at Bike Friday reviewed what I needed and we decided the New World Tourist would be the perfect tow bike. Its low center of gravity, disc brakes, steel frame, and gearing have lived up to my expectations.”

Another happy customer! We’re so glad to be able to help people when they come to us with unique situations such as this one. Here’s a short clip of Brian towing his boat with his new bike:


Sharing is caring!

7 thoughts on “Row, Row, Row Your…Bike?

  1. michael bush

    I’m a fan of the bikes, but you may wish to rethink the video– not confidence inspiring…..
    Start of slow, wander a bit, get moving uncertainly, and… scene

  2. Dan Scott

    As a recovering rower and a Bike Friday owner, I love this. Seeing people using their bikes as real life transportation is great. BTW, I do still kayak, and enjoy my Pocket Companion.

  3. Connie McCabe

    Hooray!! I, too, have an Alden 16 shell and a Bike Friday! I would love to have the details of the towing arrangement so that I don’t need to cartop my shell. I don’t necessarily need to put my bike in the shell, I just need the setup with which to tow it. Please send me all the details. My next question is how I can tow my 11ft SUP by bike. Please advise!!

  4. Brian Dineen

    Yes, i agree the video was probably not the best. The boat when towing does track well though. I haven’t notice any side to side play. My wife has followed me on her bike, and didn’t notice any play.
    The trailer i use for the boat is made by Paddleboy, of “Seattle Sports”. 1-800-632-6163. The trailer attaches to a small
    bracket that is placed just inside the quick release lever on the rear hub. There is also a safety strap that is secured to the trailer and the bike. This is my second trailer from Paddleboy. The original trailer lasted about 13 years. The frame of the trailer fatigued on the neck or tongue of the trailer frame and needed to be replaced.

  5. Larry

    How is your new BF secured while you are out rowing? Do you take it with you while rowing? This would be an interesting video to see how you do this. Or, are you better able to secure the new BF on land while rowing? I too transport my BF tandem on a larger boat and its launch over the last decade but have found this awkward and am now going to try two pakiTs which are on order.

  6. Brian Dineen

    I fold my bike friday, place it in a bike friday carry bag, and set it in the bow section of my rowing shell. It is a little snug in the front of the shell. I have a secured strap attached to the shell, that i run through the strap handles of the carry bag. It is very secure in the shell. Since rowing shells are a fine balance, i set the bike in vertically, seated on the backrack of the bike. This gives me a little more space and keeps the boat in balance.

  7. Brian Dineen

    Another option is to fold the bike and remove the front tire and no rear rack. Place the bike in a bike friday bag.
    This makes the bike a smaller package for the boat. I would double strap the bike into the boat (with the straps secured to the boat).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.