Sunday, March 31, 2013

Island transportation

Scout riding in his dog trailer
For Christmas this past year, Nan and I gave our little family the gift of transportation for our upcoming adventure living on our boat in Isla Mujeres: folding bikes for us and a dog trailer for Scout. Since then, the weather has been so lousy that we haven't been able to try them out, but we were able to take advantage of a beautiful Saturday afternoon last weekend.

The bikes and trailer unfolded smoothly, and I had them set up and ready for a test ride in no time. Nan escorted Scout on his leash to the zipped-open back of the trailer, but he was having none of it. It didn't help that when I lifted his front paws into the trailer, the weight shift caused the attached bike to crash over on its side, which spooked Scout pretty badly. Then Nan came up with a brilliant idea: put him in through the front of the trailer instead. I unzipped the main front flap, lifted Scout and placed him inside the trailer. The angled front is what makes this possible. I held him in place while I attached his collar loop to the trailer's inside harness, then I pushed his head through the smaller opening, zipped shut the larger opening, and he was ready to go. Nan and I walked the bike and trailer for a few yards, and the motion didn't freak Scout out, so I got on the bike and started riding. It was a little awkward pulling the heavy load, but it worked just fine until I tried to go up a hill. The bikes are single-speed, and I stood to put pressure on the pedals, causing the trailer to jerk with each downward pedal. Scout freaked out, spinning around in the trailer. I got off the bike and walked it the rest of the way, and Scout calmed down.

With a little practice and some positive experiences, I think we can get Scout to ride comfortably in the trailer, which will make transportation on Isla Mujeres faster and give us a wider range than walking would. Who knows, maybe he'll even learn to enjoy it.


P. S. said...

Looks like a fun way to move around and take Scout. Might want to post a soothing photo on the back of the rack for Scout to look at while he is sitting. He's probably looking at your feet and getting wound up.

Fyi, I'm a big fan of folders, having my Bike Friday for 3 years, now. It has a brazed-on trailer attachment, well done. The BF is well engineered and it was my primary bike in China for over a year. If you decide to step up to a geared folder, might want to check it out.

John Lichty said...

Thanks for your comments, Paul! Isla Mujeres is relatively flat so we should be good with single-gear bikes unless it gets really windy.