Friday, June 22, 2018
Gear Testing: Riding with BOB
Today was a real test of the gear. I'd been reading about using the BOB trailer for hauling poochie, and I found many examples online, the best of which was from Bikepacker.com: Dog Packing. Here's photo from the article:
I know. Deadly cute, right? Anyway, that's a 45 lb. border collie, and the author takes that pup everywhere, including Euro-adventure rides. Patchy is pretty much ADHD, so I think we'll probably have to tie him in because he'd rather run than breathe, but I think we could make this work. The bucket is a padded, custom-made job by pro bike pack gear fabricators Porcelain Rocket in Canada, eh. I've go an inquiry to them about cost, but I think I could put one together with blue closed-cell foam and zip ties. I'm a-thinkin' on it.
So I took the trailer and checked out how I could lash gear to the sides. With our other trailer, a Cycletote of great utility, we'd always strap stuff in the back, and sometimes throw in a bag of water or a sixer of Adult Malt Beverage Recovery Drink.
Patchy in the Cycletote:
With the BOB, we'd have to leave virtually all of the floor space open to Patchy, but the sides have perfect lashing points. Voila!
Those bags didn't budge during the whole test ride, which included some pretty bouncy downhill action. I just have to make sure the load is balanced, and I'm golden. There are some big benefits if we can make the BOB work. First, it can save me over TEN lbs. No small thing. Second, and maybe just as important, the BOB follows directly behind the drive wheel so I can pick the smoothest track. Third, there is only one wheel--fewer chances to go flat and less drag on the road, especially rocky terrain.
On the ride, I put a little over 30 lbs. in the panniers, hooked up the trailer and hit the road, the same rough, sandy track in my previous post. I was MOST gratified at the greater traction and climbing ability of the trike, even with the added drag of the trailer. Certainly, I was in my lowest range, but I only had to pull the trike once rather than push two or three times on my previous run. This time around, I attached a long couple of slings to the front and tried pulling--brilliant! Quite easy and much better for my back. I think to keep the steering in line, I'll try a couple of bungee cords from the steering controls to the frame to hold everything straight. Patchy was running down bunnies like a maniac, so I stopped once to give him water before turning around. About 40 minutes of moderately hard effort gained me over 530 ft. on a this steep dirt and sandy track. That may not sound like a lot, but it makes me very excited. I could easily envision an 2,000 to 3,000 ft. climb at the walking pace I was averaging without killing myself, and that's what's going to be required on the GDMBR. This is a milestone day, if you ask me. Booyah. More tests and training to come.