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RE: [rootsradicals] which xtracycle accessory for free radical?

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  • Tone
    Robert already posted a link to the instructional guide I wrote up for the Xtracycle compatible side car for dogs, which I made and call the dog chariot.
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 2, 2013
      Robert already posted a link to the instructional guide I wrote up for
      the Xtracycle compatible side car for dogs, which I made and call the dog
      chariot. Thanks Robert for also correcting the link within that old post
      of mine.

      I can say from experience the dog chariot works really well. When in a
      car I always put a full chest harness around my dog with it chained to
      the back seat’s head rest to make sure a sudden stop does not choke my
      pup from the forces of being thrown forward during an abrupt stop. The
      same goes for the dog chariot. I either use a chain with a clip to attach
      the harness to the dog chariot framing or I just clip a leash to the
      harness with the handle loop of the leash wrapped around the stoker bar I
      attached to my seat post. There is a close up photo of the leash and
      stoker bar set up, along with all the other photos and technical guides

      What is nice about the leash set up is I can stop and tell my dog,
      Pandora, “Off” and she will get off. Granted she does it reluctantly
      sometimes because she is either lazy or wants to be closer to me, but
      once she is off I can ride with her running alongside me. When I do that
      I always try to ride at the edge of the pavement beside the grass though.
      I found out early on the pavement is hard on her feet, especially when
      the asphalt is hot during the summer from the sun. Now Pandora is fully
      grown, so I do not think that is as much of a problem, but I would think
      soft grass still feels much nicer to any dog’s feet.
      It did not take too long, maybe two or three outings at about 15-30
      minutes each, for my dog to become accustomed to her optimal positioning
      when running along side my bike. Before that it was awkward with her
      pulling away a lot or being fearful of my big-assed bike while in motion.
      Make sure your leash is not too long when doing this though because your
      dog might be inclined to slow down and trail behind you. If your dog can
      do that, then he/she will also be able to switch to the other side of
      your bike, which means your dog might be exposed to automobile traffic!

      Admittedly, I have not ridden with my dog for a long while. The last time
      I did she was around forty pounds. The photos of her on the dog chariot
      were when she was still less than twenty. In any case, when she was
      around forty pounds I had to make sure I was securely straddling my bike
      before she got in. Otherwise she was likely to tip it over if she hopped
      on alone with enthusiasm. Keep in mind this happened despite me having a
      Kick Back dual-footed kickstand. I actually had to take Pandora to the
      vet this past Thursday for a mild ear infection, and they weighed her. To
      my surprise she is now seventy nine pounds! They grow up so fast. She is
      a Border-Collie/Lab mix, so we figured she would max out at about sixty
      pounds. I have handled unbalanced loads of that weight on one side of my
      bike before, so I was not too worried. Eighty pounds might be a whole
      other ball game though, but I am still confident I can manage.
      In any case, since the original inquiry stated the niece’s dog is twenty
      six pounds, I have no doubt that dog would be easily manageable even by a
      seventeen year old young lady. Heck, my bicycle lock and chain weigh
      about that much! In fact, I use my lock and chain to counter-balance
      loads on my bike, including my dog.

      I would imagine for a dog weighing only twenty six pounds a person could
      get away with not having to build something as elaborate as I did. When I
      was a messenger I used a trick where I would drop the free loader flaps
      through my wide loaders, then I would pull them out and up around the
      wide loader bars before clipping the free loader’s three straps back up
      to the buckling points at the deck. This effectively created a tightened
      hammock stretched below and between the wide loader and the free radical
      frame. It also provided an added fabric lip/bumper/wall of about four to
      six inches high extending up from the wide loaders. The height of the
      fabric wall depended on how deep I inserted my wide loader tubing into
      the free radical mount holes. This was before Xtracycle used spring-clips
      inside the tubing to retain the wide loaders in the mounting holes, so
      this trick also kept my wide loaders in place from gradually shaking out.
      I would not recommend using just this set up with a dog because their
      paws nails might rip into the free loader fabric. However, you could just
      drop a 0.25” to 0.5” small sheet of plywood or plastic down into that
      same space to support such a small dog. The mesh/flap at the ends of the
      free loader with its tightened draw string should be enough to keep the
      dog in place fairly well. I would just make sure the edges of the board
      are smoothed out well or have some kind of added soft/thick edging so
      your board does not cut/saw into the free loader fabric. Maybe just
      wrapping the board in a towel or small blanket would do the trick, and it
      could also be easily removed to be washed while providing a little bit of
      padding and grip for your dog.

      To the original inquiring poster (SoapPedaler), you said you have a side
      car. Is that a side car made specifically for use with an Xtracycle set
      up, or is it a side car for attachment on any bike. My question is merely
      for my own curiosity, but if you already have a side car, then I would
      think it would be ideal for carrying a dog, even a larger one than mine.
      Do you have photos of the side car?

      Ride safe,
    • Cara Lin Bridgman
      My dog is about a third of the weight of the dog in question. He is about 6 kg or 8 lbs. I bought a laundry basket to sit on the non-traffic-side
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 3, 2013
        My dog is about a third of the weight of the dog in question. He is
        about 6 kg or 8 lbs. I bought a laundry basket to sit on the
        non-traffic-side wide-loader. I use the free-loader clips to hook the
        laundry basket into place through the basket's handle holes. I figured
        the dog's weight would keep the basket from flipping out over bumps
        (since the attachment was only at the top), but went ahead and added
        another strap that went through one handle, around the basket and to the
        wide loader. This basket could easily contain a much larger dog. The
        only problem with my dog is that he's too small to get in by himself. I
        have to lift him in and out.

        My dog wears a harness. I fixed a strap with a clip on it to the top of
        the non-traffic-side v-rack. I clip this strap (aka seat belt) to the
        front of my dog's harness. I found that if I clip it to the back of his
        harness (i.e. the usual spot), he could jump out (but this was with a
        smaller basket). I usually clip his leash to the front of his harness,
        too, since it helps keep him from pulling (or swings him back around to
        me when he does pull).

        Somewhere on the internet, I have seen a picture of someone carrying a
        2-3-year-old nephew in a free-loader. The kid looked comfortable
        enough. When I tried it, the kid wasn't that familiar with me or the
        bike, so it was no-go.

        Anyway, I find that the weight of my dog is negligible, but his basket
        is on the opposite side of my bike's battery (I've got a stokemonkey).
        A 2-3-year-old kid probably wouldn't be too much of a problem, either.
        A lot of it has to do with experience. Heavier weights, like Tone's
        80-lb dog, would require some adjustment in handling.

        I have carried loads that were so heavy and so poorly balanced (this
        last being the problem), that I had trouble getting started and needed a
        push. After that, it was ok. Recently, I carried a large box full of
        books that was heavy enough to make the bike wheelie when parked. The
        box could have been 70-80 lbs. I could pull the bike down when I wanted
        to ride it - so no wheelies in transit. I did have to give the bike a
        serious lean to compensate for the weight. This lean for balance
        becomes automatic with practice.

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