Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tonka's Trailer (Cycletote)

AP here:
People always ask me about Tonka's Cycletote trailer. We have posted about it before we did not get into specifics about how he gets in and out. Obviously at 134lbs I cannot lift him and I was worried when I ordered it that we would have trouble getting him to use it. The good thing is he  listens so well that teaching him did not take long. We have created a short video to show you  (please pardon the appearance of my posterior in several of the scenes).
We shot this after a walk with me pushing him home for a mile and a half on a hot afternoon. In hindsight we should have done it another time when we were not so tired.

The back of the trailer frame is a little lower right under the handlebars so that is the entry point.

I have the chocks in place so that the wheels don't move forward. The wheel chocks are a yoga block I sliced in half and then cut out a space for the wheel to sit in.

These help stabilize the trailer when he is getting in and out. I also hold up on the handlebars so when he steps in the back does not rock back and flip the front up. Once he steps in I lift his back end up and into the trailer. I shift him as far forward as he can go and then have him sit.
I use a treat to get him to lie down and then I put the chocks in with him and away we go.

When we get to our destination I put the chocks back on the wheels and give him the command to get up. I put my foot in to weight the front and to keep it steady while I help lift him to a standing position. Once he is standing I take my foot out and put my arm under him to help him when he steps out. He takes a minute to get his bearings and his balance and then he steps up and out to the left. When his front feet are out I then lift his back legs and swing them up and out.
The last thing I do is sure his back feet are where they should be on the ground before I let him start walking.

To carry things I started out with one big bike bag attached to the lower bar but then found it cumbersome and in the way when going up and down curbs. I found some little bike bags (Goodie Too) made by a company called Detours.
The bags use a special mount called the minibug that adapts to almost any handlebar size. I have two down low on the frame that carry spare tubes, tools and air in case we get a flat and two up on the handlebars for poop bags, treats, keys, cell phone and any other misc. stuff.
The trailer is very well made and is really easy to push and maneuver. The customer service is excellent and every trailer is handmade. Is you are looking for a trailer for your pets or kids I would definitely give them a call. I talked to several different companies but once I spoke to Sue at cycletote and told her my dilemma she was the only one to respond back with  a positive, "I think we can help". She even pulled up this blog to get an idea of how big Tonka is - that is customer service. A few phone calls later and we were ordering the Tonka trailer. I sincerely hope that in the near future we have no need of the trailer for our daily walks. If that day never comes, I at least know I have a product that will last. The frame has a lifetime warranty, all the fabric is CORDURA® which is very tough stuff and the back wheels are full size with narrow bike tires making for a smooth ride with less rolling resistance. It can be converted to either stroller or bike mode and if/when he recovers and we don't need it for walks I will use it to pull him on the bike trails.

1 comment:

MySpecialDoggies said...

Sweet Tonka - you're so fortunate to have your people love you as much as they do.

Nadine & golden Neeli