G'day all, my name is Eddie and as the heading states, I am an Australian, newb to mushing, and seeking advise (lots of advise) in regard to Scooterjoring. Also thought, where better to ask, than somewhere that has a huge history in dog mushing, and here I am.
Ok, so to first fill you all in with the scenario. My 23 year old daughter "J" has always loved Husky dogs and for many years, been an active member of AMRAA inc (Australian Malamute Rehoming Aid inc), and has in recent months, purchased her own Husky (a gorgeous little girl "Arie", who is now 7 months old). A few weeks back, J had paid for a one on one session during a group training day, with an Australian team musher whom operates a tour and training business here in the Australian snow fields and forests.
Well, as it turned out, the group day was canceled due to heavy rain and snow, however because we were so close to the meeting point, we still managed to meet and get some training done (with a diy scooter made from an old bike).
Arie took to the harness and pulling a scooter, like a duck takes to water, and of course a real spike in interest to mushing was formed.
Now I should point out, I am disabled with chronic pain, was really only there to support J and to help if I could, plus I have always wanted to witness and possibly try a mushing tour. First thing I noticed was the diy scooter, and realized I could build one of those (reasonable workshop at home), and then I focused on the harnesses and scooter lines, thinking I could make those as well (have a small home/hobby sewing machine). I should also point out, I tend to over think design things, and it is here that the questions begin.
Harnesses and scooter lines/shock lines: Well to me, these look pretty basic, as long as you get the correct fit. Though I have noticed a few different variations. Being that most of J's mushing will be "Urban"; I wounder which design to go for and which one will give Arie the most support (Note: Arie's comfort is paramount).
What is your preferred harness style, why and if possible, do you have a measurement plan for the preferred harness?
Scooter: Well I have 5 bikes to recycle parts from, 3 male 26" bikes, 1 with front/rear suspension and two with front only, then I also have two 18" kiddies bikes which are really only good for the wheels and brings me to my first question in this regard.
I have been looking at both diy and manufactured scooters online, and note that most manufactured scooters use small 20" wheels, and if they do use larger wheels, it is only in the front. While with all the diy scooters, they use both the large wheels from the recycled bike. Now I know the larger the circumference of a wheel, the smoother the ride. Also though, larger wheels are more easily buckled. While I am pretty settled on having a 26" wheel in the front, I am very undecided on which wheel size to use in the rear and would love to hear your input.
Which size wheel would be your preference in the rear of a scooter, 26" or 18"? (Note: questions below as they may also be a contributing factor.)
Brakes, Hub or V (inline): With the 26" (alloy) wheel, I have to use V brakes, but with the 18" (steel) wheel, it has hub brakes and I am wondering if it would be a better option brake, specially as the rim is steel. Also Note: I am sure I can set the wheel up with quick release axle, have the hub brake lever slide into a slot rather than bolt for quick release, and set it up with a hand lever/cable. What I am unsure of, is whether or not a hand lever will supply enough force to the hub brake, or would a foot brake lever be a better option. No reason why a V brake could not also be fitted.
Would you use Hub brake, V brake, or both with the 18" wheel?
Suspension: I am pretty set that I will use suspension in the front, but am unsure what to do for the rear. I am extremely cautious/paranoid about back injury and am sure rear suspension will help eliminate jaring (however slight). I had searched the internet for weeks, without finding any scooters with rear suspension and begun to believe it would just be overkill or there was some other reason why it is not used (Maybe the deck height has to be higher, which make scoots harder or chances of bottom out catching?) Then only two nights ago, I found the Diggler FX, Zepher, and thought what a great design.
So, I would love to here your opinions about rear suspension on a scooter, Pro's/Con's?
I would also love to here from anyone whom has a rear suspension scooter like the Diggler range?
Finally water, I am curious what people use to carry water, and if the use a Camel Back type product, or whether they prefer to shift the weight to the scooter by attaching water bottles/small tank.
Do you carry water?
and if so;
How do you carry it?
Well that was a page full, sorry if to much, more to come later. Anyway, love to here your opinions and look forward to viewing/hearing about your beautiful country through the forums.
Eddie the Grumpyoldman