Monday, August 31, 2009

Canoe to the water

This summer I decided that since I don't have any camping trips planned (?!), getting out on lake Ontario may be the next best thing. Although I do have access to a vehicle, it's fairly inconsistent, and it's a different vehicle almost every time. No guaranteed racks either. So, I got one of these. I wrote a short review for Dandyhorse mag, but it got cut from the current issue. I'll post it at the bottom if you're interested; it's a cool system with a few minor problems... Nothing that can't be improved upon.

The day was great, but didn't end up going to the Toronto Island as originally planned because (a) we started a bit late, (b) the water outside the breakers was just too choppy that day.

Wondering where a good place to launch at is? From the west end I dipped in near the Palais Royale, but for a trip out to the island it's a bit of a distance. Next time closer to the downtown core...

Two bikes, two people, the trailer and a lunch easily fit.

This summer I decide to go multi-modal -- using my canoe! The only question was, how to get to the water easily while potentially staying carbon neutral.

Then I found the Wike Woody Wagon bicycle trailer ($199, Well padded and fully equipped, it comes complete with everything I needed to haul my canoe on my bike from home to lake safely and easily.

The trailer is actually composed of two separate main components, with the wheels detached from the yoke. This design not only contributes to its light weight (13 lbs), but also allows for flexibility in cargo size.

I found it a cinch to put together, and once I hooked the trailer with canoe to my bike, easy to maneuver as I rode down to the lake. The only potential long term issues are the rubber quick-connect stem (instead of a more durable metal swivel) and low-quality aluminum (which is already showing signs of stress after only two uses).

Finally, although you can't ride with the kit unloaded behind you (for instance, if you wanted to pick up your canoe at another location) because it is a two-piece set, once at the lake the trailer is dismantled in seconds and can be ferried in the canoe (with your bike!) while enjoying the entirely car-free day on the water.