Large dogs are fantastic companions on hikes and bike rides — until they get tired, anyway. Then, they need to be hauled. There’s baskets and totes for transporting tiny furry friends by bicycle, but how can we transport bigger, more robust canines around town or on trails?
Right now there isn’t a dog-specific solution, but if you have a medium-to-large-sized pooch, the Wald 157 basket might be a good fit.
This basket is huge. Measuring 21x15x9 inches, it’s designed for transport cyclists who use their bicycle instead of a car for errands, and can carry a staggering amount of weight. Unfortunately, this makes the basket itself very heavy, at almost 8 pounds. Leave it off the sport bike and put it on the cruiser instead; it takes a while to install and remove, so once it’s on the bike, you’ll want to leave it there.
On the subject of installation, the process will be harder on some bikes than others. The basket attaches to the front axle, which will cause problems for quick-release wheelsets. It also interferes with shocks, which is unfortunate, since its huge size and weight makes it more suited to a sturdy mountain bike than a slender road frame. The Wald website suggests having their baskets installed at a local bike shop; this is good advice, since bikes come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s hard to know if the Wald 157 will easily fit your particular bicycle.
The sturdy design is built to last, made from robust materials and screwing securely to the frame. Unfortunately, that sturdiness can affect handling, weighing down the front of the bike. It will take some getting used to; practice cycling with just the weight of the basket before adding your dog! Lighter bikes may even want to fall over when parked, borne down by the weight of the Wald.
The good news is that it’s more than up to the task of carrying a large dog. What you sacrifice in speed and nimbleness is more than recovered with raw carrying capacity. Just add a blanket or a pillow to cover the wire and protect sensitive paws. The open design accomodates a leash easily, so you can secure your dog in the basket and prevent jumping. There might even be enough room for a water bowl and toys, depending on your dog’s size!
Unlike the carriers for small dogs, this basket will fit all your needs. (Which it should, since it takes a while to remove from the bike.) Just remove the blanket and pillow for easy washing and take a damp cloth to the basket as needed. You’ll be able to carry groceries and packages easily, without the need to switch among purpose-specific baskets and bags.
Enterprising DiYers will have extra fun with this basket; the open wires allow for all sorts of things to be strapped, zip-tied and otherwise hacked on to the basket. Try a light shade structure, for example, or whatever you can think of to turn the framework into a luxury doggy sedan chair. It’ll take a little work, but the potential is there.
Whether you’re a self-sufficient DiY genius, a pet owner strongly committed to your dog, or a little of both, this basket will serve you for many years. Provided you can take the weight, of course.
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