Weather has been terrible, Southerlies & rain so that has slowed my usage down of the Sonic 600 scooter.
Scooter dog walks
Jess, my Huntaway dog who’s almost 8 years old has started to figure the scooter out. She does not like to be in front, a place she prefers to be normally, with a vehicle behind that can go faster than she can, she’s quite smart. She doesn’t trust me not to try and run her over.
She trots along at her own pace of about 7km/hr and if I call her and speed up she will pick the speed up and get to about 25km/hr and run alongside the scooter when we are on a split footpath, so she is not in danger of me running into her.
She usually trots behind so I found looking to see if she was still there required me to either stop and turn around, in that case she stopped too, sometimes way back, or trying to turn and look over my shoulder while balancing on the scooter which usually put a wobble in the driving, and also was hard to actually see where she was.
This is a heavy scooter at 18.5kg. So awkward and heavy getting in & out of car and house. As you hold it on its folded upright stem you are aiming for centre of gravity, but when trying to put into the car you are mainly holding one end and cantilevering it into the car, so a bit of weight on the body straining to hold it up to get into car.
Also hard to maneuver in the porch with the chair and difficult to carry anything else if you are carrying the scooter, so 2 trips to the car.
These have been handy, but it is a heavy thing to drag. You do need to keep the handlebar stem extended so that it’s the right height to drag. The brackets for the wheels , one has bent so that the wheels are going in different directions so cause a rocking motion as you are pulling it along.
Upright handlebar stem lock
A couple of things with the locking stem.
1st. When using the trolley wheels its best to leave the stem extended rather than collapse it down into a more compact form as the extra lenth works with pulling.
2nd. Make sure the lock is locked. Putting your foot under the back wheel as you swing the post up to lock into place is a handy way to ensure that the post is locked into place.
I did, on one occasion not have the post locked and fortunately the trolley wheels took part of the load as the front wheel lifted off the ground, so not a major crash, but pretty disconcerting.
Because the Sonic 600 handlebar has so much on it and the handle grips are shaped, I didn’t think an end handlebar mirror was the best, especially as I can fold the handlebars down, so they would get knocked around a bit and most probably damaged.
I opted for a wrist mirror on my left hand (12.99$ +PP = 17.99$ off TradeMe) as Jess runs to my left. It is small and convex, so its hard to spot anything right in the middle as the edges seem to be enlarged the most. It sometimes works well and other times I have difficulty in spotting her at all.
Due to the convex mirror its hard to see Jess if she is further away and she is so small and hard to spot. I may have to put a light on her to see some motion or location.
It will also help with cyclists coming up behind me as I’ve been surprised by them a couple of times.
Not the ideal solution but its better than nothing at all.
I’m about 97kg and fully clothed and helmeted I must easily be over 100kg. On a quite day, with the speed setting set to 3 I can get up to about 33km/hr, not the 45km/hr stated on the website. At the moment that is plenty fast.
I did another run today (Monday, June 28, 2021) and got up to 39km/hr with a light wind behind me, then had to go back for Jess.
At present I have the factory settings and I have the push-assist start on, also acceleration is as is, I haven’t started to play with these much. I will start to tinker with these later, but for the time being I want to concentrate on finding safe places to use the scooter with Jess & get Jess used to going for a walk with me on the scooter.
To date I’ve been fully charging the battery each day after use, so its full the next day. I don’t seem to get down the bars much. So no definitive measuring of distance and how long battery will go with different settings.
One day I didn’t charge it, had used it on 2 runs less than 6km the day before and I could see the charge was not going to last as long as I expected so set to level 1 to maintain power for round trip on cobham drive cycleway (4km).
Places to scoot with Jess
As I walk Jess off lead which is a bit of a NONO in Wellington. So far 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7
Some , like 2 are OK during working part of day (not as busy) and also not at weekends as lots of cyclists/walkers and people get a bit miffy with Jess wandering on her own.
Hutt River over Petone/Hutt River bridge North end of foreshore
Hut River near Melling Bridge- to be on West Site of Bridge but also track East side of River
Avalon Cycle park (although dogs not allowed or need to be on leash)
Whiterea Park, although drainage ditches across gravel path, so need to stop and lift over for those.
I have to check out Mana reserve , direct left over Pahatanui inlet bridge.
Eastbourne? Not sure, will have to go exploring.
I’m enjoying the scooter, I like the speed on it. Jess sort of likes the longer walk with a bribe at the end but only goes at her own pace, which is a trot (about 7-12km/hr) so can be a bit dull if I stick to her pace.
I’m still getting used to it and do find it heavy to manage. I need to do something about the trolley wheels as they are misaligned at the moment.
I need to start looking at some of the other settings on the controls, maybe bump up the acceleration.
There is a bit of lag sometimes after coasting, the motor does not kick in straight away and there is a pause, so you release the trigger and then grab it again and the motor starts. I’m still figuring out that pause in activation.
Its not particularly strong on hills, you need to get up a bit of speed before hitting a hill, but with Jess at side, if she lags too much, she just stops and waits for me to return (and then sometimes starts going in the other direction). So attempting hills needs to be tested out some more.
A bit slippery on grass as its very wet at the moment and it’s a one back wheel drive, so skids.