As ever, new lessons were learnt, the main one being: Don’t let Sage eat dirt. How so? Tuns out a few handfuls of mother’s earth are a recipe for a bad stomach and he’ll bawl his eyes out, poor litte guy. Still, I suspect it won’t be the last time he dines off the land.
Now he’s semi-mobile, we definitely need to keep a bit more of an eye on him. Although Sage has yet to master the art of crawling, blink and he’s somehow wiggled/rolled/squirmed his way across the room – chewing on anything (tyres/tablelegs/shoes) en route, like a puppy.
What else? With temperatures hovering around the 90-100ºf (32-38ºc) mark in Santa Fe, the Chariot CX’s removable plastic windows have proved a real boon. It’s a shame you need to jump up a model to get this feature – I’d love to see these airy mesh side panels on the more modestly priced Cougar. This quibble aside, the trailer has impressed me no end, not least with the way it handles rough terrain. And, now that Sage is out of the infant sling and strapped in using the standard harness, his lower centre of gravity definitely helps with stability. The Chariot’s adjustable wishbone suspension seems to be doing a fine job – I figure it must be a plush ride, or Sage wouldn’t be singing his little heart out as we bounce along.
Yet again, the Black Diamond Megalite has proved itself ideal for ‘lightweight’ family touring. So spacious. Only the fear of bugs infiltrating the mesh skirt (sewn in by Bear Paw Wilderness Designs) would lead me to invest in a fully enclosed tent.
Our route: Very short, but scenic. We parked up at the entrance to FR 437 (just out of Taos Ranchos), riding alongside the Rio Chiquito up to the gate (at which point the doubletrack whittles down to trail). There, we turned round and found ourselves a riverside campspot. Incidentally, things look particularly interesting beyond the gate. A bit too narrow and rocky for the Chariot, maybe, but worth further exploration. The likes of Tout Terrain’s Singletrailer would no doubt have been better suited to this kind of terrain.
Thanks to the folks at Taos Cyclery for suggesting the area. It’s a nice shop just off the plaza, with a massive wall map marking all the local trails, and paper maps/ride guides for sale on 5 bucks a piece.
On this last outing, the Chariot was hauled by the Krampus/Rohloff – an extremely surefooted combination. A Rohloff is such a treat to use when pulling a heavy trailer, not least because it allows for gear changes at a standstill. There’s just enough clearance between the trailer arm and the Krampus’ 29+ tyre.