When Rubi is pulling the scooter, we tend to go at a nice, leisurely pace. But both Holly and Sprite together want to go fast -- on a nice cool day on an easy trail, this means 4 miles in 16+ minutes (15 mph), and they can go over 20 mph for a mile or so. And they can pull the scooter on its side faster than you can run to catch up.
We've not tried to hook up all three at the same time. Going fast with three, or going on a rougher trail with three didn't seem like a good idea, so we began to think about getting a rig. The crash during the 2011 Spring Wrapup Dryland (and resulting cracked ribs) helped in the decision!
While the scooter is 2 wheels, a rig can be 3 or 4, and can handle a bigger team, 4 or 6 dogs. It's a little more stable. Having been at a few races we were able to see some options. We didn't want a heavy training rig, and we didn't win the raffle for the top-end racing rig.
After some research, we decided to get a basic, light racing rig from Chris Rogers at Artic Rigs, the Artic-R standard. We wanted something that was race legal, and race rules allow you to run a light 3-wheeled rig in a scooter class. The rig weighs no more than our scooter, so we could use it with just one dog (to get an idea of the power of these dogs, one ~40# professional sled dog can pull a person and rig at over 10 mph on a flat trail). The rig doesn't have all the fancy features, but it's just a weird bike, so brakes and the like can be easily modified once we decide what we need and like -- we didn't need to make the big investment all up front. And we could get it in team colors.
As we first wrote this (July 10 2011), our rig is brand new -- it arrived 2 days ago, a few days late for Sprite's 10th birthday present. Too warm to even think about trying, and we still need to adjust the brakes, get a water bottle holder, decide where to mount the sled camera, etc. Oh, and figure out how to haul it around!
Rig Update 1
Mid November 2011 and it's time to try the rig out. We adjust the brakes, strap it onto the back of the dog truck and head off to the Coopers Lake Dryland Race. So for the first time on the rig, we hook up Sprite, Holly and Dew (Sprite's younger sister who lives with Polly; Polly graciously lets us run Dew as part of a bigger team) and head into the chute for a 2 mile race, 4 dog race.
We did great, the rig is a lot of fun, fast and handles more like a sled. Karen says we need to adjust the gang lines (shorter lines provide more power in turns) and we need a shorter shock line, but it's ready to go.
Rig Update 2
We used the rig throughout the entire '11-12 season without problems. It rides on the back of the dog truck and we hauled it to North Wapiti. We got to run 4 NW dogs while we were visiting.
Rig Update 3
After two seasons of hauling the rig on the back of the dog truck, the weather has had its effects. Like the scooter, the brakes weren't working well (at all). In anticipation of running 4 dogs for '13-14, the rig was rebulit with better brakes, a suspension front fork, higher handlebars (sore back after 5-6 miles) and a new powder coat finish.