Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kicksled

Liza's b-day gift came a few weeks early. She wanted a kick sled, so we did some research and found one that is imported from Sweden. We just got back from the maiden voyage and I have to say I am impressed. With the compact snow we have out there right now, this thing hauls.


I really want to hook it up to the bike -- dog sled style -- but she won't hear of it. Damn.
Liza plans on running Maddie to school on it a couple times a week. This sled is efficient, but it's still a good work out. If she uses it a lot, Liza is going to be one fit woman by the end of the winter.

The sled has metal runners like ice skates, which work great on ice and this compact snow. We also got some snap-on runners that are 35mm wide for fresh snow. I wonder how well they'll slide.
We bought the sled from Vermont Kicksled. It's a cool little mom/pop company; I talked to the owner on the phone for a while and he answered all the questions I had and was a pleasure to deal with.

9 comments:

davidd said...

Glad you like the
kicksled. One nice
and cheap modification
is to add foam-grips
to the handlebars.
http://www.dermott.ca/ski/spark.html

Bujiatang said...

Its a Spark!

I lived in Norway for a while and they were everywhere!

Awesome present.

taylor said...

I swear I've seen alot of things, but t-h-a-t- i-s..........AWESOME!!

liza said...

after a few rides on it (up to the library, to super 1, and around the neighborhood) all i can say is whoo-hoo!!! i love this sled: not as difficult as xcountry skiing or ice skating, not as scary as biking on the ice. it's a damn good work out and tons of fun!

foam grips sound good, but bar-ends might be even better :)

anyone want to test ride it?

JeffOYB said...

Neat! It's cool that you live somewhere in the USA where a spark can be handy around town! Our kids use ours in our yard and around our icy driveway while they wait for the school bus. Yeah, foam and bar-ends are both good ideas. (Hi Dave!) Here are links to a few reports I put up at the OYB site about sparks and kickbikes. One shows our spark, which I made years ago in an hour out of saplings (it's still holding up!)...

http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=549

http://outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=11

http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=819

David said...

John and Liza:

The 35mm plastic runners will improve your glide on packed snow and protect the steel runners.

We're glad that you like the kicksled!

Thanks for the feedback.

David (Vermont Kicksled Company)

Pete said...

I have never seen one of those before, looks like a lot of fun. Do the handle bars bend slightly allowing you to turn like the old metal track sleds?

davidd said...

yes, to steer, twist
on the handlebars to
bend the runners.
The turning radius
is quite large.

On my first spark
ride (rented in Norway
on steep streets)
Error #1 tried to steer
by leaning like on bike-
doesn't work!
Error #2 tried to
slow down by reaching for brake levers - there aren't any!
Practice on a flat surface first.
I think many people in Norway call them "granny-mobiles" because that's the main user group- but you should see those grannies move!

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kicksled[/url]

David said...

You can steer fairly well by putting your weight on one foot, and leaning and twisting the handlebar the opposite way (for example, put your weight on your left foot, lean right and twist the handlebar to the right to turn right). To slow down or stop, drag the tip of one foot and lean slightly the same way to avoid tipping over. You can also plant both feet or heels and pretend that you are water-skiing if stopping is really urgent.