We’ve had a couple of posts about dogs/bikes/exercise, most notably a post that covered the Springer and WalkyDog…where the rider attaches his/her dog to a bike. In the spirit of winter news stories about dog mushing comes the following, passed on to us by a reader (italic text from Wikipedia).
Bikejoring is a dog mushing activity related to skijoring, canicross, and dog scootering. It is a recreation or sport where a harnessed dog or team of dogs attached to a towline, pull and run ahead of a cyclist. Bikejoring is a non snow season (dryland) activity.
Bikejoring and canicross are both dryland mushing activities that probably developed from skijoring and dogsled racing. Bikejoring is also sometimes used to train racing sled-dogs out of season.
Photo credits go to Wikipedia
The dog or dogs are fitted with harnesses suitable for pulling and running in, such as x-back harnesses. The harnesses are normally attached to a gang line (if more than one dog is being used), and a bungee towline, which clips to the front of the bicycle.
Many bikejorers use bayonets, antennas, or plastic pipes to suspend the towline above the front wheel, and to prevent it from tangling between the wheel and forks. Bikejoring can be fun but has its dangers. The dogs may be distracted by wild-life.
Having your dog run in front of your bike instead of beside it looks a little safer …however it would take a more highly trained dog to Bikejore as opposed to using Springer or WalkyDog. I know a couple that has a dog that seems to have endless energy and maybe something like this would actually wear the dog out. I have told them several times that the dog could easily power their whole house, if only they could harness the energy of the dog.
I would be concerned with wild-life distraction, after all, if a dog can do this to an owner that is standing still, imagine what might happen if dogs were distracted while pulling you along at 20+ mph!
Thanks Stephen for sending us the link! Do you incorporate canine exercise into your bike routine? Let us know.