…and your dog.
On March 5th, a puppy named Bowin came into my life. My sincere belief was that she would have no effect on my biking habits. As a surprise to no one, I was quite wrong.
We had big dreams of a well trained dog, running alongside us as we would ride gracefully down the bike path but at 12 weeks old, she had different ideas. After shopping around for a bit, I was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty wide selection of options to deal with our bike-dog conundrum.
There are two main categories for coupling your two best friends: bike leashes and bike trailers. Bike leashes are a bike component that attach to the bike and also to the dog’s collar. The concept is to allow your dog to run alongside the bike while still being loosely attached to discourage wandering. I can understand going this route with a really high energy dog with the focus of your ride being to tire your leash-loving K-9 out. This was not the case for us; we needed her to be transported to and from work with us on our daily commutes so we chose the second option – a bike trailer.
These days, as crazy dog people become more prolific, there are bike trailers made specifically with dogs in mind. They are often top- rather than front-entry and have harness or leash attachments included. We decided to go with a trailer made for children that my coworker had in her barn and it works wonderfully.
On my first ride, with the trailer, sans the puppy, I was pleasantly surprised at how little the trailer interfered with my ride. However, it did prove a bit more challenging once the 25lb Bowin was in the trailer, jumping around like a crazy woman accompanied with a strong headwind. She howled and barked and squirmed the entirety of the first 10 miles, and a good chunk of the next 10, but by the third or forth trip she got the hang of things.
Even with it’s challenges, biking with Bowin has quickly become the best part of my day and I will leave you with this charming video of a rare peaceful moment.
To all of my fellow dog loving riders, how do you all get around with your pups?
Happy Riding –
Lisa Graham says
OMG, I loved reading this story! My dogs are so much a part of my life and I hate to leave them behind sometimes when I go out on my bike. I have often thought I need to get a bike trailer and take them out for some fun adventure, even if just as a passenger. Thinking I really must do it. Thanks for posting!
I have taken my dogs in trailers for well over 12years. My first one was a child trailer but my dog weight 55 pounds and I am not a carpenter but kept finding ways to make the floor flat for her with a piece of wood and a blanket. She hated it and whined at first but being a border collie, she adapted quickly once she realized she also could run along side and pull me. Eventually she would whine for joy when I would put the trailer in the car. She jumps right in after I attach the bike and we are off. I bought a few different dog trailers with not so great results. A large two wheeled one rolled over around a corner with her in it. Now I have my burley and it takes corners like a champ. She is older now and doesn’t run as much so I am thrilled to have a way to take her with me in the summer other than the car. By the way, she also does stand up paddle boarding with me.
I forgot to mention that I foster puppies for a local rescue here in Boulder. I have taken my foster puppies in the trailer several times to have them meet their forever families. I had a 30 pound great dane mix a couple of years ago who had never been in the trailer. I put him in and as all of them do, he went to sleep once we were moving. I rode from Boulder to Lyons which is a 13 mile ride up and down hills. The foster pups take to it right away. I would love to show photos but don’t know how to attach them.
I love taking my Aussie and Brittany riding with me. In the summer when Boise gets hot we ride down by the river where there is shade and water. Using our puprunner trailer we can run or ride. The puprunner is made for taking dogs with you as you ride and exercising your dogs at the same time. The floor folds down so the dogs can ride on super long hauls. The puprunner is made here in Boise, Idaho. Fun, fun, fun…
There is something almost magical about exploring the world together with your dog, chauffeuring him or her around in their trailer – especially out in the country with the fresh air and freedom to roam. And each new adventure is bound to bring new sights and sounds and bring the cyclist and passenger even closer together! Lovely article!