Bike With Your Dog
Ready, steady, go! It is World Bike Day on Thursday, 3 June and what better way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and best friend!
World Bike Day was first celebrated by the United Nations on Sunday, 3 June 2018 at the UN General Assembly in New York. The UN declared World Bike Day in recognition of the versatility and uniqueness of the bicycle. It is a reliable and sustainable mode of transportation for people from all walks of life throughout the world.
If you have not cycled for a while, blow the dust off your bicycle and get out there. And if your dog has a scent for adventure the good news is you don’t have to leave them at home. Cycling with dogs has become a sport that is gaining popularity all over Europe. Ever heard of CaniBike?
The good people of CaniCross, who have made trail-running with your dog a huge success all over the UK and beyond, have more to offer the CaniSports enthusiast. CaniBike (and there is also CaniScoot) is a sport that gets those mountain bikes out into nature with your dog bounding ahead of you on a bungee cord. They invite all abilities of humans to participate and encourage dog owners that most breeds will be able to join in the fun as long as they are over 2 years old.
According to CaniCross UK, CaniBike, (or bikejor) is a dog powered sport where the dog is harnessed and attached to a special bike arm via a bungee line. It may look like a serious sporting activity but CaniSports folks claim any adult can enjoy it as long as the dog is 18 months or older and healthy. If you’re interested, you’ll need the correct gear and have taken some time to practice before joining the throng.
You may be thinking that this looks like good fun for both you and your dog - and good exercise to boot! And you’ll be right, but before you both go tearing out the door to track down your next local CaniBike event, you need to know what is expected of you to be able to participate in a CaniBike sporting activity.
So, if you’re itching to join them as the sun and the great outdoors beckon, let’s take a look at how you can be ready for CaniBike, the equipment you’ll need and what you’ll have to learn in your practice sessions before you can safely CaniBike with your dog.
First up you have to have a good comfortably fitting harness for your dog, a bungee line, a mountain bike and a special bike arm or bayonet. Make sure that your dog fits the harness correctly. You can purchase the bungee and arm pack directly from the CaniCross website and there are videos on the site to help you fit your bike and your dog correctly. Not only is safety for your dog important, you also need a helmet, goggles, and gloves to protect yourself in case something goes awry out there in the wilds.
If you’ve never cycled with your dog before, it’ll be necessary for you both to get some training in. Start by walking or running with the bungee line so your dog can get used to pulling into the harness. You will need to teach them directional cues while still off the bike so they learn to respond at speed. This is a vital skill and safety measure! Dogs learn hand gestures easily, have fun developing your communication with your dog and experiencing a deeper connection.
Then you can try some short rides on a clearly defined path until you and your dog are comfortable cycling together and you are sure about both of your fitness levels. There are certified DogFit trainers across the UK happy to train beginners as well as those working towards a new level of fitness.
At the end of your fun practice sessions cool your pup down properly by letting your furry best friend off their harness and remember to give them water and plenty of praise.
Know any dogs that have helped their owner get out into the world? Nominate them for a Naturo SuperDog Award.