Bicycle Colorado

Mixing it up with dogs and bikes

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No-sled dog pulling!

Many readers have experienced my family’s love of all things bicycling: riding for transportation, long road rides, racing, amazing mountain biking and more. We also enjoy involving our two canine friends in bicycling.

Two-wheeled training

Sprocket (black and white) and Luna travel each day to the park in Edgewater by bicycle. Other dog owners often comment, “I could never do that with my dog; we would crash!” Still others ask about how we trained our friends. It was a planned process over many weeks.

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Luna, "cousin" Wicket, Sprocket. Note: Left knee up to control leash, with hand ready to grab
Luna, me, “cousin” Wicket, Sprocket

Key aspects of the system are a harness with a “runner’s leash” around the rider’s waist, some natural fear of the bike, much practice with lots of rewards and redirection and the rider’s anticipation of dangers (squirrels!) followed by grabbing hold of the leash.

The primary risk is a dog running into or across the front wheel, but that’s something we have never experienced through training and managing the ride.

Canine mountain biking

Of course it’s amazing when you can take four-legged friends mountain biking where it’s appropriate to have them off leash. They love the outdoors and are good athletes. If you’re going to try this out, remember to bring water and a bowl to ensure they can cool down and stay hydrated in case you don’t find ample streams.

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Hour+ ride up Steamboat ski resort; top of the Gondola. Off leash most of the way.

Be sure to “stop and smell the daisies” along the trail. Leave the dogs at home if your focus is on your own riding, particularly on fast downhill sections, to avoid stressing or injuring your pets. It’s great fun to stop, enjoy the view and allow the dogs to rest and enjoy their surroundings.

Dog-centric fun

Our fun with the dogs goes beyond bicycling, too. They train and play weekly in an agility class—traversing a course of tunnels, jumps, ramps, slalom “weave poles” and more.

Dogs, bikes, family. Life is good!

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Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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