You do what?

Bikejoring……

Bike Whating?

Essentially bikejor is a sport where your dog is attached to the front of a bike and pulls ahead, whilst the human tries their hardest to stay on and keep up.

Bikejoring is a bit of an odd name, but hails from it’s Scandinavian roots. When the snow melts those Nordic folks switch skis and sleds for bikes to keep their sled dogs conditioned in the summer. Well it proved to be a popular pastime and quickly grew, so now Bikejor is an event in it’s own right, drawing the biggest entries at races and the best reaching speeds in excess of 30mph.

Bikejoring has grown massively and you don’t need a purpose bred racing machine to get out and enjoy the trails. Your normal, pet dog can learn to bikejor, as long as they are relatively fit and healthy. There is a chance for the more competitive inclined to race against other like minded, crazy souls and even race for your country at the World Champs. But whatever your goals, bikejoring is great fun for both human and canine and an awesome way to enjoy the outdoors and keep active. Races are in winter to make the most of the colder temps, which is better for the dogs, but you can run all year as long as you’re sensible. Just take it easy, don’t go very far and go when coolest. Let common sense be your guide, if it feels warm and humid then give it a miss.

It takes time and patience for dogs to learn to run properly, the higher drive the dog the easier to train. As they’re running ahead the dogs need to know left and right, straight on and probably the most important of all ‘on by’ or ‘leave’ for those ‘oh shit’ squirrel moments. As there are no reigns to control the dog, the only thing you have is good brakes (highly recommended) and your voice. I say very little, just let my dogs run, but if tiring I will inspire them and always praise them for turns, etc. I also can’t help letting out the occasional, excitable yell when we’re really flying, the dogs seem to love this too. Dogs need a properly fitting harness for sled dog sports, a line to attach the dog to the bike (with bungee to help absorb the pull) and something to keep the line from dropping into the front wheel and you’re good to go.

I practise and train in woods and forests they’re the best places to run. I go early in the morning when coolest so the dogs don’t overheat and on trails where the surface isn’t too hard, so less stress on their bones and feet.

I love my time in the woods with the dogs. Nothing like a cold frosty morning, sunbeams streaking through the trees to make you feel alive. The Japanese call that feeling Shinrin-yoko which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ or ‘forest bathing.’ I like nothing better than to bathe in the forest and am a convert to the church of the woods and blasting through the trees with my trusted dogs makes it all the more special. It’s a complete contrast, the still and calm of the forest, to the rush and thrill of running dogs…..it’s quite some buzz! Interested to get started or find out more, drop me a line or send a message.

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