Initiation to Bikejoring with your dog

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Dog practicing Bikejoring

Surely you have considered on more than one occasion the possibility of enjoying the bike and your dog at the same time, and if it really is feasible and safe. We are convinced that we will not discover anything new if we tell you that there are several sports modalities that are practiced with bike and dog at the same time.

However, today we would like to talk to you about one of the most popular and easiest to carry out: bikejoring.

Bikejoring is a sport modality consisting of running with dog and bike or scooter at the same time, without the need for a specific circuit. For this reason, this modality is gaining more and more followers around the world, since it can be practiced in many places.

And, although bikejoring is considered a type of mushing, its creation is the most recent and the most affordable for all audiences.

In this article we explain what we need to put this fun activity into practice, as well as its rules and some tips that can come in handy if we want to get started.

Index of contents

  • 1 Initiation to Bikejoring
          • 1.0.0.0.1 Previous requirements:
          • 1.0.0.0.2 Necessary material for the practice of bikejoring:
  • 2 How to start practicing Bikejoring
  • 3 Useful accessories for Bikejoring
    • 3.1 Basic concepts and tips
    • 3.2 Terrain recognition

Initiation to Bikejoring

To be precise, bikejoring is a sports activity that consists of running on a bike or scooter with a dog that is tied to the body by a rope and a harness. The dog is always ahead and requires minimal training for it.

You can run on little traveled roads or through the middle of the field through trails, provided that conditions are met that we also describe below.

Previous requirements:
  • Our dog must be in good health and in good physical condition.
  • It is advisable not to start alone. We can start in places where there are already other practitioners, from whom we will surely learn some tricks that will facilitate the process.
  • The roads where we are going to make our journeys must be as clear as possible of circulation and pedestrians and have been previously recognized.

Bike adapted to Bikejoring

Necessary material for the practice of bikejoring:

To start, you don’t need much: Your dog, a mountain bike or a skate; in addition to the following accessories:

  • A helmet, glasses and gloves (these last two are not essential, but are more than recommended).
  • A firing line equipped with a shock absorber.
  • A bikejoring antenna, which will prevent the shot from catching on the wheels.
  • A crossback or bicicross harness. Attention: it is not useful the one commonly used to walk the dog.
  • Lastly, and only in the case that we have more than one dog, a neckline, which is used to join the harnesses of each one.

How to start practicing Bikejoring

Before continuing, we would like to clarify that there are two fundamental types of bikejoring; namely:

  • Bikejoring with a single dog: In this case, our bicycle will not need any type of modification and we will exert the driving force pedaling at the same time that the dog pulls or combining and alternating both forces.
  • Bikejoring with more than one dog: No pedaling and the bicycle goes without a chain, so that dogs are the only force we will have.

Both modalities are applicable to the use of the scooter. The most important thing, in addition to having adequate material and that our dogs are healthy, the practice of bikejoring requires a correct choice of terrain and the circuit or path where we are going to travel.

Unlike in the canicross mode, where the wooded trails are often used, bikejoring is practiced on smooth tracks with less unevenness. However, we must avoid the asphalt at all costs, because they damage the pads of our furry friend, especially if he runs.

We must gradually get our dog used to letting him and us pull the bike, which does not mean that we should never pedal or stop helping him; especially on slopes or when the terrain becomes more difficult.

Bikejoring with various dogs

We will take special care on the slopes; because on the climbs our mission will be to pedal to help our dog and, obviously, not leave all the work to him and, on the descents, contain him enough so that he does not pack, with the subsequent risk that this entails, using the brake as many times as necessary.

At all times, the rope must remain taut; whether we go up or go down.

The most seasoned practitioners reach truly amazing speeds, but, as in everything, caution is an essential value in any type of sport, and more in one like this where we are putting at risk not only our safety, but that of other people. And animals.

Useful accessories for Bikejoring

Apart from the obligatory use of the helmet, the shooting line, the harnesses and the safety antenna, there are other accessories for the practice of bikejoring that will facilitate and make your practice more comfortable.

Among these accessories, is the use of gloves; since they protect from excessive use of the brakes and will protect us from possible pinches derived from a higher frequency of use, in addition to minimizing the damages caused by the continuous rubbing with the handlebar grips.

The use of shin guards and knee pads offer us additional protection, since during the practice of bikejoring, especially at the beginning, we will be more likely to suffer a fall or have to jump off the bike.

Basic concepts and tips

It is essential to have some basic principles clear, to start the practice of bikejoring. The dog must be familiar with a series of fundamental commands or commands.

They are practically the same as those used in any form of Mushing.

Some examples:

  1. Gee (pronounced yii) to turn right
  2. Haw (jou), when we want it to move to the left
  3. Easy (isi) to slow down
  4. Pick up (picap), when we want to accelerate, etc.

If there is a Mushing center in your city, you can make a visit to be advised about i
t or consult the basic Mushing orders, online.

dog pulling bike

They do not have to be the same, that is; We can use our own language as long as they are easy to understand commands for our furry friend and can be pronounced as quickly as possible.

It is obvious that the first times will not understand what we are asking. That is why we must execute the action by ourselves, every time we pronounce a certain order, until it becomes familiar.

If, for example, we want to accelerate, we will say “Pick Up” at the same time that we pedal faster, so that the dog will associate “Pick Up” with going faster. We will carry out the same procedure with each of the orders.

All this is very important to do in short stretches and devoid of obstacles, animals or people, before venturing on longer journeys.

It is very positive for learning reward the animal every time it performs correctly what we expect from him (positive reinforcement), but without falling into excess. The award must be proportional to your progress. In this way we will increase their predisposition to receive new stimuli.

Terrain recognition

It is essential to know in advance the route by which we are going to circulate, as well as to prevent, obstacles, departure of vehicles, people, livestock, etc …

Before going with our dog, we must travel several times along the route that we are going to use, examine curves, slopes, crossings, accesses to farms, times of major and minor traffic, state of the flat, etc …

If in our province there is a club or Bikejoring association We will advance a lot if we sign up, in addition to being able to start with tracks used for this purpose, until, at least, we have enough security to choose our own.

The practice of Bikejoring can become an exciting exercise and full of stimuli that will increase the relationship with our pet and greatly enrich our love of cycling, filling us with stimuli and certainly exciting and pleasant moments, both for us and for our faithful and furry companion .

If it is done with due precautions and common sense, respecting the basic rules, enjoyment is practically guaranteed.

The beauty of this sport modality is that satisfaction begins from the moment we hook the animal to our bicycle, since the learning and adaptation process itself it’s so much fun. Of course, do not think that we are going to achieve it without a certain degree of effort, patience, determination and desire.

Things that are truly worthwhile require prior preparation and a certain degree of sacrifice and will. But beware, we must be aware that dogs, like humans, do not enjoy the same activities equally.

If our furry friend does not show a minimum disposition to this practice (it is logical that at first he is confused), we should never force or insist that he end up liking it.

The ideal would be to begin to familiarize him with bike rides (with due precautions and in safe places), since he is a puppy.

We encourage you to try this healthy and interesting activity, and to discover new and stimulating sensations and forms of communication with your faithful friend.
But do not forget that all precaution is little. It is about spending pleasant and healthy moments, not putting your integrity, that of your dog or that of other people and animals, at risk.

This article is merely informative and outreach. For this reason, we advise you that before starting or at the slightest doubt you get good advice through already experienced practitioners or some association dedicated to this end, near where you live.
Cheer up and enjoy the dog and the bike at the same time with the practice of bikejoring.