Bikejoring is a thrilling outdoor activity that combines the joy of biking with the companionship of your four-legged friend. It's a sport that allows you and your dog to work as a team, offering exercise and adventure for both of you. In this article post, we'll dive into the origins of bikejoring and explore how devices like the WalkyDog bike leash can enhance your biking experience with your dog.
*The safety of you and your dog ALWAYS comes first. Check out our dog biking safety guide to learn more.
The Origins of Bikejoring
Bikejoring has its roots in the ancient practice of dog sledding (mushing), which dates back thousands of years to Arctic regions. People relied on sled dogs to transport goods and themselves across snowy landscapes. Over time, dog sledding evolved into a competitive sport. However, not everyone had access to sleds or snowy terrain, which gave rise to bikejoring.
Bikejoring gained popularity in the 1970s in Europe, particularly in Scandinavian countries where people adapted the concept of dog sledding to bikes. The sport quickly spread across the globe, and today, it's enjoyed by dog enthusiasts and biking enthusiasts alike. Bikejoring has evolved over the years to include biking with your dog next to your bike in addition to the standard practice of them running in front with a tow line. The first side mounted bike leashes appear to have been developed in the early 1990's in Europe with brands like the Springer leash and Walkydog.
How Bikejoring Works
Bikejoring is a relatively simple concept, but you need to ALWAYS consider the safety of your dog before attempting. You attach your dog to your bike using a specialized attachment, which is designed to keep your dog safely connected while allowing them to run either in front of or sometimes alongside the bike. Here's a basic overview of how bikejoring works:
Gear Up: First, you'll need the right equipment. This includes a sturdy bike in good condition, a bikejoring harness for your dog, a leash designed for this activity, and safety gear for both you and your canine companion. A company called Alpine Outfitters has a variety of options for this activity and tons of information. You can also find the popular Walkydog bike leash and accessories on our website.
Training: Before hitting the trails, ensure your dog is well-trained and responsive to basic commands like "stop," "go," and "left" or "right." They should also be comfortable wearing a padded harness to take tension off the neck and distribute pulling forces.
Attachment: Securely attach the bikejoring leash to your bike's frame, ensuring it's at a height that allows your dog to run comfortably alongside you without getting tangled in the wheels.
Safety First: Safety is paramount. Always wear a helmet, and make sure your dog is wearing their harness snugly but not too tight. Check your bike's brakes and tires before each ride.
Start Slow: Begin with short rides in safe, open areas to allow both you and your dog to get accustomed to the activity. Gradually increase the distance and difficulty as you gain experience.
Benefits of Bikejoring
Bikejoring offers numerous benefits for both you and your dog:
Exercise: It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout for your dog, helping them burn off excess energy and maintain a healthy weight.
Bonding: Bikejoring strengthens the bond between you and your dog as you work together as a team.
Mental Stimulation: It offers mental stimulation for your dog as they navigate trails, making it a great activity for energetic breeds.
Outdoor Adventure: Bikejoring allows you to explore new trails and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend.
Bikejoring is a fun and exciting way to stay active and spend quality time with your dog. It's a sport with ancient roots in mushing that has evolved to an activity that can be enjoyed in a variety of environments. With the right equipment, training, and safety measures in place, you can embark on bikejoring journeys with confidence. Devices like the WalkyDog bike leash make the experience safer and more enjoyable, allowing you and your canine companion to share unforgettable outdoor moments. So, gear up, hit the trails, and enjoy the ride with your best friend by your side.