Bikejor

Bikejoring is dog mushing similar to skijoring, canicross, and dog scootering. Essentially a dog or team of dogs attached to a bicycle via a towline, Bikejoring probably developed from skijoring and dogsled racing.

Personal experience of Bikejor

“Bikejoring begins with a need for strong groundwork and teaching the dog to pull. The dog should be trained directionals, stop and go and speed commands on the ground before even being introduced to the bike. Then gradually the bike can be introduced in small sessions after the dog has learned to pull small items first or is given as much help as possible to begin with to reduce the impact on the still to be developed muscles. It is often really helpful to have another experienced dog to model the activity and help build confidence and drive. Correct equipment is so important, a correctly fitting harness which doesn’t impede shoulder movement, a bikejor ‘arm’ to keep the line off the wheel and prevent it getting caught up if the dog drops back and isn’t pulling at any point. The line should safely wrap around the supporting pole to the handlebars so that it doesn’t affect the direction and it should include a bungee section to reduce impact on the dog.

So far bikejoring is proving to be an enjoyable activity not only to help exercise our collie, but because she has a real drive to work and run and she is so focused once she gets going, she eagerly gets her harness on and has taken to barking with excitement once she realises what we are going to get up to. She is enjoying the sport so much, our rain shy collie has got soaked whilst out biking and was still happy as Larry!

 Currently we are working up our distance, starting small at just 1km in just over a month we have managed to progress up to 3km with the majority of that time at a moderate run with periods of racing speed. Building cardio and stamina should be done gradually. Even a dog that’s used to walking long distances will still need to be conditioned to the sport gradually as they don’t usually run around pulling a heavy person on a bike. When it comes to competing, the average bikejor race is 5km+ and the dog should be enjoying their sport and be fully conditioned and healthy to compete. Ideally always train with someone else in case anything happens. Some dogs will occasionally find chasing a rabbit into a bush much more exciting than pulling a bike, so make sure those commands are proofed as much as possible or you could end up with a comedy moment worthy of ‘You’ve Been Framed’. The best bikes for the sport are front suspension hard tail mountain bikes with disc brakes. These are the most suited to the sport and regular bike maintenance and kit maintenance is an absolute must as well as a love of speed and a well-developed sense of humour!”

Emily & Tequila