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23/04/2012 / Julie

Biking is fun!

I’ve been joring a lot with the dogs since I got Derria. She loves to pull, so I thought why not? Bajnok loves to pull to, he just needs speed to get started. He doesn’t pull at walking pace. Not even in the pulling harness. I suppose I should be happy about it, and I am, he never pulls on the lead at walking pace. It’s nice.

Derria, on the other hand, loves to pull. She has learned the differences in equipment, and now only pulls hard when wearing the NonStop harness. When wearing any kind of harness attached on the middle of the back, she doesn’t pull. She has also learned the commando “forward” as a sign for pulling, which is helpful when I need an extra tug. She also puts extra pressure on the lead when she gets stressed. It’s a good indicator of her well being.

As the snow melted I was wondering what to do next. How were we going to keep this activity level up? I had never been a big fan of biking with dogs. Romeo has to take the blame for a big part of my feelings here. He has several times caused me to nosedive over the front wheel by suddenly stopping because of a smell or something similiar. I did it with Bajnok a couple of times, and that was a blast. He was a lot of fun, but my bike was rubbish. So I lost the taste for biking for a while.

When I moved to Evenstad, I also moved there with a new bike. This bike was kind of brilliant, and we had a lovely forest next to us. We started biking again, me and Bajnok. Not a lot to begin with, but some. Here I could let him off lead. This was a wonderful deal. He would, uphill, run around and do his business, sometimes shouting at me to keep up, then downhill he would run next to me or in front. Always keeping an eye on me so he wouldn’t get run over. We both loved this. Then my bike got stolen. Right in front of our house. Grrr. Looked for it for a while, but it’s probavly somewhere in eastern Europe by now.

Then Derria came, and soon the snow. So we started skiing, which everyone loved. When we moved back home, there was less skiing, and we moved on to using one of these that I don’t know the English name for (help?). The dogs enjoyed that, but the skids kept scraping the side walks and it was hard sometimes to get far without a proper yank as we slid across a part of asphalt. We should have had part elastic leads for that, but I didn’t at that time and the dogs felt the asphalt. We did have some nice runs before the weather started to heat up, and when winter returns, we will pick it up again.

Recently we started biking again. It was a bit of a coincidence, but I needed to pick up my bike from the train station, I wasn’t feeling too well, and was eager to kill to birds with one stone. I decided I was going to try biking with them, and if it didn’t work, I could walk them and the bike together. On the way down I walked them on the drag belt to warm them up. As we got to the bike, I felt dread creeping in, but I made it ready. Put the leads on the steering and hooked the dogs on. I said “Forward! Go!” And they went! At a serious speed. Uphill at a gallop. Past people and a dog barking in a yard. It was so much fun! No need to worry about leads getting caught, they kept them tight. All the way home. About 3 km. But I did realise it would be easier if I had one lead for them. And since there is no give in the steering, the lead needed to have some give in it. So I bought an elastic lead, with an oportunity to split. Again it’s NonStop DogWear’s handiwork. (MAN! I love their products!!). This thing with this thing. It’s brilliant. So now we’re a walking advert for NonStop, as well as loving evry minute of it.

Yesterday, Sunday, we went for a properly long run. I partly wanted to test the dogs, and get in a good long exercise. The dogs are in good shape now. Derria has built a lot of muscle since she came to me, and Bajnok has always been in pretty good shape. So yesterday we went on a 10 km (1 mil, in Norwegian) bike run. About half way through we took a little breather where I kept the dogs moving so they’d keep their muscles warm, but still get to catch their breath. They did very well, pulling all they way. All 10 km. Back home they got to run around on the field for about 15-20 minutes while I stretched them out, and they calmed down their heart rates and muscles.

I firmly believe that they wouldn’t have lasted as long with other harnesses. It’s important to get real quality for your dogs, and to know why your getting exactly that harness for that use. What kind of pressure is the harness putting on your dog’s body.

But biking is officially fun again! Despite having a rubbish bike.

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2 Comments

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  1. kenzohw / Apr 24 2012 16:49

    And to think you almost missed it because you dreaded to pick up the bike. Those days are the best 🙂 I have to get my act together and start that bike! And true, with that great gear from NonStop I have no more excuses!

    • Julie / Apr 24 2012 17:06

      Yes, those days are the best. Suddenly everything changes. I’m sure Kenzo will love to bike! Maybe even Viva one day, if she’s up to it. The NonStop gear puts the pressure in all the right places. 😛

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