In an earlier post, I sang the praises of the Trixie Biker Set which allows a dog to run alongside its owner’s cycle on the road. I use this every day, and in fact for long stretches I do not need to pedal because Marlowe is essentially pulling me along. It came as something of a surprise to discover that there is a fully fledged sport along these lines known as bikejoring.
Bikejoring is a “mushing” activity – a sport or transport powered by dogs – and is related to sled dog racing, skijoring (where the dog pulls its owner on skis – the owner, not the dog), and canicross, which is cross-country running with a dog on a lead attached to the waist. In bikejoring, the dog wears a body harness and runs in front of the bike on a bungee line that should be attached to a projecting pole so that it does not get tangled in the spokes of the front wheel.
Marlowe loves our side-by-side biking. Wouldn’t he love this too? There are many videos on the Internet showing just what fun it is – here’s the one that a friend sent me from the BBC – and I’m surprised it is not a more widespread sport. In French it is called “Cani-VTT” or “VTT joëring”. There are some 50 clubs devoted to the activity in France, organised by the Fédération Française des Sports de Traineau, de ski / vtt joëring et canicross, including one in Touraine. But though I’m tempted, I think I’ll stick to joring with Marlowe on the country tracks around my home. But I’d love to see a bikejoring race in action…
Oh, OK – time for a « dog and bicycle » joke.
– My dog chases after everyone who passes the house on a bike.
– What are you going to do about it?
– No choice. I’ll have to confiscate his bike.