Sophie, Tiki & Lauren take a quick break on the MTB trail

One of the best benefits about working for Ruff Wear is the location of our corporate office–less than a mile from Phil’s Trail trailhead! That makes for convenient lunchtime mountain bike rides.

This fall, Greg and I have been enjoying Wednesday lunchtime rides, and last week we decided to bring Sophie and Tiki along for the adventure.

Riding with dogs presents a number of challenges, and figuring out the configuration of our pack was one of them. We first tried letting the dogs lead; but after an 1/8 mile, they were off sniffing in the bushes and chasing chipmunks. Then we tried running them between the two bikes.  That seemed to keep them running in the right direction.

The dogs’ favorite part seemed to be stopping directly on the trail, adding another obstacle to the trail (for us and other riders). When they weren’t acting as speed bumps, they enjoyed the meeting other dogs on the trail. Tiki seems to want to run off with them and the other riders instead of me. Our ride was cut in half because of our crazy canines, but it was worth it. Life doesn’t get much better than spending the lunch hour in the woods, on bikes, and with our dogs!

8 thoughts

  1. Hi Lauren,

    We carry some options for safely biking with your dog that you may like to check out. We love RuffWear gear and are a dealer ourselves. The Webmaster harness is one of the best in my opinion for biking with your dog because of all the padding. Here are some resources we created in case you are interested:

    Dog Biking Tips – http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/dog-biking-tips.html

    Dog Bike Leash Guide – http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/20dogbilebug.html

    Dog Bike Leash Videos – http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/wavitu.html

  2. Thanks for the article. Aside from my bike being recently stolen, I HAD been working on getting my dog out there on the mountain with me when I ride (or when I will ride again). She’s a German Shorthair Pointer who has hunting experience and finished training so the hunt is definitely in her BUT she is SUPER trainable and can be called off on points. Do you have any/anymore tips on how to ride with your dog alone on the trails. What you observe to be the best way AND how do you get them there?

    Any advice is much appreciated!

    1. Hi Kerri,
      Tiki, my border collie-kelpie mix, was not the best mountain biking dog, when we first started. He ran away on the final mile of the ride, and was gone, in the forest, for over 20 minutes. Talk about stressful.
      We have since worked on it, by first trail running the same trails we mountain bike, so he learns where the path goes and that he needs to stay with me. I do keep a Quick Draw leash on him, so if I need to grab him quickly, I can. I try to keep him in front of my bike, letting him set the pace. I have used treats as rewards. And, taking him on a run/ride with a well behaved dog taught via through ‘peer pressure’.
      To answer your last question, when we ride the trails together, we typically drive to the trail head instead of riding there. It’s way safer, we don’t have to be concerned with cars or trucks.
      I hope you and your pup get to enjoy many adventures together!
      Lauren

    2. Kerri – What a great story idea! I think we will do an article on mountain biking with your dog since it presents some unique challenges!

      1. Awesome, cannot wait for it (well I guess I can since I don’t have a new bike yet, can we start sending in for our tax return yet?).

        Oh, and if you need a model for this shoot Sofie would be too perfect to pass up! You’ll get some great running, sniffing and pointing shots, ha. To her credit she is super sweet, gorgeous, and very trainable.

        Let me know 😉

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