When I tell my cycling friends and colleagues that I’ve recently started bikejoring with my dog, it’s almost always met with a blank expression. Far from a mainstream cycling discipline, bikejoring is fun, fast-paced, and even faster-growing, but what exactly is it?
Bikejoring (pronounced bike-jore-ing) is a form of off-road cycling in which a dog (or two) run in front of a bike, attached via a bungee line and a special harness designed to allow the dog to comfortably and safely pull.
It’s roots lie in the commonly-snow-based activity of mushing, which itself refers to using dogs to pull the ‘musher’ on their sled or wheeled rig. Picture a pack of huskies pulling sleds through snow and you’re on the right lines.
In the most simple terms possible, bikejoring is that, but with fewer dogs, and a mountain bike instead of the sled. Closely related is the sport of canicross, which involves cross-country running instead of mountain biking, and skijoring which as you may have worked out, replaces the bike with skis.
It might still be widely unknown, but it’s a recognised sport with two international governing bodies, the International Canicross Federation (ICF), and the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) as well as national, continental and world championships. It isn’t governed by cycling’s governing body, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), so it wasn’t incorporated into the Glasgow multi-disciplinary world championships, but in some instances such as equipment restrictions, the rules do borrow from the UCI.
Is bikejoring safe?
In a word, yes. Bikejoring is safe for both you and your dogs.
Of course, like any form of cycling, this assumes it is being done in a safe manner, on a safe and suitable course, with the correct equipment, all of which I will explain in more detail throughout this feature.
We’re in no way affiliated, but equipment brand NonStop has an excellent resource on additional bikejoring safety tips for more on this subject.
You’ll need a bike that can handle riding off road. The type of bike you choose will depend on the terrain you choose to tackle and your proficiency handling it. If you’re unsure here, a cross country mountain bike is a safe…