Get jiggy with your bicycle

At a holiday mutt mixer last December, I met David Sylvester, a Seattle vaccine scientist, and his gorgeous Shepherd/Husky mix dog, Chiva. They were preparing to cycle around the country and climb the highest peak in each of the Lower 48 states. In addition to providing a chance for adventures together, David and Chiva’s Tour de Dog aims to raise awareness about and money for the fight against animal cruelty and environment destruction.

I like hearing stories of novel ways to incorporate dogs into formerly human-only activities. But I was behind the curve on this one. For example, during the cycling legs, Chiva rides in style in a DoggyRide trailer. It’s a sign of the times that folks aren’t simply modifying child-carriers anymore. Companies are actually manufacturing “sidecars” for dogs.

My favorite adaptation for a cycling dog is the Xtracycle, sport utility bike. This cycling-dog option requires a game pup with excellent equilibrium, such as Jiggy, Ken Hoeve’s Pit Bull, who balanced on a skateboard-like platform at the back of an Xtracycle for much of an 800-mile trek from Savannah, Georgia, to Key West, Florida in 2001. Jiggy also floated along in a raft, pulled by Hoeve in a kayak, during watery stretches. Ken with Jiggy (at home in Colorado last year) shared his story with us for Dog Park Wisdom. After a life of exuberant adventures, Jiggy succumbed to cancer last year. I’m thrilled to include his photo in the blog.


2 Responses to “Get jiggy with your bicycle”

  1. 1 Abby K9 May 12, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I think this is a good way for people to include their dog in their bicycling if the dog is not able to actually run alongside the bike: like small breed dogs or dogs with health issues.

    I’ve recently taking up bicycling with Abby, although I have to admit that it was more because of her I took up bicycling than anything else. I’m not a very fast runner, and because her strides are longer than mine, running alongside each other doesn’t give her the opportunity to actually stretch out. Enter the bicycle.

    We do it the old-fashioned way, with a leash, instead of using the Springer or similar attachments, and that works very well for us. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

  2. 2 WendyHJ May 27, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I used a K9 Cruiser with my Italian greyhound for awhile until she finally just rebelled and said look, I go fast for short bursts and am not into this jogging for miles thing. I have yet to find an option to try without laying out a ton of money. I thought about looking for used kids bike trailers at garage sales, but they have seats and would require modification. I would like to find someone who has a dog trailer and try her out in it. I am pretty sure I am going to need one with a zip mesh front or something to be sure she does not jump out. I tried a bike basket for dogs that went on the rear mountain rack and she jumped out of it. Most items are made for dogs a little bit smaller than she is. SHe weights almost 17 pounds and is 13 inches at the front shoulder and about 20 inches at the top of her head when sitting. Yeah, another reason why I haven’t taken her anywhere on a plane with me – she is too large for the under-seat dog carriers, and she doesn’t crate well (she has memories of being flown from KS to WA as a 7 old puppy I think).

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