Bike-Jor, or how to wear down your hyper dog

I am the proud owner of a 90-pound Weimaraner named Rodney, and Rodney is one tough bugger to wear down. We run three to five times a week together, but he still needs more.

Enter: Bike-joring.

I’ve written two stories in the past month on so-called dryland dog sports (one for New York Times; another for a local paper here in Minneapolis). All the inundation got me interested in trying it out on my own, and thus I called my friend John Thompson at Skijornow.com about some gear.

(Here’s a picture of Thompson with his two huskies on the bike.)

Thompson sent out a harness for Rodney and an elasticized line for the bike. A girth hitch around the tube under my handlebars secured the line to my mountain bike, and within a couple minutes Rodney and I were off.

In bike-jor competition (yes, there is such a thing), the rider pedals hard to take as much strain off the dog as possible. I pretty much do the opposite with my frisky Weimaraner.

(This is Rodney.)

Rodney loves to pull, and on the bike I let him. We cruise on flat trails, and going uphill I pedal to take the weight off.

A three-mile loop and Rodney is, well, dog tired.

Anyway, that’s my take on bike-joring as of late. Still waiting for the snow to fall here in Minnesota, then I’ll hook him up for some skijoring. . .

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.