Bicycling With Your Small Dog
If you’re an avid bicycle rider, have you ever wondered how you can safely include your four-legged companion in the cycling fun? Riding a bike while holding onto your dog’s leash can easily cause disaster for both dog and rider; for example, an enthusiastic dog can pull bicycle and rider over, the leash can get tangled in the bike, or your dog could get hit by the bicycle. There are special devices which attach to the leash to the bicycle to allow you to keep both hands on the handlebars while keeping your dog a safe distance from the bike. However, what to do if you have a small dog that can’t keep up the speed or distance that you can cover on a bicycle? Consider a bicycle basket! They’re great not only for little dogs, but any dog that is not able to keep up as you ride your bike such as older dogs, dogs recovering from surgery, or dogs with painful or stiff joints.
Bicycle baskets have come a long way since Toto from the Wizard of Oz hitched a ride in a wicker basket. Most pet bicycle baskets fasten to your bike’s handlebars and include an interior safety strap to keep your pet securely inside the basket. Some, like the Solvit Sport dog bicycle basket, convert into a pet carrier with the addition of an attachable shoulder strap. For the traditionalist, the Solvit Wicker dog bicycle basket gives the classic look of a wicker basket but is made of synthetic rattan for added durability. If you’re up for a long bicycle ride, the Snoozer Sporty pet bike basket holds two water bottles, and also includes rain gear for inclement weather.
If you’re not comfortable with your dog riding on your handlebars, try a bike basket that attaches to the rear bicycle rack such as the Snoozer Pet Rider Bicycle Seat Lookout which can accommodate pets up to 24 pounds.
Larger dogs that don’t fit comfortably in a bicycle basket don’t have to be left out of the fun. Try a pet bicycle trailer which allows you to safely tow your dog. Most pet bicycle trailers have a low center of gravity for a smooth and stable ride. Some, like the Solvit HoundAbout II can even be converted into a walking or jogging stroller, and the large trailer is suitable for pets up to 110 pounds.
A bicycle basket is a great alternative for pets that love being outdoors but don’t have the stamina to keep up besides you on your bicycle. Before you pop your furry friend into a bike basket and hit the road, be sure to take a few short training rides around the block, gradually increasing the distance until he or she becomes a comfortable rider.