Mountain Biking Beagles

In response to my last post Sam, owner of Chigley, suggested mountain biking as a way of giving our hounds enough exercise whilst keeping them with us at all time. Despite the fact that neither of us can ride a bike we thought this was a great idea and true to form have jumped in with both feet and ordered the kit before common sense has a chance to kick in and spoil the fun!

Today we ordered two shiny new mountain bikes (These had good reviews and came highly recommended):(Click here to view)

And two kits for attaching our Beagles securly to our bikes (recommended by Sam and Chigley)!(Click here to view)

All that remains is to get some protective gear – helmets (yuk!) and Julie posted to my previous post to advise us to get padded fingerless gloves (Biggles can help us make those!).

The bikes should arive early next week. Then the fun begins! We’ll do our best to get the highlights of our first attempts¬†on camera.

8 Replies to “Mountain Biking Beagles”

  1. Sarah Lowes

    Hi There,
    Where do you get the attachments for the bikes from?
    We’re trying to train our 2 to come biking with us but Fudge isn’t willing. She currently goes nuts when bikes go by so we’re hoping by coming with us this fear/anxiety will disappear.

    Cheers,

    Sarah

  2. Susan Post author

    Hi Sarah,

    I did actually put links to the suppliers of the bikes and lead attachments but the way I did it wasn’t clear. I’ve now added a ‘click here’ link!

    Let us know how you get on – at least you know how to ride a bike so you’re several steps ahead of us :)

  3. Kirby

    I’d better dig some new holes in the field ready for your trials. Mum said Beannie will need a new jacket, “Biker Chick” Biggles will just need a scarf

  4. Claire

    My beagle Angus loves running with my bike! Like you, my husband and I bought our bikes in our quest to find better ways to exercise our dogs (although I have you to thank for introducing us to flyball). His running when I’m on the bike is comparable to off-leash running so he gets tired faster than when we go on runs or hikes. A little advice though, avoid using x-backed harnesses when you bike with your dog since it’s fairly easy for them to get out of those. If Beanie and Biggles show reluctance towards running with the bikes, introduce it to them first by walking them next to it. And don’t forget to let them do their number ones and twos before getting on the bike! Good luck!

  5. Sam Post author

    In response to your questions & to help get you started, I suggest the following tips:-

    – Don’t attempt to attach the dogs to the bikes until you feel confident & competent with your bike, especially balance & braking ( I had several “near misses” thanks to McDonalds bags lurking in the hedge bottom along our local cycle track! – they smell them a mile away & you wonder why you’ve got a sudden surge in beagle power & then you see it, too late, as the beagle nose plunges into the bag..,bringing you to a very swift standstill….even more so if it’s on the opposite side of the bike to your dog lead!!)

    – Buy padded shorts…they look ridiculous, but are essential for comfort ( you will have bruised seat bones after the first few outings regardless, but you do get used to it – like horse riding, if you’ve ever done that?) You will probably hate cycling for a start, I did, but it does get easier as you get fitter….I even punished myself with a stint of spin classes at the local gym to try to get fit enough to go out with my husband!
    You can also buy a comfier seat too, I got one with gel pads for about ¬£20 – can’t recall the make at the moment but will look it up if you’re interested.

    – When you’re ready, I suggest you go to your local “safe” park, with one of you on the bike & one walking with the dogs. We did this in our local dog safe area ( a reclaimed quarry), & my husband, Paul, would ride along on his bike & call Chig after him. Chig needed no encouragement to chase him (barking, of course) . I would also practice sending Chig off to Paul as he disappeared out of view, over a hill, round a corner etc, – this got him really focused on Paul & the bike. I guess Chig was about 7-8 months old when we started this,late last summer, & so we kept it short so as not to over exert his joints, etc. ( but he was always so full of beans, it seemed unlikely he could ever be over exerted,!)

    – We then progressed to a local cycle trail along the riverside. This was before I’d got the dog biker set. Paul (being a far more competent & fitter cyclist than me) had Chig on a long lead , cycling one-handed (not to be recommended – I tried, got the lead wrapped in the front wheel & came to an abrupt holt on the handlebars – painful!). We were always amazed at the speed Chig wanted to travel at ( & still does) – I thought it was too fast & was worried he was trying to “escape” from the bike & I was also concerned that he would over exert himself, , but trying to slow him down seemed to make him pull harder & pant more.
    After an initial excited fast, hurtle as fast as he can pull you ( this is improving now with commands of “steady”), he settles down, & rather than a steady trot he prefers to “lope” – like a steady canter. I’ve since watched hounds (fox & beagle) & this seems to be a natural gait for them to cover ground.

    Since getting the dog biker set for Christmas, I’ve been able to take Chig on our bike trips (rather than Paul getting the benefit of added beagle power when he needs it the least!) Chig took to the new set up really easily. The only problems I had was with the beagle power pulling the distance keeper bar forwards. It needs to be clamped really tightly to the seat post ( use a piece of rubber around the post to help prevent slippage). The one we’ve got is a little different to the “de-luxe” version so you may not get this problem as the spring might take more of the force out?
    It also took Chig a couple of scuffs with the bike to get used to cornering at the side of the bike & travelling between concrete posts on the same side as the bike!…beagles are made of tough stuff though as you know & in no way was his confidence dented!

    Over this year we have progressed from the riverside cycle path & the quarry, to visiting new territory – local forests with cycle tracks & fire roads, where we bravely let him off for the first time! . We’ve also done some local bridleways acros & around farmland – prime rabbit & hare territory. To date he has always stuck with us & after initially being distracted by other dogs, MacDonald’s bags, etc, he now lopes past with only a quick sniff, preferring to stick with his biker pack!
    I’ve also had a couple of instances with him running off after other bikes if they pass by us when out walking, but he was easily called off them & now doesn’t bother.

    We have covered almost 20 miles on a couple of trips, always with plenty of stops for a drink & a rest ( for me – Chig doesn’t seem at all tired). I also check his paws to see if they are suffering from any soreness, as he doesn’t get much hard “road work” & his pads are not really thick & hard, but he has not shown any sign of a problem at all with this.
    Well, that’s about all my knowledge to date & I’m certainly not a dog biking expert! Whether Chig is a typical beagle biker I can’t say, as to date I’ve not met or seen any others….I’ve seen a local Border Collie who is an enthusiastic “biker”, but similarly by his breed, is a million times better behaved than a beagle!

    I hope all goes well for you, you’ve certainly got some great countryside to go cycling in & I look forward to your posts! Beanie & latterly Biggles ( he seems so similar to Chig with his “woof attitude”) have been a great inspiration to me, consoling me at times of desperation that my beagle is perfectly “normal” …..it has taken a while to type this with the hindrance of a rubber chicken intermittently being dropped on the keyboard…..

    Good luck!

    Sam & Chigley!

  6. Susan Post author

    Sam originally sent me the above reply via email but I got her permission to post it here as others will find it useful – and I thought some of the descriptions were pretty funny!

    Claire, it’s really good to hear that it’s working well for other Beagles too. I can’t wait to get started!!

  7. Steve

    We use the walkydog attachment from innerwolf for our beagle which is great too,heres my review.
    Purchased the walkydog a few weeks ago but snow and ice has prevented use till today. The clamp was too big for all 3 of our bikes and the plastic sleeve makes it fit but then there is too much movement when the dog pulls, so i attached it to the seat stem and slightly onto the frame of seat stem and this secures it perfectly.
    Removed 2 of the springs for my beagle and this was fine and very easy to do.
    My dog pulls for england so we were in for a test,after a couple of minutes pushing bike backwards and forwards and in circles Marley was ready for his first ride.We set off early am to our local park which is a gravel type path,wax on paws first too, we saw a few dogs and got a few strange looks of their owners but marley seemed fine and was pounding alongside me fine.
    I then encountered my first resistance,not from my or any other dog but from an elderly lady shouting at me telling me how cruel i was and how dangerous my walkydog was! I had stopped now and her dogs both on extending leads were now snapping and barking under my feet, i tried to talk to her but some people are not worth the hastle so i said my bit and off we went again as she went round the park telling people how cruel i was!!!
    Other than that I and marley enjoyed the ride and i would highly reccomend,just beware of grumpy old ladys.

  8. Zei Cinofilia

    If your dog is a house dog and is not blind, your dog should adjust fairly well. Dogs bond to people rather than places, so he should be okay.
    The problem would be if your dog is blind or going blind as he will have a hard time finding his way around in the new home.

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