How I Roll: This Ride is for the Dogs

Words and photo by Frank Hyman.

We have a yellow Labrador retriever named Abbey. She’s sweet and enthusiastic. When she sees me with a leash or tennis ball she pogo jumps, straight up and down, seven or eight times.

How We Roll - Ride with your dog

I love our dog, but I don’t love walking a dog. Too boring. So when I discovered there was such a thing as a bike leash, my heart did a little pogo jump. For $80 I bought one from Petego. It has a permanent mount that attaches out of the way, just below my bike seat. A cotter pin links it to a removable, springloaded rod and a stretchable leash with a clip. The clip attaches to a dog harness (not a collar) that goes around Abbey’s chest. The bike leash holds her clear of my pedals and away from the front wheel, safe as a sidecar. Collisions just aren’t a possibility as they would be with a hand-held leash.

You might think that this rig could lead to disasters when the dog wants to chase a squirrel. But the springiness of the bike leash absorbs any change in direction and the bike’s momentum keeps everyone parallel. Best of all, once Abbey graduates from walking speed to trotting speed her brain gets into travel mode rather than sniffing mode.

This bike leash thing works. I can get a ride in, exercise my dog and not be bored out of my skull.

But my wife, Chris, was doubtful. So I persuaded her to go for a ride with us. I hooked an excited Abbey to my bike. As Chris rode off , Abbey wanted to follow her immediately. Abbey loves me, but she’s in love with Chris. As long as Chris was in the lead, Abbey would trot to keep up with her and pull me along like I had my own personal sled dog. I simply coasted all the way to the dog park.

Chris won’t always be riding with us though. So now I wonder if I can get Abbey to pull me along by hanging a tennis ball in front of her. Mush.


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