What is Bikejoring?
While it may have a funny name, bikejoring is a great way to get outside and enjoy a bit of nature while spending time with your favorite furry friend. It's also a bonafide sport, but unlike traditional sled mushing, where one or several dogs pulls someone riding a sled, bikejoring replaces the sled with a bicycle.
With both competitive and leisurely approaches, bikejoring runs the gambit from an afternoon ride to an all-out, rivalrous match between competing contestants. However, bikejoring itself is pretty simple: One or more dogs are leashed to a bike and they pull the bike and rider down a path. It sounds strange, but it's actually a ton of great fun -- if you've ever taken your dog for a bike ride you know what we're talking about. It's also sort of a dry-land mushing sport with no sleds or snow, meaning you can participate all year 'round, especially if you live in a warmer climate.
The history of bikejoring comes from traditional sled dog mushing, but it's unclear exactly how or when bikejoring started. Skijoring, in which dogs pull a person on skis predates the sport, and is likely the missing link between mushing and the more modern sport of bikejoring.
There are two main ways to participate in bikejoring, and it depends on where the dog sits during the action. The first is to have the dog pull from the front, leading the bike and its passenger down the trail. The second is to have the dog run alongside the bike, where special bikejoring equipment keeps the pup safe and in position during each run.
Typically taking place on trails inside forests and up on mountains, bikejoring is primarily a mountain biking exercise, though more leisurely forms of bikejoring on paved streets means just about any type of bike can be used.
In order to safely do bikejoring, we recommend your dog wears one of the following harnesses: Adjustable Racing Harness, Perfect-Fit Harness or Sled Pro Harness. All harnesses are very solid, have comfortable extra padding and are made with non-allergenic and breathable materials. The main differences among them are the fitting style and weight. Generally speaking, all other things being equal, you want the harness to be as light as possible.
The Sled Pro Harness is the lightest (126g / 4.4oz for a Medium size) and therefore most comfortable for the dog and best-performing as a whole, but its design is only meant for Purebred Nordic dogs, like the Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute. If you have one of these breeds, that's the model we recommend.
The Perfect-Fit Harness offers the most flexibility in terms of fitting, because of its 8 adjustment points, and is therefore recommended for all breeds, but is also the heaviest of the three (450g / 1lb for a Medium size).
The Adjustable Racing Harness is a compromise between the two. A Medium size weighs 209g (7.4oz) and it has adjustable chest and back sections.