Monday, April 12, 2010

Biking

One of the suggestions from the Tufts University behaviorist is to provide Reagan with 20 minutes of aerobic activity twice a day. Without a treadmill, I cannot begin to come close to meeting that recommendation. So twice a week, Reagan is biked for an hour.
I can say that there is a bright side to Reagan's noise phobias. Biking has given Stephen and I an activity to do together on a regular basis. Generally, we go our separate ways after work. He might take his senior greyhounds for a stroll in the woods or he might go for a run. Our paths cross when I head to the gym or out to train the hounds. But biking Reagan has given us a reason to take the same path. And thank goodness because I have no sense of direction and still cannot remember the route we take. I would probably never find my way back to the parking lot.
My bike has a Springer dog attachment that I use when we need to be legal or polite. My biggest pet peeve is when people unleash dogs that are not extremely well trained. Therefore, I always leash my dogs when we pass other park users so as not to interfere with their outing. I highly recommend the Springer. Even when your dog lunges for a squirrel, the spring absorbs the energy and you barely feel it through the bike.
We are very lucky to have an excellent bike trail 20 minutes from our home. There is a 3 or 4 mile loop that most folks stick to. However, we stay on the little used trails which actually provide better footing for Reagan.
First, we circle a field near the parking lot and just let Reagan burn some steam off.

Then we explore off the beaten path and on some old roads that are not used by cars anymore. Stephen will often ride ahead of us so he can let me know if there are people up ahead. I love it when Reagan will travel between us so I can see her, but most of the time she sticks very close and follows behind me.
We also found an abandoned campground. So far, we have never seen another person on the trails that wind through it.
Stephen is always good about picking up trash if he can.
The funny thing is that we often hear the train that Reagan has a phobic reaction to at my favorite hiking spot. We also are starting to hear the boat engines on the lake, but she is fine as long as she is busy and moving. Needless to say, we do not take any breaks.

And my favorite sight... the long, hanging tongue.And kudos to Stephen for loading, unloading, and washing my bike every time! Thank you!

19 comments:

BrittBeah said...

Oh Fun! Glad you guys are enjoying your Springer.
How in the world did you get steady enough to take a pic of her running along side of you? I've never been good enough to get a good shot of the boys while biking.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

It wasn't easy :-).

Life With Dogs said...

As a biker, I just love this. I was looking at a springer on the plane ride home yesterday and thinking I really need to get one.

Sold! :)

houndstooth said...

I have got to show this to my husband! He lives on his bike from April until the end of October if he can. If he thought he could take one of the girls with him, he'd be thrilled. Just curious, how far do you generally ride with her?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I bike her on trails up and down hills for an hour. Not sure how many miles that is. I know we did the 4 mile loop which is fairly flat in about 35 minutes once. Just depends on the hound's fitness, motivation, and temperature.

Two things about the Springer. They recommend using a harness and they also provide break away tabs. I do not want my dog to be able to break away so I do not use the tabs. I also don't use a harness cause I saw how it rubbed Britt's greyhound. I just use a collar and tie my leash with a quick release knot.

jcp said...

Really Cool!
I've been looking at this kind of system and bikejoring. My concern about bikejoring has always been that my boy would be way out in front and thus not as easily controlable should we encounter any other dogs etc.. Did you ever have any trouble with Reagan crossing back into the bike? How much leash does she get when attached?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Unless you are on the perfect trail, I'm not super comfortable with bikejoring either. At least with the Springer you could bike around the neighborhood, the park, etc.

I give Reagan probably about 2 feet of leash, but she doesn't pull or lunge at all. I do a little shorter with Riley because she will actually try to go faster than me at times when she is hunting so I don't want her to have enough leash to get in front of the bike.

Reagan has crossed behind the bike before. Its no big deal. I just stop and put her back on the correct side. No harm done.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Houndstooth, I know I've done about 5 miles at the park on mostly flat pavement before also. Both had no problems, but both are very fit.

Jazz the Greyhound said...

Looks like you had lots of fun! Mom wishes she could hook me onto a bike..

Greyhound Kisses,
Jazz

Jemma the Chihuahua said...

Looks like fun! Glad you were able to find something to do with Reagan to take her mind off her phobia.

greytblackdog said...

I'd love to be able to bike with my girls. However, I'm far too much of a clutz to even attempt it. I could see scraped knees and cuts in my future if I ever attempted it. I love seeing Reagan so happy!

Katie said...

I totally envy you your access to quiet trails. I'd really like to start biking with Steve, but the only trails I know of are rails to trails and very heavily used by people, dogs, and horses.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Looks like an awesome way for everyone to exercise! Once we get moved to our retirement ranch in NM I will have 100 of miles of country dirt roads to ride on...with only an occasional cow in the way.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'm totally jealous, Sandy. Sounds like a great place for all sorts of dog activities. My absolute dream would be to have a horse again and be able to trail ride with my dogs along side. Just not a lot good places for that anymore.

heelerhound said...

I'm new here, and am extremely impressed! I really want to know, do you choose your greyhounds by their potential? I have a greyhound, and I bike and jog with her, but she doesn't have much endurance. I usually take my Australian Cattle Dog, who needs it. Thanks for the greyt stuff here!!!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Heelerhound, yes, I do have criteria that I look for when I am choosing a greyhound. Motivation, drive, and energy level especially. I pick those I think will be easy to train, who need a job, and have above average energy levels. Thanks for stopping by.

JazzBelle504 said...

When I lived in Uptown New Orleans I got the bike and the same gizmo for the leash as we had an excellent place to bike at Audubon Park. Sadly, there was no time to give it much of a chance because of Katrina. But I was pretty much a klutz on the bike without even considering the hound. Now on the Northshore we bought an adult tricycle on which we can exercise our 3 hounds all at once and I haven't fallen over once! We call it out daily greyhound parade!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

JazzBelle, I'd love to see a picture of the tricycle and 3 greyhounds!

JazzBelle504 said...

not sure how to post a picture to the blog. Actually having a hard time just getting a profile pic up. Any help would be appreciated.