Monday, July 18, 2016

Bikejoring in New Zealand

How awesome is this!?!?!  Christina Rock, from New Zealand, sent me a picture of herself and her greyhound, Ali, bikejoring.  I had to know more!

Christina got started when she was fostering Harry, an unnamed, unraced, untrained Greyhound that was available for adoption via Southland Greyhound adoption last July. He was young, full of energy, and in need of an active job. Christina had seen my post about bikejoring and knew there was a local sled dog club (Southland Sled Dog Association) that maintained and groomed trails for Canisports (canicross, bikejoring, and skatejoring). The club is very welcoming of all dogs including the non-Nordic breeds.  I am so jealous!
Christina started Harry on canicross (cross country running with your dog) and bikejored him a couple of times.  Thankfully, he was adopted by a lady who is equally active so he continues his active lifestyle.

So Christina eagerly awaited another foster greyhound with similar energy levels to Henry.  In comes Ali, a 3 year old ex-racing greyhound, who she has since adopted.  Ali has really taken to bikejoring!

Ali wears a Front Range Ruffwear harness, a straight shoulder harness. It keeps her back free when she is galloping and distributes weight really well when she is pulling.  The harness is attached to a bungee line, made by a local musher, that is connected to the front of the bike.  You can peddle the bike to help the dog out and use the brakes when you need to slow or stop the dog or to stop the dog from darting off the trail.

Christina was nice enough to use a GoPro on a recent outing.  The first clip is Ali following a pair of huskies.  Christina said she was pulling like a “beast” so she gave her a break after this clip. 

After walking half of a kilometer, Ali had settled into a more moderate pace.

In total, the run was 2.5 kilometers.  Top speed was 29.7 kmh or 18.5 mph for us Americans. 

Recently, Christina and Ali competed in a local sled dog scarper where they have canicross, bikejoring, and relay races open to all breeds.  Ali outperformed a number of huskies in her class on a 2.8 km course with an average speed of 17.3 kmh (10.7 mph).  Go greyhound!