Friday Five: Dogs

Why Dogs Are A Mountain Biker's Best Friend

Mountain biker kicks up dust on a corner, while dog runs behind, Yukon, Canada
By Seb Kemp
Photo by Dan Barham

Almost anyone who has a dog already knows how good it is to ride with a fur baby, so I apologize for going over old ground. However, if you aren’t converted to the butt-sniffing, poop-scooping rhythm of riding with a dog, here’s five utterly mushy-hearted reasons to consider taking Rover on your next and every roam in the woods.

1. You have a reason to ride alone
Let’s face it, people are unreliable. Tell someone ‘Let’s meet at 10 a.m.’ and it will be 10:23 a.m. before that person turns up. Then, no doubt, you’ll have to stop to pick up a coffee, an inner tube and make “one last urgent phone call first”. All of this cuts into riding time and if you have a limited window to start with then that’s just valuable riding time getting thrown out of the window.

However, a dog will always be ready to go, doesn’t have life to organize and booty calls to make. No messing, except the kind that needs cleaning up. But that’s a small price to pay for unobstructed riding time.

2. You’ll never ride alone
Of course, if you ride with a pooch, then you are never alone. Teach it to high five after a particularly rad section of trail and you have the perfect trail partner.

3. You’ll always have motivation
On those days when you are tired / have work to do / have a puncture to fix /or need motivation to hit the trails, having a dog that needs a run might just be the encouragement you need to get outside on your bike.

4. You’ll finally know someone that loves biking more than you
I can’t speak for all dogs, but the dogs I know all love running in the woods. A human’s two weedy legs can’t sustain the sort of speed and power required to go like a dog likes to go. As long as you don’t get some foofy little lap dog, you will always have someone who grins like a mad dog when it comes to blasting through singletrack.

5. You’ll have a better connection with the terrain
You have to think about your surroundings, avoid the pavement and consider where all the good watering holes are so your dog is kept in good shape. It will make you scrutinize the route you plan to take and then offer you chances to just stop, breath and take in the view once in a while.