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Would Fido Like to go on that Bike Ride with You?

Mar 17, 2008
The bicycle -- what a wonderful, freeing mode of transportation. The first bicycle was invented in Europe in the nineteenth century, and today it is the world's most popular vehicle. The bicycle allowed travel that is 3 times more energy efficient than walking, and 3-4 times as fast as walking. Bicycles and horse buggies were the two mainstays of private transportation just prior to the invention of the automobile, and the grading of smooth roads in the late 19th century was stimulated by the wide use of these devices. Bicycles are a pragmatic, functional, and efficient component of a healthy urban transportation system. They are simple and elegant machines that attract just about every kid of all ages, from 2 to 92. Bicycling has many health benefits and does not directly contribute to global warming or environmental pollution. It is a wonderful sport that brings health and joy to millions of people everywhere.

Have you wanted to travel with your dog but find the whole thing too overwhelming? There are several ways of enjoying your bike and your pet at the same time -- some are more safe than others.

With large dogs, you could bike walk your dog -- you on your bicycle and your dog on a leash. This method gives both you and your dog exercise, but what is the risk? You've increased the width that automobile drivers need to avoid -- not advised on busy streets. Also your safety is now not only in your hands, but also in the paws of your dog. Are you ready for your dog quickly running after a stray cat? And what about your dog's safety? Be careful not to let your dog run too long on a hard surface. This can cause joint problems and possibly bleeding of the paws. There is a lot at stake and a lot of uncertainties when you bike-walk with your pet.

Even more risky would be to allow your dog to run ahead of your bicycle without a leash. Your safety is no longer in the paws of your pet, but there are leash laws in many parts of this country. You may believe your dog is very well trained, but there are so many things that could go wrong if you let your dog run loose.

For small to medium dogs, there is a much safer method of bicycling with your pet -- pet bicycle trailer. Actually, some pet bicycle trailers can accommodate pets up to 115 pounds. With one of these attached to the back of your bicycle, you can maintain your active lifestyle and get your pet out in the fresh air. Going to the park to give your pet a little fun and exercise? Why not get some exercise yourself on the trip there and back, without tiring them out along the way? You can put any small to medium pet in a pet bicycle trailer. Of course, it might take some getting used to and training, especially for the more high strung pets. The Trek'R and the Burley Tail Wagon are both high quality trailers.

There are precautions when using a pet bicycle trailer. When riding, your pet should always be secured with the safety leash adjusted to the correct length. Do not exceed the weight capacity of your pet bicycle trailer. Check the inflation of your bicycle and trailer tires before every ride. Check the connection of the trailer to your bicycle before your bicycle ride. Riding with the pet bicycle trailer increases your braking distance and may affect your ability to control your bicycle. Practice in a safe area before riding with the trailer in high-traffic areas. Always wear a safety helmet when riding.

There is one more way to enjoy your bike rides and your pets, too -- a pet carrier that fits on your bicycle's handle bars. This is only recommended for small pets up to around 15 pounds -- your pet bike carrier will specify the exact weight limit. Now you can have your dog share in the fun of a bike ride. Bike ride with your pet in front of you with a center-mounted bicycle pet carrier. You're closer to your pet and can better enjoy his company with a bicycle pet carrier, like the Pet Cruiser Sport Carrier and the Pet Cruiser Wicker Cruiser.

Here are some of the precautions when using a handlebar mounted pet carrier. Never leave your pet unattended or alone in the pet carrier. Never leave your animal confined or unattended in direct sunlight or anytime there is a risk of overheating. Be sure to secure your pet with the harness. Do not speed while riding your bicycle with your pet on board. Wear an approved bicycle helmet. Do not ride when it is raining or when the roads are wet. Do not ride after dark. Check everything over before riding. Do not exceed the weight capacity limit specified by your bicycle carrier. When installing safety straps, be sure they do not interfere with brake cables, brake levers, or gear control shifters of your bicycle.
About the Author
Check out our high quality Pet Bicycle Carriers and Pet Bicycle Trailers at PetAbbey , along with our other healthy Pet Products.
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