After Juan’s bike seat was stolen, we had to make a trip to Bike & Hike in Corvallis to replace the seat post. While there, I fell in love with a snazzy red bike like this one –
I resisted the urge to buy it right then and there because it would never fit into my car and do I really need a bike? It’s been years since I rode to work and even more years since I’d bought a brand new bike. I couldn’t justify the expense and besides, it was pouring down rain.
Of course we bought the wrong size seat post and had to go back again the next day. The bike was even more snazzy on second look but again I talked myself out of taking her home.
Saturday dawned clear and sunny and I found Awana at the Studio with no plans for the day. I showed her a phone pic of the bike (already named Scarlet in my head) and described what I would do with her. Being a Prime Enabler (and a former cyclist,) she offered to take her van over and pick up the bike with me. I was powerless to resist 🙂
She rides like a dream. I’d forgotten how much I love to ride (Captain Bligh ruined commuting for me) and since I live so close to the office, there’s really no need for me to drive at all in this flat town.
But. Sabu would have to learn to run beside the bike to make commuting pay off – she pines and pouts when left home with Juan as she takes her job as Office Dog very seriously. After some internet research, I decided to give the Walky Dog a try –
Seems simple enough, right? Sabu really wants to run beside a bike, but she’s an unpredictable bitch and I knew if I tried to take her with a regular leash we’d be in a world of trouble at first site of a cat, dog, squirrel, diesel truck or another bike.
The website promises your dog will willingly adapt to the Walky Dog in about five minutes and you’ll be off and running, wearing out the dog (a tired dog is a good dog!) and having a grand time. I bought the EzyDog harness so if she wanted to pull she wouldn’t rub all her fur off.
Sabu is a bit hard headed, so I prepared myself for a series of long training sessions and hoped we’d be able to ride to work in a couple of weeks.
Once again that damned dog surprised me, but in a good way this time! I walked her beside the bike for a minute or two and she was soon lunging forward, making her little “I’m so excited, let’s just GO for fuck’s sake” howling noise so I hopped on the bike and off we went.
All doubts were soon left behind as she ran beside the bike, pulling for all she was worth, trying to go faster, faster, faster! I rode the brakes to keep us from ending up in the next county and had a grand time steering against her until she stopped trying to get up on the sidewalk.
What a blast! We rode into work on Monday, Sabu running all out towing the whole way. Got a few strange looks, but both our smiles were well worth it! She towed me home, too, her enthusiasm still at a high. She seemed ready to go forever, but she’s an Old Lady Dog and I didn’t push her limits. Top speed (you know I had to get a computer to keep track of such things, right? A Good Life is all about the accessories 🙂 ) on Monday was 11.7 mph.
Tuesday she was slower but still very keen to get going. Top speed was just under 10 mph towing all the way. The ride home was slower and I could tell she was working harder. Ah ha! This really does work to wear out a dog!
Today she was clearly feeling the burn, not towing much at all, very willing to slow down to a trot. Top speed about 7 mph.
A wonderful side effect to this little exercise is that she’s paying closer attention to me and pretending to be a Good Dog most of the time. She’s napping at the office, too, not jumping up at every sound that doesn’t belong.
Found a used car bike rack on Craigslist, so I guess we’ll be taking this act on the road, too. Have I lost my mind?