HOW Series: What We’re Trying Next

This crew is ready for a new challenge!


I’ve been doing something new this summer that I haven’t talked about much yet – biking! My favorite human adventure partner my husband, John, inspired this new passion. John started road biking this year and watching him log tons of miles under his own power intrigued and inspired me.

So after a lot of thought and some coaxing by John I bought a bike of my own, joined a local cycling group, started a Strava account, and got hooked. There was just one problem – Riley and Kona were left at home.

In the back of my mind and idea was forming – an idea inspired by Jen Sotolongo of @longhaultrekkers and so many other cool people I follow on Instagram. I wanted to get a Burley Tail Wagon so Riley and Kona could join me for rides! However in order for this activity to work I knew I first needed to get confident and strong on a bike before attempting this with my pups.

For the last several months I’ve been biking a LOT. With the help of some very patient and experienced riders in the Fredericksburg Cycle Club, I can say I’m stronger and more confident than I’ve ever been on a bike. I’m nowhere near expert level yet, and still have tons to learn, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and earning a few QOMs!

A few weeks ago we connected with Burley Designs, and I’m excited to share that we’re now their newest ambassadors! Our Tail Wagon has just arrived and we’re so excited! I’m putting together a training plan for Riley and Kona using the same principles I did with SUP training. The idea is to start small and work at their pace with love, praise, and treats!

My hope is to train both dogs to ride separately in the trailer. They need to feel safe and comfortable in their Burley, but most importantly that it’s a place to sit and stay, just like the paddleboard.

Since Riley is getting older and not able to run I’d like for him to ride in the trailer while Kona runs along side. Kona is a natural runner so she’ll probably enjoy this. While I’ve been getting stronger on the bike, I’ve also been running with Kona to condition her for more distance.

However, I suspect Kona is going to take a liking to the trailer quicker than Riley. She’s much easier to train now, and she’s super confident with new challenges. As Riley has aged he’s become less tolerant of new situations – I predict he’ll take more training than Kona.

I’m going to share our progress along the way. You guys will get to see how our training progresses as we work to make Riley and Kona biker dogs!

Road biking with the Fredericksburg Cycle Club. Photo taken by Mike Schumm.

Mountain biking with John.

Choosing the right gear is always important. I’m thinking my 29″ hard tail should be stable and efficient with the Tail Wagon.