Hitting the Mountain Bike Trails with your dog

Mountain biking on trails with a dog is great form of exercise for both human and canine, not to mention it is super fun, especially if you are a little on the adventurous side. Dogs are agile creatures and most breeds have plenty of energy that needs to be burnt off every day. You will probably find that you are keeping up with the dog and not the other way around.

It is certainly the safer option to bike with your dog, being off road away from traffic dangers. However, you still need to keep aware of your surroundings and other members of the public who may be walking or riding nearby. Always be ready to stop, pull over from the trail and recall your dog to allow other mountain bikers to pass by.

If you’re not quite an adrenalin junkie yet there is still plenty for you to do. It’s not all about flying down the trail as fast as possible, even though that surely is part of the fun! You can take the ride at a more leisurely pace and take in the breath taking scenery, exploring some of the natural beauty the world has to offer. If you are looking for this option, it is better to ensure you select a beginner’s trail that is going to be easier and more suitable for your activity and skill level.

Trails are usually colour coded to grade the difficulty. The colours used will vary from place to place, so be sure to check this out with the centre to choose you visit before planning your day. Trail riding does come with some element of risk involved and for this reason you should always wear a helmet and gloves. It is advisable that you wear full protective clothing to cover your elbows and knees to reduce the risk of injury should an accident happen.

There is protective clothing you can obtain for your dog that will make his experience more comfortable and safe. Your dog may suffer from sore paws, especially if the trail is particularly rocky or you are biking for several miles. In this case your dog would benefit greatly from a pair of vibram soled Ruffwear dog boots. Ruffwear are specialist outdoor dog gear manufacturers, offering a performance product that was developed just for this kind of sport, offering superior protection.

Another piece of equipment that is desirable to have is a strong sturdy harness, preferably with a handle to enable you to take a firm grip of your dog when required. For example, you see an older couple walking towards you. You can pull over, recall your dog and take hold of the harness handle to allow the people to walk past without worrying about your dog. The best harness currently available is the Ruffwear Webmaster Harness, which will provide a secure fit. You could have a look at Bennythedog for some ideas on prices for dog biking gear.

Always be aware of the weather and ready for any changes. This is especially true in mountainous areas where the weather can change any moment and could mean you need to take shelter and rest while it passes over. It is a good to idea to look at the forecast for the whole day of you are planning an extended adventure.

You will need to carry some basic bike maintenance tools and a puncture repair kit, just in case. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere when you are a few miles away from civilisation and darkness is approaching. Being prepared is the key to having a fun and safe trail riding experience. Have a nice adventure!