Dogs on bikes (with photos!)

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fptw “Four Paws, Two Wheels” — the 11th volume of Taking the Lane quarterly feminist bike zine — is out. Or it’s about to be. I was in the Bay Area last week for the always extra awesome SF Zine Fest; on the second day Amy of 1984 Printing dropped by my table looking a little sleep deprived and dropped off twenty copies of this issue. The rest are on their way here in two giant cardboard boxes — individual copies will start to go out to backers and subscribers in Wednesday’s mail. You can order TTL11 right here.

(If you also ordered or backed Pedal, Stretch, Breathe, you’ll be getting both of these at once — and supersubscribers will be getting new stickers as well).

As always there is never enough room to print everything I’d like to — especially photos. Here are two outtakes and one update, plus photos:

brewster This is Brewster. Juliette Delfs, owner of the Hub and Bespoke bicycle clothing store in Seattle (also an advertiser in this issue) sent this photo along with a few words that didn’t fit the zine but are perfect for a blog post. She writes: “Here he is in his basket as we are loading up for our commute to the shop (you can see there’s a cover attached the basket that flips down so he’s not tempted to jump). Since he’s behind me when we ride I don’t really know what he does back there. I’ve been told he’s just chillin’ and even doses off. Cars seem to love seeing him, which means they are seeing me. A four-legged guardian angel.”

cora Ellie Poley, who wrote a great essay for the zine back in March when I first got the ball rolling about why she wished her dog Cora was excited about bicycling, sent in a couple of updates about her progress towards realizing this dream. On August 6th, she sent in this photo and wrote:

“I did end up getting a dog-specific cargo trailer a couple of months ago. We assembled it and left it in the living room, and did lots of training with her (encouraging her to find treats in there, climb in, etc.) After a couple of weeks of that, I admit I got impatient and decided we should try biking five minutes to the park. I probably shouldn’t have; she wasn’t in the best mood that day and did not enjoy it at all. Shortly after we started working through some major doggie mental health issues and haven’t had an opportunity to try again, but things have been better lately. I am planning to bike her to her happiest doggie play area next week; hopefully that will create a positive association. The good news is that the trailer is huge and very useful for cargo as well; I used it for Seattle’s Disaster Relief Trials. Around the same time, we also got a WalkyDog bike leash, and that has actually been great! Cora mostly loves it, because she wants to run faster than we can run. (Only problem is the leash is too short for sniffs!) We ride around on the sidewalks in our neighborhood (she somehow knows that streets are dangerous for walking and won’t let me take her on the asphalt.)”

She sent in another update on August 15th: “We had our first proper trailer ride this morning. I took her 6 miles to doggie daycare (I wanted to take her by bike to the happiest possible place, to hopefully create a good association). She whined the whole way, but that is an improvement from the first time, actually, and true of any new experiences (and car rides sometimes). I’m sure passers-by thought I was a terrible person pedaling some kind of torture device. However, the route has long, steep hills that were totally brutal in the trailer; we’ll keep driving to daycare and try biking to the park next. Makes me wonder about strapping a medium/large crate to the back of a longtail…”

Random-sunset-med Reader (and bike tv producer) Dan Kaufman wanted to make sure that dogs who love trikes were also represented. I’m sorry to say there are no examples of this in the print verison, so to partially atone here is Dan’s story:

“Did you know our dog Random loves to run along side the trike at high speed and sniff for squirrels? He is a sprinter so he gets tired after a few miles and then we let him ride in the back of the trike. Random was a rescue dog (he rescued us) and is also a certified humane society therapy dog. Random can also indicate with his ears whether or not you are on a liveable street.”

Finally, for those of you who have asked for quick tips about how to train your dog to enjoy the trailer, pick up the zine to read step-by-step instructions from trainer (and bike advocate!) Heather Higgins — the tl;dr version is “treats, lots of treats.”

Enjoy the ride!

Taking the Lane 11: Four Paws, Two Wheels can be purchased in our shop.