Can I ever get my dog Phaedra to enjoy the bike as much as I do?
The answer to the question has to be yes, because I’ve seen it before. Photos of dogs, sitting pretty in a basket on the front handlebars, or zipping around in a little trailer latched to the back of the bike. They’re usually sitting quietly, enjoying the wind in their faces. But my best friend, Pheadra, will not go near my bike. She’s fine in the car, where Phaedra will to ride with the window all the way down, no matter how cold it is. But I don’t want to drive, I want to travel by bike.
The reason she does not like the bike is simple. It is because I haven’t found the right carrier for her. And believe me, its not easy. There is no shortage of different bike carriers and bags to scoot around your favourite pooch on the market. And I have already bought a few of them. So far I haven’t found the right fit for my dog to enjoy riding with me on my bike.
One of my poor choices began with the bike bag featured in the photo below, by a company called Pet Gear Inc. For starters, the weight distribution of my dog matched the package requirements, but as soon as she started squirming around, and my dog being the energetic Boston Terrier that she is, shifted that weight around. The bag kept moving, and sliding down the front and scraping against the fender. The feeling of the front wheel under the bag scared her and she whined the whole time. There was absolutely no enjoyment in that ride. The carrier itself was an expensive experiment, and unfortunately for my pocket book, an expensive piece of junk. The other problem with this bag is that to safely transport her around in it, the top has to be zipped up. She wants to pop her head out of the bag. There’s a little hook for her, but it was placed in an odd spot and she keeps trying to jump out.
The last lesson taught me two things, that I need a carrier that is open, so she can also enjoy the view. The second lesson, is that I need to try these different methods and products out before I buy them. Almost all bike shops will allow you to try their products first. However, if I buy her a simple basket attached to the handlebars, she needs to be latched in someway. I can’t install a latch in a basket until I purchase the basket. I want Phaedra to be transported on my bike as safely as possible. I’d like to take her to my softball games in the middle of the city. I also want to take her downtown. I’m close to downtown, but there are no off-road trails from my apartment, so I need to know that I can get there to my destination safely. I trust myself on a bike. I am a very cautious rider, and I obey the rules of the road, but I don’t trust a lot of drivers.
I have to say I’m curious of the Canadian product, the Buddy Rider. It is a bike accessory featured on my favourite Canadian television show Dragon’s Den. It is also a product I can return if I don’t like it. It looks like it could work, but again, I won’t feel comfortable purchasing it until I try it first. If anyone has any reviews about this product, please send them my way. Do I go by way of buying a bike basket, and look for a way to tie her in safely? Can that be done? Or, do I go for the more expensive option? Spring is coming…so I’ll have more insight to those questions soon.
For more photos of Phaedra: go to her Instagram page, @phaedra_the_boston_terrier