I figure one of the things I'm going to have to work hard at (living in the city and all) with regards to Nick running Open is keeping him in condition. So, I've borrowed my little sister's all-terrain bike with the grand idea of keeping him in shape by us biking together. Well, more like me biking, him trotting/loping. A few months ago we went... once. I took him to a large grassy football field and patiently (and sweatily) taught him what was expected. We were quite the well-oiled (if slow) machine.
It's now July and I haven't been much for doing this conditioning my dog thing with a bicycle. So yesterday I got the bright idea to take not only Nick, but also Linc who'd never even seen a bicycle in his small black dog curly coated bustle-butt life. I drove us all three down to this small park that we refer to as "The Squeaky Swings" in my family because, as you can guess, it has squeaky swings. It also has a long, wide and paved bike path running through it. I was thinking that it would be easier if I could ride on the pavement and they could run in the grass.
I also thought that using a coupler was a great idea.
I unloaded the bike, and then pulled the dogs out and strapped them onto the coupler thingie. I untangled myself (uh yeah, we'd taken maybe five steps) and we figured out the "walking beside the bike" thing.
About this time two other people show up with their dogs, and it appears that one of them is reactive. Nick decided that if THAT dog was going to bark maybe he should too. Did I mention I was already trying to ride the stupid bike at this point? I was. We were... sort of like some kind of Fred Flinstone Reject Crazy Biking Fiasco Crew. Within short order I had the coupler wrapped around someone, the leash wrapped twice around Linc's belly with him on one side of the bike, Nick on the other, and the leash wrapped somehow around the front fender.
I believe my legs were caught in there somewhere too.
I dismounted all the while screaming "Lie Down" like a banshee at my dogs. As if they could lie down being all tangled up like that. I untangled us and parked the bike, walking past the other couple murmuring the mantra of "I've got to get rid of this filth coupler" like some sort of apology.
I will say that separate leashes worked better. Strange how one pass past the other couple and they mysteriously disappeared. Maybe it was me shrieking like a demented fishwife "What the filth are you doing? Get the filth and more filth back on the other side of the filth bike you little filther". Or mayhaps it was the deep growly corrections of "What are you doing?" followed by my inept attempt to use their stock commands to control this runaway freight train of a biking experience? "Lie!" "Get OUT" "Steady now you little filther or you're going to pull me off of this filth bike". I'm sure my steady stream of sailor talk probably didn't help out their reactive dog by much.
The more annoyed I got the closer to me Nick got - at one point trying to climb up in my lap while we were stopped. Linc, on the other hand seemed to think this was GREAT fun. Even more fun? Slamming on brakes (the dogs, that is) to sniffies a bush. Not so fun for the screaming breaks and screaming girl on the bike. Strangely enough I knew intellectually that Linc hadn't done this before and therefore deserved a break. That little piece of information seemed irrelevant every time the blighter ran in front of me and crossed over to the other side of the bike (thus almost throwing me off).
We did finally get it figured out and managed to look reasonably suave - about the time I was ready to load them back up. They actually seemed to have a good time. I do think Linc would prefer it if I let him run on the right side though.
I really should buy a helmet. Knee pads and elbow pads wouldn't hurt too. I have some gigantor black marks on my legs, but other than that we're not much worse for wear. Maybe we'll go back and try it again... you know... 'cuz I have nothing better to do than risk all of our lives on a regular basis.