Riding mountain bikes with my dog Gregor has made mountain biking even more fun than ever thought was possible. Gregor just turned a year old and can really keep up when we ride now-a-days. I’ve been riding with Gregor since he was a little pup, but back then those rides were quite short. Started out with 1-mile rides, getting him used to running near the bike without getting hurt. Since then, he’s lead me up some of the steepest sections in Park City.
People usually ask me how does Gregor know where to go, and how does he not just run off the trail. I’ll be honest, in the beginning, he did not stick to the trails. In fact, he would run away the bike as quickly as he could. And I hated riding with him on a leash because he’d never stay on the one side of the bike and the leash would always get caught up. So he was learning to ride off leash really quickly. And that just meant I was constantly calling him to catch up or come back to the trail as I rode slowly on the trail. This took months and months of work, but he eventually stuck to the trail.
Now, Gregor is a trail expert! Gregor usually rides ahead of me on the way up the climbs since his trot is way faster than my riding uphill abilities. On longer flat sections, him and I trade leads, but he always stays in or near the trail. Sometimes he’ll run along side of me if we are riding somewhere that isn’t too overgrown, which is so rad to watch. It’s then, I feel like he’s a wild dog roaming wherever he wanted. But when it comes the downhill, almost always ride in front. It’s not to say that I outrun him, but I think it’s easier for him to just follow close behind without having to decide where to run.
Like any ride, some days are good, and some days are bad. Some days you have fresh legs and feel like you can ride forever, other times your legs feel like bricks. In our latest video, below, Gregor did not have the legs. After riding 3 miles to get to the top of the downhill section, the sprint to keep up during the downhill got the best of him. I looked back over my shoulder, where he normally is within a few yards, and he was nowhere to be seen. A few moments later, there came Gregor, cutting all the corners and headed down the trail. I gave him some water and snacks to give him some more energy, but it wasn’t enough. He had ran a bunch the previous two days and mountain biking was just not in the cards. So we headed back, slowly but surely, and he slept all evening until dinner.
With that being said, riding with a dog is so much fun. Watching them effortlessly navigate sections of the trail require so much concentration on my end is so rad. He can clear gaps and drops with a sense of nonchalantness shared only by Pro level riders. And watching the stoke on his face when I say, “He bud, wanna go for a ride?!” It’s quite funny. If you say those words in our household, we will not let you sit down or do anything that isn’t moving towards the door to go ride! And his excitement when we get down a downhill trail is unmatched. I’m pretty sure he loves to go mountain biking more than I do!