Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle." - Albert Einstein

As the heading on my BLOG states, I sometimes get side tracked with ramblings about dogs and cycling.

This past week Ms. Taxie Cab-ernet took some time off from her duties as Studio Pup and went on a squirrel chasing, hiking and bike riding adventure to Lake Tahoe. And for a Terrier I am sure it does not get any better than that!

Above: Tahoe Pinecone pastel drawing

For me it's been "about the bike" as far back as I can remember, from that first tricycle to the now hand built custom road frames. Grow-up? NEVER... it's just too much fun!

With the adoption of Taxie all cycling came to a temporary abrupt stop. No more city commuting, no more distance road rides. When you take on a rescue dog it's all consuming to move them through the issues, build the trust and there is so much to learn. It is a huge commitment. We do not know what her history is, all we know is that she wound up in the Modesto SPCA and was rescued the night before she was to be euthanized. She was less than a year old. We adopted her the following day. Poor pup was very scared. The reward? Simple. To see a happy dog and that unconditional love that comes with it.

Taxie has moved into a cycling family, so she needs to learn how to "be on the bike".

I have never pulled a trailer, but being determined to be able to take my dog with me I started the research. I decided on the dog specific trailer, the Tail Wagon, manufactured by Burly.

As I could not find any store in San Francisco that had one I placed a special order. It was a gamble to see if Taxie would adapt. This also meant that a bike had to go, so I sold my Santa Cruz mountain bike to make room.

When it arrived I brought it into the house with the wheels off and made a game/ trick out of getting into her "bikie". It did not take long before she was climbing in on her own and taking naps... became her favorite dog bed. That's when I knew it was time to hook it up to my city bike and give it a try.

My city bike is a relatively inexpensive Cyclo-Cross frame, the Double Cross by SOMA Fabrications. It is a great all round frame, steel and well suited for city streets and hauling the trailer. Bradley at American Cyclery helped me build this bike up; his shop is a great resource for a wide variety of city ride frames and hard to get Campagnolo parts. BTW he has a wonderful collection of classic Stingrays and tricycles... it took about a month but I finally got him to part with a little 1950's tricycle that I gave to my partner as a birthday gift. Every grown-up should have a tricycle to keep life in perspective.

For my road bikes I use and highly recommend Bespoke Cycles. Stefan Paske is, in my opinion, one of the best "wrenches" in San Francisco and an all around good guy.

We had a very fun time and Taxie is now officially a "Roadie", she has ridden Tahoe! Photo is at our break in Tahoe City... she found a really good stick, now that's one happy dog!

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