Blair Braverman+ Your Authors @BlairBraverman Dogsledder. Author. Adventurer. If you like these tweets, you'll love WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (@eccobooks). May. 18, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

In the winter, of course, the sled dogs pull sleds. But in the summer, we have to be kind of creative about what they pull.

Sometimes we use a scooter.

Sometimes they pull a cart.

And you may have noticed that this spring, for the first time, we’ve been experimenting with bikejoring, aka dogs pulling a bicycle.

The reason for that is that @TrekBikes sent us a mountain bike (and helmet)! And now I’m hooked. Thank you so much, Trek!

For our first couple rides, I brought Dora—she did a great job leading on dirt roads, and was also patient with me when I wiped out (oops)

But the other day, I figured I’d go bikejoring with Pepé instead. She’s such a brilliant leader that I figured it would give us more freedom to explore some less-established trails.

Here’s Pepé checking the field, as she does before each run.

I started biking; Pepé started running; it was so smooth that it felt like a dream.

She seemed to read my mind, turning on a dime to go down unexplored trails, dodging rocks and trees at a steady pace as we went deeper into the woods. And the bike flowed over everything easily.

So naturally, I got cocky.

We got to a part of the woods I’ve never been to before. Pepé turned her head to start circling towards home. Ha! I told her — turn left! Let’s keep exploring!

It started to get swampy. No biggie. Pepé and I are both waterproof. We waded through.

There were some fallen trees. Pepé and the bike went under them. I went over.

We waded through muck that was knee-deep on me, chest-deep on Pepé. Then the fallen trees got thicker. But also, I really wanted to know where this trail went. Even though it sort of didn’t seem like a trail anymore?

Pepé had seemed uncertain about my navigational choices at first, but at some point she started embracing them. I unhooked her to see if she knew the best way through.

[audio, Blair talking: “There you are! Thanks for waiting. What do you think is the best way through? That way? ... Oh yeah, that looks like a good way.”]

At this point it was clear that Pepé had decided that this whole thing was ridiculous and she would not be helping me and instead would just watch in amusement to see how lost I got without her.

One logical option was to turn around.

But I’d fallen prey to the delusion of bushwhackers everywhere: surely I’d done so much crawling, wading, and climbing to get to this point that it would be easier to just find another way out.

We came to a creek.

“lol u suck at leading”

The sun was getting low and I didn’t have a headlamp, so I figured I’d just keep heading east until we hit a road.

more creeks

tussocks! or tussock-like things, I’m not sure

Eventually we came to what seemed like a path, and I was able to actually get on the bike again.

The path connected to a road I know, and we bikejored the rest of the way home in time for dinner.

And now I can’t wait to do it again.

The end.


You can follow @BlairBraverman.


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