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Interview: On the road with a dog on a bike, Sheela’s experience
Today, we meet Sheela and Adam, a couple based near Düsseldorf, Germany. Sheela works as a hairdresser and her husband works a 9 to 5. They have an enormous love in common for animals, which brought them to adopt their furry babies- Keno & Amy. When Adam started cycling to work and got into the pleasure of biking, it’s no surprise that he began to think about bringing along the dogs during his bike strolls. In 2021, they started researching possible dog on a bike options. They eventually came across the Dog Kit and decided to test it out. Spoiler alert: with this dog accessory, they found the perfect solution for themselves & for Amy & Keno, their Miniature Pitbulls! Since then, they have been able to integrate the dog transport bike into their everyday lives. Read along the experience of our client Sheela and her husband Adam, who regularly use the Dog Kit to cycle with their pets! PLUS: Sheela shares her tips for Dog Kit newbies! 🐶
What made you choose our module over other dog on a bike options?Sheela: We love having our dog with us, everywhere we go! We would never plan a holiday or even just a day without them. When my partner and I started cycling, we were looking for something that allowed us to bring the dogs along with us. We were mostly concerned about having Amy at the front of the bike, so that we could keep an eye on her at all times. This preference came from our first experience with a classic dog trailer, which Amy didn’t like due to the rear set up. (we’ll touch more on dog trailers later on). Adam did a little research on the internet and looked at front trailers. Another criteria was to find something that we could easily attach to and detach from the bike. For all these reasons, we decided to go with the AddBike module for dogs. In addition to the design, which appealed to us quite a lot; we were also impressed by the durability of the materials. On top of that, we’ve found all the information we needed on the website. Now that we use it regularly, I can also say that my pups are always cosy and safe in the accessory. So it was definitely the best choice for us!
Did Amy & Keno struggle trusting the Dog Kit accessory at first?
Honestly, it was so easy for us! We haven’t ridden with Keno that much yet- but so far so good! He usually lays down as soon as he jumps in the accessory and never complains once during the trip. With Amy it was quite natural too. She liked to have everything under control and to be the “captain” of the bike, by sitting at the front she felt exactly like that! With Amy we didn’t necessarily have to secure her with the integrated leash as she would have never jumped out of the bike without being asked. Keno, on the other hand, is still a puppy and not quite as reliable… sometimes I prefer taking two extra steps to make sure he’s 100% safe. Personally I prefer securing him by closing the textile hood to be sure that he won’t jump, out of the blue! I’ve noticed that even with the harness on, he’s too curious of his surroundings and ends up leaning out too much. Making it unsafe for him but for the rider too! In my case, it’s so practical to be able to close the hood! Keno doesn’t think it’s that great, but for safety reasons it’s just great to have an extra option besides the harness!
And what was your first impression of the Dog Kit on your bike?
We also liked the accessory straight away! We were so stoked to the fact that we could install it only when needed and that we could easily switch it from my partner’s bike to mine.Plus it wasn’t that long before that we purchased our brand new bikes and being able to use the accessory directly, helped us save lots of money! It’s also really great, futurewise, if we ever want to buy a new bike we can just mount it on without extra expenses. We also have used the Dog Kit to transport our groceries and have benefited from the 35 kg load capacity. This is particularly practical because we own one car that we share, so when I’m out and about Adam can grab the dog kit and go shopping with it!
What about the tilting system, did you find it challenging to ride with the Dog Kit?
My husband Adam gets on wonderfully with it, more than I do! Therefore he’s the designated rider for most of our adventures. He found the AddBike+ system easier and overall more pleasant to ride in comparison to other bikes we’ve tested before. In particular, he has found complete cargo bikes with integrated front trailers challenging to ride, as well as tricycles. The tilting system of the AddBike+ makes the steering more similar to the ones of a regular bike. So for him it was less challenging to ride! Thanks to the easy way of riding, we have also been able to go on day trips in addition to our everyday rides. For example, we went on a 20 km bike ride to the Rhine and spent the day there with a picnic for the three of us.
Dog on a bike: the rear dog trailer, more about your experience
A long time ago, we purchased a classic rear dog trailer to initiate Amy to cycle with us. It didn’t work at all for us! The module was very wobbly and it was clear that Amy felt uneasy and restless when in the trailer. She often tried to lean outwards to have a view of the front. We understood quite quickly that it wasn’t the right solution for her! When we tried the AddBike for the first time- it was great! She sat there and looked straight forward with contentment. She was very captured by the view and really enjoyed it. You could see it in her face, she looked like in her element. She didn’t complain or fidget at all, even during our longest trips she never showed any signs of stress! Whenever we are out and about with the Dog Kit, we get a lot of attention! People are often curious about the accessory and often end up buying it. Our neighbour, for instance, was so captured to the point that he bought it on the spot! Now we often see him riding around with his doggo.I feel like what makes the deal for people is the fact that it comes as an add-on and there’s no need to buy a new bike!
Could you share some tips for future or fellow Dog Kit owners?
I think the key to success is introducing the dog gradually to the accessory. Especially with Amy, we allowed her to take her time to get accustomed to the new object well before going out on a ride. We left the module in our garden and Amy would naturally explore the object by sniffing it. When we felt like she trusted it enough we went to the next step of letting her jump in. I believe this could be an essential procedure especially if your pup has more of an anxious personality! To help get them to trust the Kid Kit, you can *literally* buy their trust with treats! They’ll create a positive memory faster and feel more confident in the setup in the long run. At the very beginning, we also brought Amy on regular walks while one of us walked with the bike. This way she could see the accessory in mouvement from the outside. Then we proceeded to let her jump in the module without moving, to walk with her in and eventually to ride. But of course, this is what worked for us. Every pup is different and the owner knows his pet the best!
At this point we would like to thank Sheela and Adam for the great interview.
And we are so glad that they could find a great solution for transporting their dog on a bike. We wish them the best and a lot of happy times with the Dog Kit! Want to know more? Discover the Instagram account of Sheela and her (furry) family!