I’m considering purchasing an adventure bicycle and attempting some serious riding to help lower my weight and get away from the house for a while. My largest concern is not keeping my insulin at the right temperature nor my other medications. Instead, it is taking proper care of my Service Dog. I am supposed to have him with me all the time, so I know that I will need to either find a way to either carry him on my bicycle or get a trailer to pull him with me (at least part of the time).
Because I am looking to do something different I am looking for suggestions on bicycles, tents and any other equipment that I should consider taking along. I don’t expect to have everything I need right this minute and not necessarily start a long ride this year but I would like to do this soon. I have some camping gear but most of it is too heavy for a week or two of riding.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Hi @Composed if you go a Google search for “bicycle trailer” there are many options for you to take a look at. I used to use the trailer seat for my toddler, but I see quite a few people using them for pets. A flat trailer can be used for anything, gear and pets if you are handy you can modify one to be everything you need. Cheers and good luck
I’ll do a search and see what I find. It looks like there are a lot of good options for trailers. I’ll start looking for a strong yet lightweight trailer as my Service Dog (SD) weighs 55 lbs. (~25 kg). I have also started looking for a good recumbent bicycle instead of a touring bicycle.
I’ve used a Frio for years to keep my medicine in a safe temperature range while traveling so thankfully that’s covered.
I’ve also purchased a Kelly Kettle so I that I won’t need to pack fuel and it doesn’t take much room as everything stacks together. It encloses the fire and fuel (organic matter e.g. sticks, leaves, etc.) that you can find in most places.
Again, thank you for your help.
You can think about a bike trailer or backpack carrier for your service dog and look for an adventure bike designed for touring. But before read the article https://www.bikethesites.com/types-of-mountain-bikes/ it can help you to choose. I can only say that the most popular brands are Surly, Salsa, and Trek.
Don’t forget to bring lightweight camping gear and plenty of supplies for your dog.
If you don’t mind my asking, I’m curious about your service dog. How did you acquire him? Was he a professionally trained animal, or was he a pet who learned your signs and how to alert you (that may not technically qualify as a service dog, I don’t know)?
Forgive me if I’m being nosey - I’m just curious about the process.
Bon voyage to you both!
@wadawabbit I am fine with you asking about my service dog.
The very short story is that we worked with a trainer for his training. In case you would like to know more, I have written some about our process below.
I purchased my dog (Cooper) as a puppy planning for him to only be a pet. We started his basic training (sit, down, stay, off and no) with a professional trainer. I did not expect to ever have a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) but I am very grateful for this wonderful dog.
Cooper’s trainer noticed that I was not hearing the alerts on my pump and offered to help me teach the pup to alert me when he heard the alarm. I contacted my endocrinologist to ask whether we should do this or if there was any technology that could help me hear the pump (I was already wearing hearing aids). My endocrinologist told me that she wanted me to have my dog temperament tested to determine whether he would meet the necessary requirements for a service dog. Cooper passed the temperament test so his training as a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) started. Before the scent training Cooper went through Public Access training and passed the test for Public Access. By the time we started scent-training, Cooper had already alerted me to my low Blood Glucose (BG) several times. He even managed to wake me in the middle of the night when I dropped to 50 mg/dL and my wife was out of town.
During that event around (3 AM) I managed to give myself a shot of Glucagon, called 911 and ingested 45 grams of carbs. I don’t remember much from then until the EMT’s came inside my house. I was at ~42 mg/dL when the EMT’s arrived, and I dropped to ~40 mg/dL before starting to trend upward. Because I had already done everything that the EMT’s would do they did not transport me. Instead, they watched me until I hit a “normal” range and then they left.
I have worked with Cooper every day for the past two years (except when one of us was sick). To make a very long story much shorter I worked with the trainer once a week and the rest of the time only with the dog. The trainer would review his knowledge and training in case we needed correction or help. When she felt we were ready she would give us new homework and I would work with my DAD until the next training session. I am grateful for Cooper’s training, but I also see that a DAD is not for everyone with the need to reinforce the dog’s training. Loading the dog and taking him everywhere with me is like taking a small child everywhere you go. The dog needs his gear, food, grooming, toys, attention and more. When we travel to see my endocrinologist (a 5-6 hour drive one way), I pack two backpacks. One is mine and the other has Cooper’s food, bowls, one or two toys an extra leash and anything else he may need.
I suspect that I may need to carry as much or more if we do any more than day travel. If you’d like more information feel free to send me a PM.