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The Loam Ranger

The Loam Ranger Loves Dogs: Except on the Trail

Words The Loam Ranger
Date May 27, 2021
Reading time

The Loam Ranger is a moniker we’ve used over the years that allows contributors and readers to post anonymous editorials, either because they don’t want to be outed for a controversial opinion, or to protect the innocent. Loam Ranger articles have been written by calloused builders, pro riders, magazine editors, industry insiders, former Prime Ministers*, and others. You’ve probably ridden or drunk a beer with at least one of them. After a bit of a hiatus, the Loam Ranger is back with something (controversial) to say.

Always remember that opinions expressed by the Loam Ranger** do not necessarily reflect those of NSMB.com or its editors - this is simply us providing a platform so that others can share their viewpoint. As an example, this week’s column directly contradicts the opinion of most all of NSMB’s current editorial team, as we all love riding with our dogs.

*may or may not be true

**the LR doesn’t appreciate pedantry - their Loam Mommy and Daddy are the namesakes and ’the Duff Ranger’ sounds super dumb, so just roll with it.

max-cutest.jpg

Max - cutest trail dog I know. Twelfth cutest owner.

I love dogs, but I don't always love them when they come along on the ride. In fact, to be honest, I'd prefer it if you left your dog at home. I realize this is a controversial opinion, and that I'm likely to be crucified for it, but my rides are important to my sanity, and your dog might just be driving me crazy.

Your photos and videos are cute and they entertain me. I had a trail dog for 10 years and I love dogs most of the time… but I will quote a wise man (well a man) with 'dawg' in his handle, one who speaks truths at holy sites (#thedumpsters), ’There is no such thing as a good trail dog.”

When a dog is on a ride the vibe changes no matter how good the dog. Maybe it is waiting at the bottom of a drop, maybe it will move, but will it move the right way? Will the dog move aside when the speed picks up, or is it like that dude who always thinks he's faster than you? Will the dog decide to cut across your wheel when you attempt a pass sending you cartwheeling into the rhubarb?

Whatever the outcome, it throws off my concentration and I focus on what the dog might do. Will the owner ask me to hold his dog while they attempt a challenging trail feature, or worse, ask me to look for their dog when it goes missing because the owner wasn’t paying attention? Will there be a lot of yelling after the dog? Yes - always; I’ve never been on a ride when the dog’s owner is not yelling at or for the dog. Maybe a submission hold and strong words are required to make the dog behave? This is always a mood killer.

bowser.jpg

Sometimes it's better if your dog doesn't catch you.

That's the vibe I am getting at. I have been on so many rides where the owners are yelling at the dog to come, to stay, to get out of the way, to stop barking. None of this noise is present on dog-less rides. I prefer the sounds of buddies hooting and yipping for joy, talking tech, talking trash and talking – like humans.

A lot can go wrong on a mountain bike ride. The more riders you have, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. And when you add a dog? The odds go through the... roof. The dog gets hurt, the dog takes off, the dog poops and you ride through it, the dog bites the forest ranger, the forest ranger bites the dog; the potential for mayhem really is limitless.

My pet peeve about pets is owners insisting their precious rides in the vehicle during shuttles. I do not want dog hair all over my ride nor my gear and the same goes for me sitting in their stinky hairy vehicles. Am I allergic to dogs? More like allergic to dog owners. Yes your dog is cute. Yes, it's the most incredible dog I've ever met. Yes, I did see how fast it was on that curvy section of trail, until it saw a squirrel and cut me off. Yes, everyone loves your dog! But no, not everyone wants your dog along for the ride. Or at least not this guy.

I realize many of you will disagree with me, and that's fine. I don't really care, as long as you don't bring your dog along on the next ride we do together Sorry.

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Comments

Whitesell1041
-19 Lynx . Mammal Dogl0rd Etacata Ride.Doc DadStillRides cole128 Jeff Bordignon Bikeridenow DCLee Absolut-M piotrek21 tmoore thegoodghosts Lornholio hotlapz Nologo Jerry Willows IslandLife Morgan Heater Jeremy Sh mrbrett MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend stringaling Jugger Lev twk Bern Tremeer023 tfriesenfts Timer Reed Holden Chad K danimaniac Endur-Bro Kurt Adams robnow Stretch
Whitesell1041  - May 27, 2021, 12:47 a.m.

Yeah well, some of us would probably ride with our dogs than ride with you so….

Reply

Lynx
-30 Mammal Dogl0rd Whitesell1041 Absolut-M Alex Durant tmoore thegoodghosts bingobus Lornholio hotlapz Nologo 4Runner1 Jerry Willows Cr4w JVP Morgan Heater Enurjetik jaydubmah Jeremy Sh mrbrett MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend stringaling Jugger Henrik Martikainen twk Bern Tremeer023 tfriesenfts Reed Holden Chad K meloroast danimaniac Kurt Adams robnow Stretch
Lynx .  - May 27, 2021, 4:09 a.m.

Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with you on this one. Sadly I don't have a trail dog anymore (lost him a little over 2 years ago) but when I did, he loved going on the trail. He was a smaller dog, so didn't take him on "rip" rides and yes, if he hadn't been on the trail in a while it took him a bit to remember proper trail etiquette, but he would after a bit. Those who take their dogs on trail, in groups, that are not properly trained, yes are going to be asking/causing a bit of trouble most likely, but most trail dogs are better behaved than most people's kids and everyone has to put up with those things all the time.

I'm curious who the person is posting this who doesn't have the cahones to post with their real name? If you don't like riding with people and their dogs, then be honest and tell your friends, if they're really your friends, then they'll understand and not invite you along on those rides. Or is that the problem you're afraid no one will invite you on rides because of how you think and most of your "friends" have and love to ride with their dogs? 

Save everyone the hassle, post under your real name so people don't have to listen to your bitchin and moaning on a ride if one or more bring their 4 legged children.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+19 Jerry Willows Enurjetik jaydubmah Alex Durant Louif75 Jeremy Sh mrbrett 4Runner1 MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend Etacata DadStillRides Tim Coleman Bern Hayden.Cameron tfriesenfts Nologo Timer Chad K danimaniac Whitesell1041
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

If you didn’t catch it in the intro, The Loam Ranger is also partially a bit of fun. It’s sometimes written to be taken a little seriously, but usually told through a less serious tone. It may be user submitted or a group effort or simply an unpopular opinion, but since I doubt your real name is Lynx, perhaps you can understand why sometimes a little anonymity is preferable on the internet?

Reply

Lynx
-6 Whitesell1041 Jeremy Sh MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend Bern tfriesenfts Nologo Timer
Lynx .  - May 27, 2021, 1:20 p.m.

Actually Cam, you can search the internet and you'll find that handle anywhere I post, it's my abbreviated name since I was a youngster, no one calls me by my full given name.

Reply

craw
+13 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae JVP Morgan Heater Alex Durant Jeremy Sh 4Runner1 MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend Absolut-M Bern Nologo Timer Chad K Cooper Quinn Dogl0rd Whitesell1041
Cr4w  - May 27, 2021, 9:45 a.m.

"Lynx" is mad that OP isn't posting with his full name.

Reply

LoamtoHome
+4 jaydubmah Absolut-M Bern Nologo
Jerry Willows  - May 27, 2021, 11:50 a.m.

the irony...

Reply

Lynx
-6 Whitesell1041 Jeremy Sh mtnfriend Absolut-M Bern tfriesenfts Nologo Kurt Adams
Lynx .  - May 27, 2021, 1:21 p.m.

Not mad at all, just don't understand why they need to hind behind a complete fictional name instead of talking to their riding buddies is all.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Bern tfriesenfts
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 9:59 p.m.

Who says this person hasn’t spoken to his or her buddies? And I believe I explained why we do it this way above.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Absolut-M Bern
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 9:59 p.m.

Who says this person hasn’t spoken to his or her buddies? And I believe I explained why we do it this way above.

Reply

monsieurgage
+11 Henrik Martikainen Mammal Todd Hellinga twk Bern tfriesenfts Timer Chad K danimaniac rolly Marc Fenigstein
Gage Wright  - May 27, 2021, 10:07 p.m.

Hi my name is Gage and I have learned not to bring my dog.  Yep I have ridden with the probable writer and editor of this article and yep I agree.  Tough pill to swallow but a necessary one.  Just look at the Shimano Dog's Tale video.  Who doesn't want that for themselves or the dog.  A perfect mingling of man, machine, and man's best friend.  YES PLEASE!  Then again the best laid plans of mice and men often...(insert all of the above articles complaints).  A dog walk before will liberate you for a few hours to safely shred with the gang but for both safety and sanity I am learning to just leave the dog at home for group rides.  Again this is just me, at this moment, speaking from my own experience.

In the past my friends have mostly been honest and will say if they are uncomfortable with the dog coming along.  The odd time they were too polite or understanding is where I made a mistake.  I brought the dog.  So much energy spent managing the risk while being a constant distraction from focusing on the dangerous task at hand.  In those moments I wished I had walked the dog pre-ride or split off to ride solo.  I need to understand where my ride companions are coming from and not be upset with them voicing their concerns.  The same group dynamics play out in most wilderness sports in that everyone has an equal voice and contributes to the group.  The decision on risk to reward is based on the consensus of the group and no other form of dictatorship/meritocracy/first past the rock roll majority.

In the future I no longer want to risk the group because of the dog and I am removing choice from the matter by simply not bringing him along with me.  Just my two cents and a public admission of guilt for being "that dog guy". 

Sorry to all my friends, you very patient people.  

P.S.

I'll just go ahead and also call us even as most of the people I have ridden with have take a tube, plug, CO2, or zip tie off me.  Honestly, DH casing tires, Cushcore, and PSI above 20.  9/10 tubes carried on my frame have gone to badly neglected charity chariots and riding buddies.

Reply

Vikb
+41 tmoore thegoodghosts AJ Barlas bingobus Allen Lloyd Deniz Merdano Absolut-M Nologo Merwinn Cr4w 4Runner1 Jerry Willows Cam McRae Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman papa44 Morgan Heater Dogl0rd Alex Durant bushtrucker Velocipedestrian cshort7 Jeremy Sh mrbrett MuscogeeMasher AndrewR mtnfriend Etacata stringaling maxc twk Bern Tremeer023 Hayden.Cameron tfriesenfts mike Chad K meloroast danimaniac pepperJerome Mr.T
Vik Banerjee  - May 27, 2021, 6:03 a.m.

Riding solo with your own dog is probably the best way to do it.

Reply

Lynx
+7 Pete Roggeman Mammal AndrewR Andy Eunson Cam McRae Bruce Mackay pepperJerome Whitesell1041 Bern
Lynx .  - May 27, 2021, 1:23 p.m.

Actually, I used to basically ride solo with my Bud because he just couldn't handle higher speeds or longer than 7 miles, on occasion I'd ride with a friend or two who knew and liked him, but as always (as I expect any good dog parent would do), it was a ride that I "called" and they knew he was coming. If anyone had a problem and it was "my ride" then they could find their own ride, simple as that, as I was taking my Bud for a trail ride and those who wanted to tag along, came.

No where did I ever say that a dog should be on every ride, but then I also assumed that if a dog was coming on a ride, the owner would have let the group know and anyone who objected had the ability to choose not to attend if everyone else was OK with it.

As to the dog being allowed inside the cab of a truck shuttling, don't know about that, not one to shuttle, but if I did, I'd have no problem sitting in the tray with my pup. I am still hopeful to one day rescue one that's big enough and lends itself to proper training so I can have a all ride trail buddy.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+3 Bern Chad K danimaniac
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 10 p.m.

This person doesn’t drive a truck FYI.

Reply

bruce-mackay
+5 TheSpangler Bern Lynx . pepperJerome Whitesell1041
Bruce Mackay  - May 28, 2021, 3:03 a.m.

I played it this way as well. If I said I was going out on a day other than "the group ride" Mercury (Hg) was there.  He was part of the reason I was going out and I was clear on the route /distance with him in mind (in his prime 16k was the sweet spot).   If some one said otherwise "Well have a good ride then...."   Until he was 8, Hg often lead all but the fastest and longest of descents.  He would get invited on rides too, the tone is set then.  He did come on the odd group ride nite too (if it was the right route), but never w/ out a check in.  Often those were "pack rides" anyhow, and he had company.

He was, and still is the most annoying creature to drive to a trailhead with.   Even at  10 yrs old and over a thousand trail days.  The thought of shuttling with him.....  NOPE.  Gets as amped for his 4-5 km walk and sniff in the local woods as he ever did for big adventure laps in places like Revelstoke.

Reply

bruce-mackay
0
Bruce Mackay  - May 28, 2021, 3:03 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

cxfahrer
0 Bern DCLee
cxfahrer  - May 27, 2021, 6:05 a.m.

I wonder where this traildog thing comes from. Over the last 30 years I never rode with anyone or even met one with a traildog - no wait, there were those three mtb guys with a Rottweiler, but they neither rode their bikes nor did the dog run along, they were only posing. 

Is this a northshore only thing? 

Yes, I like the cute videos.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+5 Mammal Lynx . Bern meloroast DCLee
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 9:24 a.m.

Where do you ride cx? Based on videos I see it’s certainly a North America thing. 

And for the record - I personally enjoy riding with dogs generally and at worst don’t mind the hassles that come along with the experience. The LR makes some points I hadn’t thought of though and there can be an impact on the ride vibe.

Reply

cxfahrer
+3 Cam McRae Bern Timer
cxfahrer  - May 27, 2021, 10:45 a.m.

Germany, Czech, Finale Ligure, etc - no one likes dogs running around without a leach here, except maybe in urban areas. Or Czech people, they don't like any rules anyway. 

You may get into some real trouble with the rangers or hunters, if the dog is running around. They may shoot the dog without warning.

Reply

gasherbrum4
+2 Kurt Adams Stretch
Sébastien Manelfe  - May 29, 2021, 2:56 p.m.

Same here in the French Alps. Dogs are very seldomly welcomed on rides and trails. Dogs are required to be on a lead on lots of trails. Most riders with dogs are brit tourists never locals. Love dogs, just not on my trails

Reply

mammal
+9 Cam McRae Cr4w Pete Roggeman Morgan Heater Dogl0rd Bruce Mackay Bern meloroast DCLee
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:45 a.m.

Funny this gets a down vote, as it's obviously true. There are riders who would rather ride with their dog than anyone else. And that's OK.

Reply

FLATCH
-24 Lynx . Mammal Dogl0rd tashi cxfahrer tmoore thegoodghosts bingobus Lornholio Absolut-M Nologo stringaling 4Runner1 Jerry Willows IslandLife Morgan Heater nothingfuture DarioD Jeremy Sh jaydubmah MuscogeeMasher mtnfriend maxc twk Bern Tremeer023 Timer Reed Holden Chad K Kurt Adams Stretch Whitesell1041
flatch  - May 27, 2021, 4:24 a.m.

Well that was a few minutes I won’t get back. If you don’t like riding with dogs then don’t. I guarantee the dog nor it’s owner will miss you.

Reply

mammal
+2 Dogl0rd Lynx . Bruce Mackay Whitesell1041 IslandLife Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

I fully agree. This person just needs to make some ground rules with their riding friends. I treat dogs coming on the ride like a new human riding friend. Some are really good, some are still learning, but everyone can have a nice time if you're in the right mindset. Most dogs I've ridden with are veteran status and pretty much know the drill.

Reply

Dogl0rd
+4 Mammal DadStillRides Bern Whitesell1041
Dogl0rd  - May 27, 2021, 11:52 a.m.

This is a good point, some riders are just as troublesome as the dog described.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
+5 Bern tfriesenfts Timer Lynx . Mr.T
AndrewR  - May 27, 2021, 6:32 p.m.

Yeah and some just decide to stop in the middle of a steep rock roll, past the point of commitment, that you cannot stop on. 

I like dogs and have two myself (which do not come on group rides) but some dogs are best kept to their human only rides or left at home.

And a trail dog being at a ride should never be a surprise at a trail head. But if it is and you feel strongly about it you can always choose to ride by yourself that day.

Reply

WalrusRider
+26 cxfahrer piotrek21 tmoore thegoodghosts bingobus Allen Lloyd Lornholio Absolut-M hotlapz Nologo Cr4w stringaling 4Runner1 Jerry Willows IslandLife Morgan Heater Alex Durant Jeremy Sh jaydubmah mrbrett MuscogeeMasher Jugger Lev Bern Tremeer023 tfriesenfts
WalrusRider  - May 27, 2021, 5:14 a.m.

I love dogs but find them mostly annoying on the trail. I've witnessed multiple instances over the years where someone's dog runs into the trail at the worst possible time and it resulted in a collision. For this reason no dogs allowed in the group I ride with.

Reply

skywalkdontrun
+44 cxfahrer Alex Durant Poz Vik Banerjee tmoore Allen Lloyd bingobus Absolut-M Pete Roggeman hotlapz LWK Merwinn Cr4w stringaling 4Runner1 Jerry Willows Cam McRae Todd Hellinga Sanesh Iyer IslandLife Karl Fitzpatrick Morgan Heater jaydubmah Lynx . Andrew Major Deniz Merdano Jeremy Sh mrbrett MuscogeeMasher AndrewR Darren Petras Jugger DadStillRides Bruce Mackay Lev twk Bern tfriesenfts Hoz Vincent Edwards meloroast danimaniac Mr.T Marc Fenigstein
skywalkdontrun  - May 27, 2021, 5:34 a.m.

I'm a dog owner, of a dog that rips trails.  She responds to commands, doesn't poop on the trail, and stays close.  Thing is, I don't take her riding if I'm going with other people.  When it's just the two of us, or me and a buddy who's ridden with her before, and we're riding trails that are close to the house, sure, no problem.  But she doesn't get a free invitation on every ride.  Some trail systems require crossing busy roads, some go through private property, some are crowded.  A dog is a variable no matter how well behaved, and responsible owners and riders know where and when dogs are appropriate riding buddies.

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andy-eunson
+14 Cr4w Cam McRae Pete Roggeman skywalkdontrun IslandLife Morgan Heater Dogl0rd Mammal Lynx . Andrew Major mrbrett MuscogeeMasher Bern twk
Andy Eunson  - May 27, 2021, 7:58 a.m.

Same here. I take my dogs riding three or four times a week. I chose trails that are slow and technical and not popular. I rarely ride with them and other riders. When we go hiking I do the same. I’ll go on so called secret trails or trails that see few people. Not everyone likes dogs.  Too many times I’ll have a run in with hands on her hips Karen who knows all about trail etiquette and bikes aren’t allowed here and dogs must be on a leash at all times even on crown land and and and. So I just avoid that happening.

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craw
+12 Andy Eunson Cam McRae IslandLife Alex Durant AJ Barlas Andrew Major mrbrett Bern Tremeer023 tfriesenfts Timer Chad K
Cr4w  - May 27, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

I like how reasonableness gets upvoted.

Reply

mammal
+3 Lynx . Andrew Major Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:51 a.m.

Absolutely. And I bet if you were going to ride with a friend, and they let you know they weren't comfortable riding with your dog, you'd take that into consideration. How sensible! It's almost like communicating one's preferences with riding buddies can solve problems like this, as opposed to getting worked up and not saying anything.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+8 Cam McRae IslandLife Bruce Mackay Bern Hoz meloroast danimaniac Marc Fenigstein
Pete Roggeman  - May 27, 2021, 9:48 a.m.

Let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that the LR has raised an issue that I honestly can say I haven't seen taken into account anywhere before. Trail dogs are rightfully celebrated, but there are enough comments here in agreement that maybe not all dogs belong on all rides, that I think it's useful that the topic has been raised so there can be some discussion.

Reply

mammal
+3 Lynx . DadStillRides Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 10:27 a.m.

I find it interesting that you haven't come across this topic before, as it's brought up in almost every PB trail dog related article that comes up, and pretty much every point made in these comments are present in the PB comments.

I would probably react similarly to an article about people who bring along "that guy", who always has a mechanical due to not servicing their bike, flats and never has tubes/tools, rides slower than I do, or expects the group to conform to their riding standards (that could be TLR, actually). I'd give pretty much the same response in every case. Think about your group's dynamic when planning your ride, communicate with those riders about potential issues, and if it's going to make you happier then you ditch that group that wants to bring their dog. With proper communication, maybe your buddy starts leaving his pooch at home when they're out with you. Same for "that guy", there's a time/place for riding with them too, and some helpful communication might make them a better riding partner, as opposed to "this guy just shouldn't be on the trails".

Maybe they think twice when thinking about bringing their dog on a super long hot ride, after your suggestion about the dog's safety. Maybe you decide you're not a huge fan of riding with the 4 other people who are more than happy to ride with dogs.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+9 Mammal BadNudes Lynx . mtnfriend Bruce Mackay Bern Timer Hoz meloroast danimaniac pepperJerome jaydubmah Whitesell1041
Pete Roggeman  - May 27, 2021, 1:35 p.m.

Yeah but then I'd have to read the PB comments and ain't nobody got time for that.

Reply

mammal
-1 Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 1:56 p.m.

You won't see topics taken into account if you're not looking for them. This has been breached time and time again.

Lynx
+3 Mammal jaydubmah DCLee Whitesell1041 Bern
Lynx .  - May 27, 2021, 1:32 p.m.

Nothing that's been "raised" is anything I think about, because a good dog owner would make sure the ride suited the dog in terms of speed and length and that everyone knew and was OK with it. Good dog owners clean up after their 4 legged friends and have them properly trained if they're going to take them out on the trail with other users.

But then again, maybe it's just my old fashioned up bringing that I would assume that people would not only think of themselves and be courteous to others in regards to taking their pup on a ride, taking their kid on a ride, arriving late to the ride, arriving with a bike that isn't working, not kitted and ready to ride, brings a friend to ride and then zooms ahead leaving said friend behind for others to "look after", stops all the time to answer calls or messages etc, etc.....

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karakoram
+8 Cam McRae Cr4w IslandLife Dogl0rd Darren Petras Lev Bern tfriesenfts Timer Chad K Lynx . Whitesell1041
Ryan  - May 27, 2021, 5:39 a.m.

Dogs add more stress than riding relieves. I'm always afraid of killing them

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Vikb
+16 tmoore thegoodghosts Allen Lloyd bingobus Pete Roggeman hotlapz Andrew Major Cr4w Jerry Willows Cam McRae IslandLife Ryan Alex Durant Bern Timer Chad K meloroast Whitesell1041
Vik Banerjee  - May 27, 2021, 6:09 a.m.

Of all the dogs I've ridden with on the trails there was exactly one that was so well trained/behaved it was a good member of the team. The funniest part of my trail dog experiences have been when the dog goes MIA or does something else ride altering and the owner says "That's so strange he/she NEVER does that!" and we have to reply "Well he/she did it the last few rides so it can't be that rare."

I had a trail dog myself via a GF 25 years ago. I took it for rides solo because it was not going to make for a great group experience. The dog got a good run in and I got an extra ride in. When it was time to ride with my buddies the dog stayed home.

My cat has shown no interest in MTBing thankfully. She'd be an epic PITA on a ride if she insisted I take her. My GF is threatening that she wants a dog when we are pet free again. If that happens I'll end up with another trail dog and I'll stick to the same plan of taking it on solo or GF only rides.

Reply

rigidjunkie
+11 Pete Roggeman hotlapz Cam McRae cxfahrer jaydubmah Ddean mrbrett TheSpangler Bern twk meloroast
Allen Lloyd  - May 27, 2021, 7:15 a.m.

Years ago I created an epic shit storm by asking a dog owner if they knew what the word never meant.  Their dog always ran away and the owner always claimed the dog never did it.  I called her out and she blew a fuse.  We decided after that no dogs on our group rides.  Then a couple years later a new couple showed up with the single best trail dog I have ever seen.  Always moved over when a bike approached, always stayed with his owner, just an amazing dog.  

My last dog was the typical trail dog PITA, but half the time he would run with us for a mile then just run back to the car and sleep till we came back.  It was scary the first couple time it happened and we couldn't find him.  Then it became a joke.  Friends would run into me on the trail and tell me there was a dog asleep under my car.  

RIP Timber and Monk I hope you are both doing what you love in dog heaven.

Reply

Shoreloamer
+3 Ryan Walters Bern meloroast
Greg Bly  - May 27, 2021, 6:54 a.m.

Dogs are great! And they can all be trained to obey command's.  Or so I have heard . Kind of rare.

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blackhat
+24 Pete Roggeman Nologo Deniz Merdano Mammal Cr4w 4Runner1 Jerry Willows Lynx . JVP Cam McRae IslandLife Alex Durant Velocipedestrian mrbrett Kenny Darren Petras Bern tfriesenfts Timer Hoz twk danimaniac Tremeer023 Mr.T
blackhat  - May 27, 2021, 7:05 a.m.

This is just another layer of the real issue: group MTB is fraught with inconveniences at the best of times.  Some are faster, some slower, some DGAF.  The people who need rest the least get it the most and vice versa.  Mechanicals and injuries stop the group exponentially more often.  People show up late or get there early.  Or you get that one dude who hasn’t lubed his chain in 3 months and can be heard a km up the trail or knew about a problem that just got so bad he can’t ride it.

So when you choose riding buddies you have to find a balance of chill enough to hang out with, but serious enough to get their shit together.  Because one or two people who don’t consider their impact on the group are guaranteed to hold the fun back for everyone else in a sport like mountain biking.  We’re not shooting pool and drinking beer here.

And I’m sorry, but if you don’t think you need to ask the group about the dog, can’t let him sit on the back of the truck, or are oblivious to the disruption they cause to the ride… well you’re too far on one end of that spectrum for me.  And the dog probably won’t be the only stoppage you bring.

No offense, I hope you enjoy the trails.  I even hope I see you and your dog while I’m out.  But I have a family to get back to, enjoy being fit, and enjoy using the fitness I have.  So spending 3 hours in the woods and only rolling for 1 just doesn’t work.  Wondering if a route will take 45 minutes or 2 hours is not something I’m down for.  

This doesn’t seem like something I should need to explain really, just like you don’t need to explain why you love your dog.  But somehow I’m the over driven asshole for wanting my bike ride to include a lot of bike riding.

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mammal
+1 mrbrett Lynx . Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 10:59 a.m.

You're right. You shouldn't have to explain this, but you're not an over-driven asshole. I'm assuming you have no issues explaining your position to a fellow riding partner though, and also no issues deciding which type of group shares the same riding values/visions that you do. It's really not complicated at all.

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dirtnerd
+6 hotlapz IslandLife jaydubmah Darren Petras Bern Timer
dirtnerd  - May 27, 2021, 7:16 a.m.

I have ran through more dog poop on bike trails in the last year (Vancouver Island) than I have in over 30 years because of the increased recreational users since COVID.

I am a dog owner, we have responsibilities with owning a dog but most owners do not pick up after their dogs at all.

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Captain-Snappy
+9 Corinne Summers Jerry Willows Pete Roggeman hotlapz IslandLife jaydubmah Bern Timer meloroast
Merwinn  - May 27, 2021, 7:57 a.m.

And what is the point of leaving poop bags on the trail for days, weeks? Take it with you, pls, because they seem to be frequently forgotten.

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pete@nsmb.com
+7 hotlapz IslandLife Velocipedestrian mrbrett Bern DCLee Whitesell1041
Pete Roggeman  - May 27, 2021, 9:49 a.m.

Bag it and bring it, or spot it and fling it, but don't bag it and leave it behind.

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JVP
+8 jaydubmah AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman Mark Darren Petras DadStillRides Bern tfriesenfts
JVP  - May 27, 2021, 11:09 a.m.

Until this year I was 100% on board with fling it. But now there’s becoming so much flung poop along the first 5 minutes of the main climbing trails that it’s getting disgusting and probably a legit environmental problem. Doing trail maintenance in those zones... yeeew. 

Deeper into the ride things are more dispersed and not an issue. 

Not sure what the answer is, but shit’s definitely changed this year with so many more riders.

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IslandLife
+2 Pete Roggeman Bern
IslandLife  - May 27, 2021, 11:13 a.m.

Thing is it's entirely predictable... dogs almost 100% take a big steamer within 5 mins of getting out of a vehicle or at least within 5 mins of the start of your ride.  Either hang out for a few mins and deal with it properly or hang out for 5 mins so that you can bag it at the beginning of your ride on a section of trail you'll be coming back through and then take it with you.

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mammal
+2 Mark Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 11:53 a.m.

Absolutely! As a dog owner, you pretty much know (or should) when your dog needs to take a crap. Take those precautions.

pete@nsmb.com
+1 IslandLife
Pete Roggeman  - May 27, 2021, 1:38 p.m.

100% predictable. It's like fighter jets dropping fuel tanks before getting into a dogfight.

burnbern
0
Bern  - May 28, 2021, 10:54 a.m.

So much this... 99% of the crap is on the first climb, come prepared and cleanup after your dog! The Strava segment for our first climb is literally called "Dogshit Alley".

jaydubmah
+2 AJ Barlas Timer
jaydubmah  - May 27, 2021, 1:07 p.m.

Please don't spot it and fling it. Bag it and take it with you. That's just a courtesy every dog owner should follow.

There's so many places in my community where little kids are playing the woods, and the last thing they should have to deal with are piles of dog shit that should have been packed out by the owners.  Poo bags exist for a reason.

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IslandLife
+4 jaydubmah JVP Darren Petras Bern
IslandLife  - May 27, 2021, 11:10 a.m.

Especially at the edges of the parking areas.  So many people pop out of their vehicles, let their dog run around the parking lot, shit all over the place and it's like since they didn't take the time to follow up on their dog and didn't see it shit... it never happened.  Thing is.. it is super typical for your dog to shit within 5 mins of getting out of a vehicle and we all know it.  Either you picked it up or you're a dick and you've fucked off without giving a... shit.

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rwalters
+20 Pete Roggeman taprider Jimothy.benson Deniz Merdano Trevor Hansen Lynx . Cr4w skywalkdontrun Sanesh Iyer IslandLife Alex Durant mrbrett Bruce Mackay sansarret Bern Timer Hoz meloroast Distrakted Justin White
Ryan Walters  - May 27, 2021, 7:25 a.m.

Forget dogs - I've had to stop riding with humans who constantly cut me off, chase after squirrels and poop on the trail. Total vibe killer.

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cam@nsmb.com
+2 Ryan Walters Bern
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 9:05 a.m.

Gold!

#threadwinner

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skywalkdontrun
+1 Ryan Walters
skywalkdontrun  - May 27, 2021, 10:27 a.m.

I mean, unless you're into that...

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Distrakted
-1 Justin White
Distrakted  - May 31, 2021, 8:40 a.m.

So true. I have had so many experiences lately with these covid weekenduro newbies who will watch me bombing a downhill trail and drop in right in front of me or hang out in groups in the middle of the trail.  As far a poop goes, yes I found human feces in the middle of a climb trail recently.

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trumpstinyhands
-11 Mammal Andy Eunson Justin White 4Runner1 Cam McRae IslandLife nothingfuture thaaad Alex Durant Velocipedestrian Jeremy Sh mrbrett Lev Bern Tremeer023 tfriesenfts Stretch
trumpstinyhands  - May 27, 2021, 8:01 a.m.

"My pet peeve about pets is owners insisting their precious rides in the vehicle during shuttles. I do not want dog hair all over my ride nor my gear and the same goes for me sitting in their stinky hairy vehicles."

Awww diddums ;) Do you cover your Tacoma in a huge tarp when parked so it doesn't get dust on it?

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Hollytron
+9 4Runner1 Cam McRae IslandLife jaydubmah Alex Durant Ddean Velocipedestrian mrbrett Bern Tremeer023 meloroast Lynx . Justin White
Hollytron  - May 27, 2021, 8:19 a.m.

I cannot agree with this sentiment more. Its funny how people (probably childless, nothing wrong with that, and probs a good choice) who might be offended by some one asking them to leave the dog a home would have no qualms about asking you to leave the kids at home and would probs mention off hand how annoying kids are.

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craw
+8 Mammal 4Runner1 Andy Eunson Sanesh Iyer Alex Durant mrbrett Bern Timer
Cr4w  - May 27, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

I'm kind of surprised how many people ride in groups of more than 2-3.

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mammal
+1 Lynx . Justin White 4Runner1
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:43 a.m.

Yeah for sure. I was trying to think of a ride that involved a dog and more than 3 other people. I could only think of 1, from around 2013. If I pair it down to 3 riders and a dog, only two rides in that span of time. I think that's part of the issue here, his riding buddies aren't close enough to properly communicate things like adults.

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mammal
+2 Lynx . Justin White
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:53 a.m.

4Runner1, did it sound like there was a lot of good communication happening between TLR and his riding buddies? That didn't come across when I read it.

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andy-eunson
+2 Lynx . Cr4w Justin White thaaad
Andy Eunson  - May 27, 2021, 9:26 a.m.

Those are social rides where there will be a lot of stopping to chat. Not “real” rides. I do those knowing that riding is secondary. I really hate riding with certain people who are professional fritzers. Late to get get going. Stop to put on pads. Stop to take pads off. Stop to mess with a bike that they haven’t maintained. Stop to “session” some trail obstacle. Stop to take a call. Stop for a text. My dogs never do those things.

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mammal
+4 Lynx . twk meloroast Justin White
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 8:41 a.m.

Communication is the answer to the Loam Ranger's issues here. If your buddy's dog is a hassle, ask them to leave them at home, or ride solo, it's really not that big of a deal to communicate how you feel. If the group is so big that you're not comfortable expressing that, perhaps that's a different issue all together, time to ride in more intimate groups. 

I agree there are dogs who probably shouldn't be brought out mtb'ing, but most of the trails are hiking trails, and there will be dogs around to watch for regardless. Cater your ride to your preference by choosing riding partners that also care about your experience, and talk to them about it. Pretty simple.

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tashi
+4 Mammal Lynx . meloroast Justin White
tashi  - May 27, 2021, 6:52 p.m.

This really seems to be it. Communication. 

“What’s the route boys, is it Brisco friendly?”

“Mmmmmm, there’s the road bit in the middle” or “I dunno, we want to pin it today”

“A word, he stays at home today then” 

Easy peasy, no? 

(Although IME this is usually followed with “a damn, let’s change the route a bit so the guy can come” from someone else)

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HansB
-8 4Runner1 Jerry Willows Cam McRae hotlapz IslandLife twk Bern Timer
Hans Bauck  - May 27, 2021, 8:41 a.m.

Must be some crusty old man yelling at clouds. I mean, who says "into the rhubarb" these days?

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cam@nsmb.com
+5 IslandLife Lynx . mtnfriend Bern Timer
Cam McRae  - May 27, 2021, 10:19 a.m.

What elegant, funny or more interesting prose would you have used instead young fella? ;)

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mammal
+2 Cam McRae Bern
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 10:29 a.m.

I prefer "the cabbage".

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bruce1973
0 hotlapz IslandLife Darren Petras Lev Timer thaaad Ddean Lynx . meloroast Justin White
Bruce MacNeil  - May 27, 2021, 9:03 a.m.

A big no to dogs on trails.  A double big no to dogs on group rides. 

The dogs do more damage than owners realize and add to the stress.

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mammal
+1 Lynx .
Mammal  - May 27, 2021, 9:27 a.m.

Question about your riding area. Are most of the trails you ride, multi-use? They mostly are around here (Sea-to-Sky). 

On multi-use trails you need to be ready to encounter hiker's dogs, so the "big no to dogs on trails" is going to be a non-starter in a whole lot of riding areas, at least in the areas I've ridden most of my life. I can fully understand if your preference is to avoid dogs accompanying you, but expecting to be able to avoid them all together might be a bit unreasonable.

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just6979
0
Justin White  - June 3, 2021, 12:53 p.m.

Damage? Like what, eating sticks and grass? My dog weighs 20% of me and my bike and does waaaay less than 20% of wear to the trails, even when he is doing sick 4-paw drifts. Any human rider does probably an order of magnitude more "damage" than a medium dog.

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just6979
0
Justin White  - June 3, 2021, 12:53 p.m.

Damage? Like what, eating sticks and grass? My dog weighs 20% of me and my bike and does waaaay less than 20% of wear to the trails, even when he is doing sick 4-paw drifts. Any human rider does probably an order of magnitude more "damage" than a medium dog.

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FlipFantasia
+7 Cam McRae hotlapz IslandLife jaydubmah Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian Bern
Todd Hellinga  - May 27, 2021, 10:09 a.m.

dog owner and lover here, totally agree with the LR though!

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Onawalk
+9 Cam McRae Mammal Lynx . Pete Roggeman Hoz meloroast pepperJerome Mr.T Justin White Whitesell1041 IslandLife
Onawalk  - May 27, 2021, 10:33 a.m.

Quick note,

We are, predominately adults, riding bicycles in circles in the forest, typically for free.  Lets not take ourselves too seriously out there.  If riding is the only or best way to maintain your sanity, make sure you’re taking the necessary steps for yourself.

I have only recently acquired a trail dog after a long hiatus, he’s learning, and typically much better behaved than myself, or lots of others on the trail.  Does he try to race me to every corner, you bet he does,  Does he try to be right beside me on ladder bridges, you bet he does,  Does he add to MY enjoyment, and help to alleviate MY stress, you bet he does.

He doesn’t come on all rides, and only if he, and everyone else is cool with it.

He hustles faster than most, and he’s a big donkey.

Be good to one another

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meloroast
0
meloroast  - May 29, 2021, 3:40 p.m.

Well this is the most sane thing I've read on here so far. Completely agree. Especially the first sentence...let's all take a breath.

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tim-lane
+17 Cam McRae Mammal IslandLife Lynx . Alex Durant Pete Roggeman Ddean jaydubmah mrbrett Hollytron Bern Timer Hoz meloroast pepperJerome Distrakted Justin White
Tim Lane  - May 27, 2021, 10:42 a.m.

I have a 12 year old son who sometimes joins me on bike rides. Though I sometimes make arrangements with other small-human owners in setting up specific group rides where he can tag along, my default is to not bring him along on group rides.

He is relatively good at responding to commands and does not shed in vehicles, but the pace and vibe of the ride is inevitably changed by his presence. I've not seen him poop on the trail, but I really wouldn't want to ride through it.

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Dean-W
+11 Mammal Jerry Willows Cam McRae Lynx . Pete Roggeman JVP Lev mike meloroast Justin White Whitesell1041
Dean  - May 27, 2021, 10:44 a.m.

For solo rides, I always bring my pooch.  Group rides not so much.  Mine keeps me company as I build and maintain trails on many of my rides.  Her excitement about going for a ride is infectious that often ads to my riding enjoyment.

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SixZeroSixOne
+7 Lynx . Pete Roggeman Ddean Mammal twk Justin White Whitesell1041
SixZeroSixOne  - May 27, 2021, 12:31 p.m.

A lot of what LR said is true but he/she needs to either (a) let their feelings be known or (b) find another group of people to ride with if they feel so strongly about it that they need to write a column for a popular website....

Since I started riding on the NS about 15 years ago, I've typically ridden with friends who have had dogs so just got used to the dynamic, and, in reality, a small group ride with a single dog is a lot better than a large group ride without a dog as, whichever way you look at it, the more humans or animals involved, the more opportunity for something to go wrong. 

My friends dog had a very bad herding instinct and would constantly run back and forth between riders in the group but we all laughed about it and just carried on as normal but we'd leave his dog at home when we know the ride was "more serious" (eg remote, more technical or if we were on a fast "fitness" ride). Easy!

I've now got my own trail dog and generally ride solo, at less busy times and less popular trails though that's more difficult to do in COVID times when more people are out and travel is restricted.

Even if riding solo, I don't always bring him along if I'm riding flow trails (too fast for him) or if they involve a lot of mandatory wood work (I had an interesting experience when my dog decided to run up a steep ladder on Boundary just as I was riding down it).

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Ddean
+4 Bern Lynx . Vincent Edwards Justin White
Ddean  - May 27, 2021, 2:24 p.m.

Its a unique situation when Im riding without my doggo, but if I do bring her on a group ride, Im in the back with her behind me. It solves all the problems, which I understand. Never been an issue.

That said, I usually wont bring her on a larger group ride unless I know the area very well; not because she will get in the way or bother anyone, but because I dont want to have conflicts if the group decides to pedal up roads, etc....

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dirtnerd
+1 Bern
dirtnerd  - May 27, 2021, 4:44 p.m.

Not reading where trail dog owners are regularly picking up or even flinging it completely off the trail. Yes your dog craps and just because you don't see it happen ....

Went for a family mtn bike ride Friday & within a few minutes have to stop for a few minutes cleaning dog crap off my wife's bike tires. Camouflaged land mines!

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just6979
+1 Whitesell1041
Justin White  - June 3, 2021, 12:48 p.m.

I'd be willing to bet most of those landmines aren't from biking dogs. Just a single instance of shit flung up by a wheel is going to get anyone watching their own dog like a hawk.

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just6979
+1 Whitesell1041
Justin White  - June 3, 2021, 12:48 p.m.

I'd be willing to bet most of those landmines aren't from biking dogs. Just a single instance of shit flung up by a wheel is going to get anyone watching their own dog like a hawk.

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tashi
0 Mammal Lynx . Justin White Whitesell1041 mtnfriend Bern tfriesenfts JVP
tashi  - May 27, 2021, 5:48 p.m.

Yep, sounds like the dogs and owners that the LR rides with have been a pain. 

My riding buddies were saddened when my previous dog aged out.

LR is overgeneralizing based on his experience IMO.

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DemonMike
+1 Justin White
mike  - May 29, 2021, 8:40 a.m.

My dogs love for the trails got me back out. Sadly he,s too old now. And his replacement is too timid . Solo to 3 person rides with a good dog are great. Start adding dogs and it can get hairy at times LOL. I have had great rides with up to 8 dogs. But that takes a certain group to make that happen. Sadly all those dogs are too old to get out still.

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tashi
+1 Justin White
tashi  - May 31, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

I used to do rides like this and it was AWESOME. 

8 dudes and 2-6 dogs that run well together is just a caravan of shred and smiles.

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kurt-adams
+1 Cam McRae
Kurt Adams  - May 30, 2021, 8:01 p.m.

More Loam Ranger please!

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cam@nsmb.com
-1 Whitesell1041
Cam McRae  - May 31, 2021, 6:56 p.m.

That is the plan. He/She is keen and loaded with things to say.

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just6979
0
Justin White  - June 3, 2021, 12:46 p.m.

"I prefer the sounds of buddies hooting and yipping for joy, talking tech, talking trash and talking – like humans."

Never had a couple two three "come here boy" calls stop any of the hooting and tech talk amongst the humans and dogs I ride with.

And I think if you mentioned to the owner that you almost crashed and crushed someone's dog because it doesn't have trail etiquette, perhaps they'd seek training and\or ride off the back with the pupper. If not, then perhaps you need new riding buddies.

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tungsten
0
Drinky Crow  - June 7, 2021, 11:19 p.m.

way back in'a day I had to give up the regular group ride at SFU 'cause the guy who owned the townhouse at the base of the mtn where we met up always brought his dog and it Never. Stopped. Yappin'. the entire fucking ride.

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