Dog bike seat gives Fido a front-row view
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:34PM PST
A made-in-B.C. invention is catching the eye of cycling enthusiasts who want to give their dog a front-row view when they’re out for a ride.
The Buddyrider is billed as the first-ever bicycle seat for dogs.
The device sits between the seat post and the handlebar stem of your bike so your dog is positioned in front of you when you’re riding. It fits most adult bicycles.
It is also designed with a four-point safety harness to keep the dog secure. It's designed for dogs weighing up to thirty pounds.
Inventor Colin Catton, the volunteer fire chief in Errington, B.C., created the Buddyrider for Jack, his beloved Jack Russell terrier. Catton had tried putting the feisty pup in a milk carton on the back of his bicycle but he wouldn’t have any of it.
"He was constantly trying to crawl over my shoulder and get up front where Jack Russells like to be, so the next step was to try to make him a seat on the front of the bike,” he told Steele on Your Side.
We took the Buddyrider for a spin on the English Bay seawall with the help of Murphy Brown, a 13-pound Norfolk Terrier. It generated a lot of attention, something Catton says happens often when people use it.
"It’s got the cute factor which is pretty obvious and you have a hard time getting from here to there if you want to go for a ride, because people keep stopping you all the way -- they want to take pictures,” he said.
To test how safe the device is, we took the Buddyrider to the Denman Bike Shop for an evaluation.
Co-owner Julie Bischoff likes the way it attaches to the middle frame of the bike, saying front-facing pet baskets that sit on the front of the handlebars can be unstable and dangerous.
"The dog starts moving around and the weight of the basket is pulling you to the right, pulling you to the left -- you can definitely have an accident if you have too much weight in the front of your basket,” she said.
The Buddyrider is being sold online for $129 dollars including delivery and has just started shipping to the U.S.
The device may not be for every pooch. Murphy Brown was pretty placid and seemed to enjoy the ride and didn’t once try to get out of the restraints, but a hyperactive dog may not be as calm.
More than 100 Buddyriders have been sold so far, including several to customers in the UK.