The U.S.’s first-ever singletrack bikejor race will happen in Moab the weekend of March 5.
Imagine dogsled racing on dry land, with a mountain bike instead of a sled and two dogs instead of 16. The “Western Singletrack Trail Dog Challenge” will be held on the Klondike Bluffs Trail System just north of Moab.
According to Brad Kassing, a bikejor enthusiast who helped organize the race, bikejoring has been growing in the U.S. since the mid-2000s.
“It’s a lot easier to get into than sled racing because you only need one or two dogs,” Kassing said. Kassing lives in Flagstaff and has been bikejoring for five years. There are a few things driving the sport’s growth—for one, he said, a lot of dogsled races are becoming less viable due to climate change affecting how long sled race courses can be raced on; and during the pandemic, both bike ownership and dog ownership grew. Bikejoring puts together “all of those things,” he said.
Kassing first got into the sport when his adventure partner dog started getting older and less able to join Kassing while mountain biking and backpacking. As Kassing was looking into adopting another dog, his wife suggested he adopt a sled dog—a dog bred to have tough feet and athletic endurance.
“I describe her as a great friend, but a terrible pet,” he said. He started…