bikejoring with Pine(l) and Tanni(r) in the Arkansas rice fields

The Abakan Samoyeds have been running in harness since the early 70s. I trained Mischa and Chata(Abakan Chatanika) on my son’s Irish mail in 1972 and attempted to train another Sam with a 10-speed bike in 1973.

As a family, my husband, son, the two dogs and I, moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1974 and I bought a 24″ ladies’ Schwinn single speed bike with a coaster brake there and began what has been a long partnership with the bike in training sled dogs.

We moved to E. Washington(Aeneas) in 1975.  Here I started to train a three-dog team on gravel and dirt roads. We moved across the valley to Conconully, Washington, a year later and I continued to train the dogs by bike on gravel roads. We competed in the three-dog class in the 1978 Priest Lake Pacific Coast Championships. Belaya Buccaneer, Abakan Maggie Whitehair, and Abakan Rosalinda de Llana ran on that three-dog team. In that two day race we finished in 12th place in a 36 team entry. We averaged speeds of around 15 mph. That year we received the Organization for the Working Samoyed Most Improved Team award.


Buck, Maggie, and Rosa had only been trained by bicycle. We had not even run on snow before the Priest Lake race.

Since then, the dogs and I  have run, with a bike, on firebreaks in Southern California, on back gravel roads in Eastern Washington and Central Wyoming, on dirt roads and in meadows in Western Colorado, on gravel and dirt roads in the Arkansas ricefields.

Walker(l) and son, Cash(r), Arkansas

You would not expect the ricefields in North Eastern Arkansas to be a cold place, but try doing it in January when the temperature is 18 degrees, there is a cold north wind blowing, and the rice fields and the irrigation ditches that water the rice fields are frozen solid. I have not been so cold anywhere else. Of course, the Samoyeds just love it!

icy Arkansas rice field

Bikejoring in Conconully WA, 1977, with Buck at lead, Maggie and Rosa at wheel.

Now, we are in SE Colorado and continue to run with a bicycle.  You can see the bike I am using now on its own page. Below are Miles(l) and Bridger(r).


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