Whether you are bikejoring or skijoring or dog scootering or mushing with a sled or rig, it’s important to follow the overtaking etiquette on the trail.
Walkers and runners must be given a warning. A bell, calling or shouting should do the trick. No one in their right mind will choose to stand their ground and play chicken with an adrenaline-fuelled team of powerful animals closing in on them at speed.
It may be fun to quietly and unexpectedly whizz past them at a rate of knots but it will do untold damage to the reputation of our sports.
When passing other dogs, do whatever it takes to control your team. Most people being passed will do likewise. If they don’t move over, don’t force the issue as that can lead to injuries and confrontations. The key is plenty of shouted warnings.
It may not be the macho thing to do and it may dent your pride, but if you are being overtaken, take it on the chin. The other team is faster. Let it go.
Photo taken by Red Anderton-Tyers and used with her kind permission
It’s also a matter of teaching your dogs good habits. If they are excited about chasing the passing team, slow then down or take a breather. And when being passed, pull your team in or stop them for a while.
Race day can be a different matter. Read the rules and read them again. Remember, they are there for safety reasons.
When approaching the team ahead, it’s good practice to call “Trail” or something to let the team ahead know you are coming up behind them - they might not be aware that you are approaching them. Let them know whether you want to pass on the left and right hand side. If you have any concerns, try to speak with the competitors who are likely to out on the trail at the same time as you before you start the race. Good communications will make sure everyone remains safe and enjoys the event.