I have been mountain biking for over 30 years. When I came to Moab for the first time in 1988, I couldn’t believe my eyes and good luck. I live and ride in Colorado and surrounding areas including Utah. I have noticed a very disturbing trend in the mountain biking community in the past 5 years or so of people taking their dogs on long rides. I realize dogs love to be with their people, I have two dogs and have been a lifelong dog owner. But running a dog for more than a few miles on hard rock and sand is, in my opinion, borderline abusive.

Dogs can’t tell you their pads are sore, or that they’re overheating or too tired to push on. They’ll just run and chase until they drop, they will do anything to not be left behind by their human.

Yesterday, I was at the Amasa Back trailhead parking lot when a couple was loading their bikes. Their dog was lying under the truck licking its pads. When it was time to go, it could barely stand up and the woman had to lift it into the truck. She laughed and said, “that dog can barely move, I think we wore him out!” I was so heartbroken for that dog. Another time in Rabbit Valley, I had to give a ride to a person holding a dog on the back of my motorcycle, because the dog’s pads were too bloody and it was too severely overheated to get back to their truck.

Dogs are not cool mountain bike accessories. Please use good judgment when exercising your dogs.

Marisa Silverman

Aspen, Colorado