2008-05-24 – Taking a Pooch Along for a Bike Ride – Daily News

Taking a pooch along for a bike ride is not only eco-friendly, it’s also fun
New York Daily News
May 24, 2008
By Amy Sacks


When it comes to transporting pets around the city, cycling enthusiasts say pedaling isn’t only easier on the environment and the pocketbook, the eco-friendly mode of transport is the most enjoyable way to commute with your pooch.

“Biking is the best way to get around the city, period, with or without a dog, but having my pug Olive along for the ride makes it more fun,” said Nadette Stasa, an organizer of the city’s first Pedal Parade, which made its debut last Saturday in Manhattan.

The eco-minded Stasa was among 45 animal-crazy cyclists who transported dozens of dogs in decorated crates and baskets aboard pup-equipped bikes, floats and pedicabs through SoHo and Greenwich Village.

Native New Yorker Mickey Kramer, who has never ridden a bike – nor does he know how to drive a car – wore an “adopt a dog” T-shirt, as he rode in an eco-friendly pedicab with his dog Tilly, which he adopted four years ago from Earth Angels rescue.

In addition to promoting green transportation with pets, the Pedal Parade’s mission was to raise awareness of homeless dogs.

The 90-minute route included stops at animal rescue groups, including Animal Haven in SoHo, and Earth Angels, a rescue group that operates outside Petco in Union Square. There, Tiffy, an adorable terrier-mix up for adoption from Earth Angels, hopped in a basket and went along for the ride.

The parade was organized by Time’s Up! – a grass-roots environmental group that uses educational outreach and direct action to promote a more sustainable, less toxic city. The group operates on Morton St., out of Hub Station, a shop owned by eco-activist bicycle and pedicab designer George Bliss, who designs custom-made green transportation.

The organization’s many group rides, including garden rides, clown rides, Earth Day rides and even the well-known Critical Mass were the inspiration behind the Pedal Parade.

“We wanted to combine our love for dogs and bikes to get people to start thinking about adoption,” said organizer and Time’s Up! volunteer Judy Ross, who often carts her three rescued pit bulls, Honeycomb, Joshua and Carmine, in a carrier attached to the back of her bike.

She warns that biking with pets requires taking safety precautions, including an appropriate-size carrier for the pet. Also, the leash should be long enough so the dog can be comfortable and move around, but not so long that it can jump out.

Specially made bags can be purchased at www.burley.com – known for its bike trailers for kids, Burley makes the Tail Wagon and Rover for transporting pets.

If you don’t have a bike, hop in a pedicab to a fund-raiser to help homeless pets.

Stray from the Heart’s 2008 Spring Fling: Daisies, Dogs & Daffodils, featuring Roberta Flack and Prince Lorenzo Borghese, will raise much-needed funds for the nonprofit rescue group on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Astor House, 130 E. 80th St. in Manhattan. For information go to Strayfromtheheart.org.

Also, join Glenn Close, Bernadette Peters and Alec Baldwin for food, jazz and a silent auction to raise money for New York City Animal Care & Control Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the townhouse of Dr. Howard Bellin and Ms. Kandis Koustenis, 105 E. 73rd St. in Manhattan.

To purchase tickets go to nycacc.org/may28party.html.