We follow the very good boy Sir Willie the Wiener during the final build up to his latest Fastest Known Dog (FKD) Strava segment attempt. See his cutting edge approach to training, recovery, and equipment, plus the unique relationship he’s built with his training partner, former Pro Tour racer Alexey Vermeulen. Read on for insights from Alexey on Willie’s training strategy and what it’s like to ride with the Fastest Known Dog.
What kind of dog is Willie and how old is he?
Willie is a three-year-old Long-Haired Miniature Dachshund – crème colored.
How did you start riding with Willie?
I started riding with Willie during Covid when I would keep Sophie company on her runs, he liked it for an hour at a slower speed so we slowly started taking him on longer rides and he loved it!
Were you shopping for a weighted vest and ended up with Willie?
Yes, I was looking for 20lbs, but I thought if I fatten Willie up a bit I could also have a friend to ride with!
How many hours a week do you two ride together?
It varies on the week depending on my workout schedule, but I would say on average he rides at least seven hours a week… minimum of two to three hours, max of 10-12.
How do you take care of Willie on longer rides
Willie looks after himself for the most part, but I make sure to give him opportunities to go to the bathroom before each ride and about every two hours. He can stretch his legs and usually goes within a couple minutes and then comes back and sits on the backpack until I put him back inside! For water I bring a bottle for him and usually offer it to him every hour…he is stubborn so he usually sticks his snout up and makes me get it out again 10 minutes later.
Do you ride together in all weather conditions? What does it take to keep him comfortable?
He definitely enjoys a sunny, slightly windy day the most…but he will never turn down a bike ride. On crappy days we have two sleeping bag-type jackets for him that we bundle him up in and he has a little bonnet to keep his ears warm.
What kind of backpack works best with Willie?
We have only ever used the K9 Sportsack backpacks, he feels comfortable and has enough room to move around which is nice.
Do you stick to road riding when you have Willie on your back?
I would say I ride much more dirt with Willie than I do road. Road is smooth, but the dirt feels a bit safer with less traffic. I typically will only ride the MTB or gravel bike with him as I feel more in control if a situation arises.
Who are your dog toting idols?
Brodie the Golden Doodle and Demi Vollering with her dog, Flo.