OK, this isn’t about our bikes.  It’s about Italian Greyhounds (and our mascot, Cooper).  Italian Greyhounds, like other Greyhounds, take advantage of a “double suspension gait” to reach speeds of up to 45 mph.

Here’s how double suspension gait works:

Double Suspension GaitThe dog’s front legs are in full extension forward while the rear legs are in full extension rearward. Additionally, the dog’s back is folded and attains maximum overreach, or where the rear feet extend in front of the front feet and the front feet extend behind the rear feet. When the feet pass each other, the front feet are inside of the rear feet.

A dog uses its back to attain speed. The back’s most flexible point is just over the loin area and the tuck-up allows for the folding of the under portion of the dog’s body. The rear legs overreach on the outside of the front legs. Essential for a fast dog is the ability to flex its back from a straight position to an arched position. A permanent arch is inflexible and is considered a serious fault. The double suspension gallop is a leaping gait with the hind legs first propelling the dog into the air and then followed by the front legs propelling. The shoulder muscles, the ham muscles and the back muscles are the engines of this motion.

Although speed is gained by animals using this gait endurance will be sacrificed. Sighthounds and some cats can rapidly overtake their prey but if the chase continues for too long then their prey can escape. Dogs with short legs, as well as other short-legged mammals like the weasel, often use this gait.

Here’s a fun video of an Italian Greyhound racing a bike (not a Speedhound, btw).

Italian Greyhound/Bicycle Race