Whether you race a motorcycle on a track, participate in track days, or ride on the street, you probably go through a mental checklist of all the safety equipment and accoutrements you wear and bring with you on our ride. Boots: check. Gloves: check. Helmet: check. Sox?
You may be thinking that hosiery is kind of a dumb thing to have on your riding checklist, but for Michael Fiala, Sox is a top priority. That’s because Sox is Fiala’s dog, and he is a constant passenger on his motorcycle.
A Siberian Husky, Sox learned to ride on the back of Fiala’s motorcycle when he was given to Fiala as a six-month-old puppy. Beginning with hour-long training sessions every day, Sox quickly learned how to get on and off Fiala’s bike, ride pillion with his front legs and paws securely gripping Fiala’s shoulders, and even lean in unison with Fiala in the turns. Fiala, who has a background in animal training, even has specific commands so Sox knows to tighten his grip when negotiating speed bumps or corners.
“You can feel it when he shifts his weight a little bit to make sure he’s centered,” Fiala said. “On longer rides, when he’s shifting his weight more frequently, I know he’s starting to get tired. That’s when it’s time to take a break.”
Sox has been riding with Fiala for nearly ten years, and together, the pair have logged over 75,000 miles, visited 35 states, and toured 26 national parks. Their ultimate goal is to visit all 50 states, and next up on their travelogue is Millville, New Jersey, and specifically, New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Sox and Fiala have been invited to NJMP by Westby Racing, which is a team well-known for their love of dogs. “We love dogs just as much as we love the rest of our Westby Racing fans,” said Vanessa Lauritsen, marketing manager and ambassador for the team, who has her own Husky named Sugar. “Every dog that comes to see us in the paddock gets a checkered Westby Racing bandana, along with treats and water. We’ve been doing this for a few years now.
“We reached out to Michael (Fiala) and invited him and Sox to NJMP. They’ll be making a special appearance at our paddock hospitality area on Saturday at NJMP, and we’re really excited to meet them, and for all the fans to meet them, as well.”
Fiala considers himself just another motorcyclist out on the road, riding along with his faithful companion. He’s living his dream of being with his dog on his bike, and he hopes their story inspires others to live their lives every day to the absolute fullest, and to appreciate each day with their pets.
“He’s a dog with his head out the window, but there’s no window,” Fiala commented. “He’s just always happy.”
Sox is known as “@the_bike_dog” on Instagram, and you can also visit his Facebook page “@TheBikeDog”. “I love that Sox has an impact on people,” added Fiala. “I just love that he brings a smile to so many people’s faces.”
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