Video: Balu's Back for More Trail Dog Fun in 'Paws & Wheels II'

Nov 10, 2019
by Oli Dorn  

After our surprise success with Paws & Wheels I in 2018 many of you begged us for a longer movie or a part II. And we listened, because there was another story to tell: the story about the journey of Oli and his super-dog Balu. How they found each other, how Balu became the amazing traildog he is - and of course, a story about their special friendship.

Follow Oli and Balu on their latest roadtrip in the Sunlight Adventure Van to the Dolomites and be part of their newest adventures.

Huge thanks for the fabulous location support to South Tyrol, Alta Badia and Val Gardena.

Shot on Sony FS 5, Atomos Shogun, Sony Alpha 7III, Wiralcam & Go Pro 7, Mavic 2 Pro.

Produced by

DoP, Dir and Edit: Susanna Kosa
Rider: Oli Dorn
Dog: Balu
Edit: Assistance Nina Latinovic
Voice: Ted Limpert

„Balance“ by Bedroom
„A way for us“ by Kaina
„All things - Instrumental Version“ by Ian Locke
„Becoming human“ by Ryan Taubert
„Give it up - Instrumental Version“ by Roy Young

Posted In:


  • 53 1
 a 42 years old bloke here almost crying, know that feeling of having that kind of friend, mine is hundreds kms away with my ex and damn I miss him
  • 9 0
 man what a beautiful feeling, when you take the bike out and they realize what's about to happen... actually, they can tell before I touch the bike, its like they can read you !!! yes, I have 2 trail dogs!!!
  • 13 1
 That's what will happen to this guy if he keeps calling his dog his soulmate!
  • 4 0
 30 years old dude actually crying because he lost his soulmate and trail buddy last week ... in spirit she will always run with me and scrub the shit out of every jump
  • 2 0
 @steiltyp: I know the feeling buddy, may she rest in peace
  • 23 1
 Dude's three years older than me and has a van worth more than my entire life's earnings so far. I am clearly in the wrong line of work.
  • 5 0
 Don't discount yourself, some people are just plain dumb and finance this extravagant grocery getter, or have generational wealth. I remember seeing some video of Kate Courtney's house in Marin. Some people just don't need real jobs.
  • 1 1
 Probably not his anyway, major sponsor was sunlight. But lesson learned, real mountain bikers have RVs.
  • 20 4
 I'm not even a pet person and that had me hooked, great cinematography as well.
  • 17 3
 Dogs should follow, never lead the bike.
  • 2 0
 trying these for years... its a lot of stress for me and my dog. now he runs in front and we are both happy!
but, truth is, I perfer steep&technical before speed&jumps, so is good for us. Wink
  • 2 0
 My dog is pretty much out in front as I prefer that and shes 100 x quicker than me. If we find ourselves on a motorway type trail where the speed picks up she'll move over and let me past(she doesn't want to be run over) but were mainly on steep tech trails so shes way ahead of me
  • 1 0
 I have a border collie who rips and she always follows. Balu is probably in front for filming purposes. Any real MTB with dogs has them follow.
  • 1 0
 @tysouth: well done, you're a real mtb
  • 8 0
 My Newfoundland just rolled over and fell back asleep. She'd hike all day if it's cool, even better if it's snowing, but she'd just laugh in my face if I asked her to go trail riding. Maybe someday I'll have some lightweight little dingo trail dog and get to experience this.
  • 13 5
 Okay, a little overdone, but still heartwarming and beautiful. I love biking with our dog, who's a ripper trail dog. But he never runs out front like that, which I would think would be really distracting. Seems to work for them though.
  • 32 29
 Dogs are awesome, but not ideal for mtb trails. I have hit my friends dog riding. The problem is he has learned his owners speed, and riding style, and the fact his owner goes around jumps, etc. When he took off in front of me he stopped on the lip of a jump thinking I was headed around. Happened so fast had to bail hard to keep from completely smashing his dog. This is just one story of one dog of many that had to do with me or other riders in our local community. I can't begin to tell you how many dogs have gotten lost in the woods in my area as well. For every good trail dog/owner there are 10 that just don't get it. These type videos sell an image people buy into but can't comprehend. Fraiser caused many a rescued Jack Russell
  • 10 9
 @panchosdad you're taking life too seriously
  • 13 5
 @H3RESQ: Agreed. Also when these dogs get older there bones and paws are in much worse shape than dogs not under such demand.

Dogs have a propensity to be fixated on something and not stop regardless of the pain and damage being done.
Something that people don't quite pick up on because the animal tends to push through with tenacity and the look of euphoria.

But i suppose if we were dogs having a short life span we'd do just the same.
  • 5 0
 @H3RESQ: A lot of trails don't allow dogs to be offleash as well. I think if you have a well trained dog who takes to it and follows you, it's great and especially on solo rides (so you don't have to worry about running over your pals pet Wink ).

My pup is 11 months now and even as a young pup, she hates climbing when we hike, but absolutely bombs descents and has me sprinting down as fast as I can. I've yet to try taking her out on the MTB trails with a bike, but after a few bike rides where she runs next to me on some paved trails with a long lead to her harness, I'm thinking of trying it soon. We'll see. I won't do it until I'm absolutely sure she wouldn't be a nuisance to anyone else or risk her or others safety.
  • 5 2
 @likeittacky: Ya, well at least we have PB here to show us the #truth hurts with their down votes
  • 2 0
 @lobohusky: Let's hope after running the pooch wide open, you guys treat the poor bastard to a good ancestral feast and not a bowl of Alpo and kibbles! Lots of good protein like you would treat yourself maybe a lap of suds to top it off, Haha
  • 5 0
 i think for safeties sake, it is crucial that they follow BEHIND their owner and @H3RESQ totally agree that they need to be following and stay with THEIR owner only.
  • 8 2
 @H3RESQ: no one down voted you because you think you spoke the truth.. They down voted you because you made a generalization based on one bad experience you had.

Trail dogs are still dogs, and they do dumb dog things, if you aren't a dog person then, no worries, this video isn't for you and your comment is unwarranted. There are plenty of folks here, myself included, that wishes my dogs (one is 11yrs old with none of @likeittacky s health issues after 8 years of running harder than hell.) could come on every ride, experience everything, and be around 24 7. This video is for us.
  • 3 6
 @HaydukeLives: Would it bother you if i bring my Kitty Cat out for a group ride. He won't piss on your car tires shit on the trail, run after other animals, startle hikers and start shit with their animals, put his nose were it doesn't belong (your crotch / other dogs butts), eat his own poop,roll in yours and dead animals, doesn't need a leash, shake off the water all over your girlfriend and friends, jump into the front car seat all muddy, or slobber on anyone or the dashboard.

He's incredibly quick and agile to get out of your way too.
  • 5 2
 @likeittacky: nah man I'd enjoy that. Actually, I if you go about living life telling everyone what they are doing wrong, then I'd rather ride with him then with you. My cat would be stoked to have a buddy as well.

But hey I'll upvote you for trying
  • 6 2
 @HaydukeLives: Read again. My experience is far from one experience or generalization. I am actually a dog person. Around Goldens all my childhood that were raised, and trained for Pheasant hunting. I didn't turn out to be a hunter myself, but loved the dogs. Currently have a Greater Swiss Mountain dog in the family.
Im not really sure what you focused on in my comment but your response was off on most every key point and fact I made.
Most of the dumb things I've seen dogs do was based on lack of training in situations that are far outside the animals natural surroundings and instincts.
  • 1 0
 @loam33: totally agree. Never let your dog own the ride. There is no telling when your dog might stop in front of you or have its own injury and cause you to completely run him over. I ride with my dog probably 80% of my rides, and he is top notch smart and fit, but you never know when he might stop for a sniff or just stop on a wet bridge over a stream around a blind corner with you barreling behind him (true story). For your safety and your dog's safety, it's a no brainer to be behind you on the trail. Plus if he is on YOUR ride, he will look to you more as the pack leader and respect your authority more. My dog treats me and only me like his ultimate master, and I know it's because he's on MY rides in the woods. It transfers over to home life too.
  • 8 0
 In my humble opinion:

Only ride with your dog on trails where there is minimum traffic. Teach your dog a command word to make him stay behind you while descending. This is for the safety of you and your dog and also you can observe the trail ahead of you and make sure you can stop your dog before he starts to “play” with other people on the trail.
  • 10 0
 Enjoy those doggies while theyre young. He wont get to do this for long. Thats the hard part. Lifting them into the truck
  • 12 3
 So cheesy.
And I love dogs.
And bikes.
I think it was the voiceover + little girl music.
  • 6 0
 I have great respect for dog owners and love dogs myself. Unfortunately, again on Half Nelson in Squamish today (a very fast and flowy trail) a rider was nearly taken out by a couple of dogs chasing behind their owner - one was running in the middle of the trail and the other cut in front of the rider from the left side of the trail, outside his peripheral vision. I have no idea how the rider managed to avoid hitting the dog or riding off the trail. The owner wasn’t the fastest or most confident rider himself and he and his dogs were quickly and unexpectedly caught by the rider (who I happened to be behind). The owner had no clue what was going on behind him and he was aggressive and dropped fbombs when the rider pointed out that his dogs were a danger on the trail. I was hit by a dog in the same area a few weeks ago when it ran into me on the climbing trail in the same area; the dog was running down the trail and appeared to be looking for it’s owner and Looked bewildered and in a panic - I turned around and followed it and it found its owner about half a km further down.

There are so many dogs on the Squamish and North Shore trails now it’s just a matter of time before both the riders and the dogs are going to get hurt.
  • 2 0
 Experienced the same thing yesterday. Five bikers with trails dogs spread out, none trained. All in the middle of the trail, all stop in fear when they see a rider in the other direction, owners kept riding. It's so simple to just stop for a sec, get your dog off trail, continue on. We stop for uphill traffic, dogs/riders should stop for oncoming as well. And pick up your firkin dog shit!
Love dogs, hate shitty owners.
  • 13 5
 I was just sick in my mouth a little bit....BUT the cinematography was rad and so is Balu....just a bit cheesy though ha!
  • 9 2
 just a lil bit? lol
  • 7 2
 @brianpark: Ok....all over myself... I'm gonna have to throw away my trousers....and maybe my socks
  • 9 3
 Dude on a paddleboard with bike on the back. Hahaha. The untrruest of untrue vids so far this week.
  • 4 0
 pure generic marketing
  • 3 0
 Love riding with my dog Porter. He leads and is very aware of bikes and riders whether its me or strangers. There's a short window of opportunity for dogs to enjoy this kind of adventure and owners should enjoy every minute of it. If you own a trail dog, you understand.
  • 2 0
 Take this with a grain of salt as I think this whole thing is beautiful, but... Am I the only one who sees vids of dogs running and working this hard on decline trails and worries what their hips will be like in 5 years? Are many breeds built to withstand this kind of strain?
  • 1 0
 no.. its simply not good for them later in life... I know too many friends who had dogs that were trail dogs.. most suffered some sort of joint issues at a young age (and these were smaller, faster, lighter dogs.. ).. I have a 33 lb blue heeler mix, she is fast as hell.. but I won't take her on anything longer than 3-4 miles after what I have seen..
  • 2 0
 I am in tears!! I lost my best friend and trail shredder last year and just yesterday (11/10/19) we had to let go of our girl (and fellow former trail ripper). This was such a needed video for me to watch. My kids and me rode in every state in the US from Colorado - west and a little bit in Whistler.

Thank you, Oli.
  • 3 2
 Almost same story at our home - "only" mountainbiker, both with my wife to be, with a border collie trail dog and a baby from not long ago.
Our basic homemade sleep van (VW T5) is just too small for us, so I planning to "build" bigger van for us... watching this just made us cry. Tears of love & joy. Thanks for this! 3
  • 2 1
 Couple months ago I almost rode literally into a biker dog. Obviously it ran ahead too far and got called back by it's owner who stopped a few meters up the hill. The dog crossed a curvy track, where we rode down. A hit would have been a crash to me and a rib or back breaker for the dog.
  • 1 0
 Dogs love to run flat out wide open throttle, but I still wonder the long term effects on their legs and joints, if running them regularly like that. I'd be more apt to take my dog on runs where they are running at a more comfortable pace to avoid long term injuries.
  • 1 0
 agreed.. one of my dogs could go on long rides with me, but she just jogged along and never went full out.. just had to wait at intersections for her.. I have seen too many dogs with hip and shoulder injuries from too much riding.. its sad
  • 1 0
 My terrier is out the door and off down the drive before I've even clipped in, she loves coming on rides so much. I always make sure she's behind on the descents and love hearing her cutting the corners and flying along behind me. She learnt to do that after a few close calls from being in front though. Also don't forget to give your dog a chance to catch it's breath before you carry on after a descent or flatter bit of trail.
  • 1 0
 Hi Oli, loved your film, i have a very beuatiful Brown Border Collei and we are best friend too, we do every single thing together, and i love bike like you, this was the best movie that i saw with a rider and a dog, and touched very deep, good work buddy, hope yo see more videos from you and your dog.
  • 15 14
 Your dog is cool and the Dolomites are beautiful, but that was the most gratuitously Michael Bay of pinkbike vids. Maybe even more drone van shots and unnecessary paddle boarding to machine built trails next time?
  • 7 5
 Almost lost me on the cheesy narriaration and 1st song. But a wonderfully put together piece with breathtaking views and product placement.
  • 3 0
 I don't own a pet dog but this made me smile allot. Editing skills on point to, and I really want that camper van!
  • 7 2
  • 4 4
 Nice. I miss my first dog now so badly. Lost her year back, but we´ve had so much fun together on and off the bike, visited many places including year in Whistler and then season in Tirol etc. I can wait when my new dog reach such a level of skills and obedience to be able 100% replace the first one on trails.

And sorry @SLBIKES , but "Dogs should follow, never lead the bike." is a bullshit, when a dog is well trained for that, then actually they can read the track pretty great and lead you thru the best lines
  • 3 3
 Nope. take the emotion out of it, I have trained many trail dogs, my current one used to log 150 miles per week. Never should lead, your are the leader, if you don't understand this you should not even have a dog on the trail.
  • 3 1
 @SLBIKES: oh my god, I am always happy to meet someone who´s got the only one and ultimate true Big Grin
It´s not connected with emotions. The point the dog is in front of you doesn´t mean you are not leader, maybe you heard about mushing and have some idea how it works... very similar to riding bikes on trails
  • 3 3
 When dog owners walk dogs they tend to pick up their shit. When trail dog owners take their faction statement for a ride, they let the dog shit all over the trail and ride on by for some poor bastard to get a lump of dog shit flick up on their top lip.
  • 3 0
 I’m pretty sure the hikers by my house just hike so they have a place to let their dogs shit without having to pick it up. Drives me nuts. “Hey can you at least kick that to the side of the trail?” Nope. Thanks?
  • 1 0
 All the trails he shot the film on were remote and deserted, so in such a case I see no issue with the dog. Except perhaps as a risk of rattlesnake bite, bear attack, or mountain lions.
  • 1 0
 Nice shots Oli! Lets go riding again! Haven't seen you for a while now....Guess it's just you and your dog hahaha. Props for the edit, good work!
  • 4 5
 Dogs should be heeling or behind when riding double and singletrack. For a multitude of reasons, but mostly saftey of the dog and the owner. This video illustrates how dog owners can appear loving when in reality they are really just clueless. That dog has a lot of potential with some real training.
  • 1 0
 I have a 17yo Australian cattle dog mix. She doesn’t run anymore but still dreams of it! Loved this vid. Trail dogs are the best.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully he won't suffer like my Aussie did. Enlarged heart caused by years of overuse. Today I don't run my dogs like that anymore.
  • 1 0
 yikes.. sad. my sister in laws dog had the same issue.. border collie.. just too much sometimes for them..
  • 2 0
 So much heartwarming content today!
  • 2 0
 Came here only for Ezra comment : where is he ?
  • 1 0
 Strewth! that hund got an inside line repertoire greater than any Frenchie!
  • 3 2
 Thank you for the smiles!!!
  • 2 1
 Great film and amazingly shot, thanx!
  • 1 0
 My question is: how do you teach your dog to be a trail dog???
  • 6 0
 The chaps at our local trails shout and bellow at theirs a lot, spend hours looking for them when they disappear after deer, then terrorise them for getting on the car seats when they get back to the car park. I think that's how it's done...
  • 1 0
 Really with this editing style?
  • 1 0
 is this her resume entry for disney?
  • 2 0
 Dig it, w00f!!!
  • 1 0
 Loved it, it's a magical bond we have with our 4 legged friends
  • 1 0
 the dog is cool and all but the Dolomites...damn!
  • 4 3
 1000x this.
  • 3 2
 Perfectly wonderful
  • 3 2
 rt if you cried
  • 1 0
 Luv a good trail dog Smile
  • 1 0
 excellent!! Ok thats it.
  • 1 1
 Nice edit Oli!
  • 1 2
 I can’t stand trail dogs! Get a mini horse
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