By now, you know that cycling does the body good. Whether you've been an avid cyclist for ages or recently purchased your first bike during the pandemic, if you're reading this blog, the chances are that you have experienced the many benefits of cycling. 

As we come to the close of May, a.k.a Mental Health Awareness month, one thing that we have noted across the board from our athletes is that cycling also improves our mental health without a doubt. Many athletes state that cycling is therapeutic, a healthy way to bond with others and build community, and safely process and purge stressors from work, family, etc. We couldn't agree more. There's nothing like a soul-stealing climb or a random attack on a group ride to get our mojo back.

While cycling can easily be a day-to-day part of our lives when we live in cycling-friendly cities, what if you live in an area that doesn't have a strong cycling community? How can we stay motivated to cycle and promote mental well-being during such times? 

Enter Todd and Pippa, the most dynamic (and adorable) human-canine duo we have encountered. As the "new normal" sets in, many have opted to relocate to less crowded cities and even rural areas to gain a sense of peace and normalcy which may not include regular group rides. 

Todd ​​Steigerwalt has the solution: cycling with your pup in tow.

"I never feel alone when I ride with Pippa. She is the best partner, always whispering in my ear to go faster."

Read on to find out how Todd and Pippa became one of Instagram's favorite cycling duo: 

Why did you start cycling with Pippa? 

My wife - fiance at the time - really wanted a dog. I did too, but she wanted a big dog. I asked if we could get one small enough to cycle with, and she agreed because she knows how much I love cycling. I thought riding with a dog would be a lot of fun, but I never imagined she would become the incredible fluffy riding partner she is today. In 2022 alone, we rode over 1,000 miles together.

Do you think Pippa enjoys cycling as much as you do?

Absolutely. She loves to ride. It is probably more fun for her than a car ride because she has more wind in her face. She rests her head on my back, using me as a shield when she wants. When we stop, she likes to chase birds and squirrels.

Does cycling or cycling with Pippa help manage day-to-day stress?

Cycling is absolutely a stress reliever. And what could be more fun than riding with my best friend? My wife has pushed me out the door to ride once or twice when she knew I needed to let off steam. I have been riding since I was a child. It brings me joy. When I go for a ride I feel like a bird in the sky. It clears my mind and helps me to see things in my life from a different perspective. We moved to the suburbs two years ago, and I still trying to meet a new group of cycling friends, but while I search, I never feel alone when I ride with Pippa. She is the best partner, always whispering in my ear to go faster. 

Do you think that cycling and well-being are connected in any way?

Absolutely! Strong heart and lungs through exercise. Even stepping away for just an hour helps me show up stronger for my family and my work when I return. After riding, I am energized and ready to take on the world's problems. 

How does Kogel impact your cycling?

I love building bikes and finding really unique custom parts to make my bikes stand out. Kogel has the best-looking cages I have ever seen. It's the best-looking feature on both of my bicycles. Seriously. Not only that, but the pulley spins free, saves watts, and helps me go faster. I might not be a professional, but I constantly challenge myself to beat my old records on the routes I usually ride. 

What are your and Pippa's favorite cycling routes or destinations?

We have a great route in Sandy Springs, just outside of Atlanta. Part of it is a straightaway next to the river. We are able to ride between 20 and 35 miles without having to be on the road, which my wife appreciates. Pippa loves it when we stop at Starbucks for a coffee and a pup cup before returning home. 

While solo cycling is great for unpacking thoughts or hitting PRs, it's still nice to have our best furry friend join us for the joy ride, especially when it comes to cycling for overall well-being. May might be mental health month, but we cyclists know that every mile counts towards mental health all year long. And heck, having cool bikes with the latest bling, such as the Kolossos, and a four-legged pal to tandem definitely encourages more joy rides. 

Todd & Pippa's Bike Check:


Ard Kessels