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Dogs...(20 posts)

Dec 29, 2003 1:50 AM
I have read about loads of people posting stuff about dogs. They mean that they just start chasing you? well i guess you just sprint off right? a dog wont run past 30k/mh...
anyway seems like a fun topic. Any anecdotes, stories?
... they have nothing better to do...Akirasho
Dec 29, 2003 4:36 AM
... aside from being a natural outgrowth of a dog's instincts, many domesticated dogs literally have nothing better to do... and get bored... so to borrow a bit from Sir Authur Conan Doyle... "the game's afoot".

Most of my encounters have been benign, being able to simply outsprint as you suggested, however, sometimes, that might not be an option.

On one organized ride, I and a riding partner were overtaken by a large breed whilst climbing a steep grade. It wasn't until he made contact that (a) we realized he was there and (b) realized (a couple of harried seconds later) that all he wanted was to tag along. There'd have been no sprint on that grade.

On another occasion, I was getting ready to pull behind a tandem (couldn't resist the draft) when a small breed dashed out unexpectedly from a yard... both tandem wheels passed over the poor dog as I peeled off... heard it yelp... saw it disappear back into the yard... no word if it survived.

On yet another organized ride, I was solo near the end of a century when I came upon two St. Bernards... who used a classic flank manouver... As I approached, they cut off any possible sprint... then proceeded to track me. I got off the bike and put it between... then, as they started the flank, I tried to back against a hedge.

I tried using verbal commands as well as siddling down the hedgeline to avoid the dogs. The kicker was... there was a small child nearby who'd been with the dogs as I approached. He attempted to retrieve them... but was outweighed 2:1 by one, let alone two! Finally, an adult emerged from a nearby farmhouse and in a very disinterested way (as if I had imposed on his NASCAR and beer induced coma Saturday (I know, I'm being bad) for him to control what appeared to be his dogs), took the dogs inside.

This was the same route other riders would be using throughout the day so as soon as I got to the finish... I had them call the sherrif (leash laws throughout the county).

And, sometimes, even the dog knows things are going badly...

Be the bike.
Fun?Mike Tea
Dec 29, 2003 5:48 AM
"Any anecdotes, stories?"

Yeah I got one for ya. Maybe four. And maybe it'll take the "fun" out of it for you, as it should. It's not funny being chased by dogs, it's dangerous.

Commonwealth Games (1967) road race champion Peter Buckley (a clubmate of mine in the UK) was killed when he hit a loose dog while out training.

A more recent clubmate in Canada broke his hip when he hit the deck due to a loose dog. He was the lucky one - two months later he was back riding.

Joachim Aghostino, top Euro pro racer, was killed when a dog got mixed up in a sprint finish.

I hit the deck a few weeks ago when an unseen small dog bolted out of the underbrush 5' from me and took my front wheel out from under me. I didn't suffer any permanent injuries.

It's a topic that doesn't hold any fun for me. Cure the problem.

I've had two dog owners charged and won both court cases. Now that's where I got MY fun.
Not Fun?4bykn
Dec 29, 2003 6:25 AM
Similar experience to your second story. Dog impacted my front wheel at full run, flipped the bike (and me). Impact with the road broke my pelvis, spent 10 weeks in the hospital in traction. That was over 4 years ago and now my surgeon recommends a total hip replacement. My attorney threatened to take the owner to court and ended settling out of court to the full extent of her liability insurance.

My point:
take dogs lightly, regardless of size (mine was a Boston terrier). You cannot predict what the dog will do.

Ride (and limp) in Peace...Mike
My only road crash was with a dogDave Hickey
Dec 29, 2003 6:31 AM
4 of us in a paceline. The dog gave chase and I was the last person. By the time he got back to me, he cut in front of my wheel and I t-boned him. I had bruised ribs and a cracked Giro helmet.

I'm a big dog lover but be very aware of dogs while riding.
My only road crash was with a dogbill105
Dec 29, 2003 7:48 AM
dont the mentioned cases of injury to cyclists justify spraying the dogs with Halt when they chase you to teach them not to?
Anything to get away but....Dave Hickey
Dec 29, 2003 7:59 AM
I don't think it would have done any good. The dog was up with the first rider when he started to give up and drop back. That's when he cut in front of me. If the first rider would have sprayed him, I probably still would have t-boned him.
Anything to get away but....bill105
Dec 29, 2003 8:11 AM
but i meant as a rule of thumb, if you are riding alone and a dog chases/growling/showing teeth, wouldnt it be a good idea to let them have a Halt sampling to train them not to chase?
thats assuming dogs are bright...funknuggets
Dec 29, 2003 10:52 AM
no, mace just pisses them off, if they chase 10 riders and only 1 sprays them... they will likely keep chasing. They are protecting their turf and will likely always do it unless they are consistently greeted with mace or whatever. Funny thing is that they MAY learn just not to chase YOU in particular.

Justification? Yes.4bykn
Dec 30, 2003 6:31 AM
Sure, Halt or whatever you can use as some sort of deterrent is more than justified, but the fact of the matter is sometimes you don't have ample warning or time to grab your choice of weapon. All I carry is my lungs. It seems the one universal word in dog language is
b "NO"
. Most (but not all) dogs will at least pause for a moment when yelled at, often that second is all one needs to get away from the situation.

Ride in Peace...Mike
Dec 29, 2003 10:50 AM
you are like my fuzzy faced alter-ego...

I t-boned a collie in a paceline going 42 in much the same manner, but I broke a finger, had road rash from my temple to my hip and screwed up my back, chipped a piece of bone off the tip of my elbow and got 6 stitches in my chin.

The bike was a waste, bent the frame in 3 places, and wedged the front wheel in between the big chainring and crankarm.

So, I am skittish about dogs... especially stealth terriers. I live in Missouri where in rural areas is is like a status symbol to have the largest number of large, unchained animals. Most just get fat and you can outrun them, but the ones that are bored and like to chase cars...will undoubtedly chase you. Supposedly it has to do with the sound of your freewheel. Mace, water, frame pumps... and reportedly air horns... will typically wither most attacks. I have only been bitten once, wrecked once, and been forced off my bike three times.

Lastly dogs can run fast. Thank goodness my greyhound is passive. He is super fast and looks like he is jogging at 35mph.

hmmmm....Dave Hickey
Dec 29, 2003 11:57 AM
Possible they loaded up and truck and moved to Texas? Mine was a collie also.....

We have the worlds fattest cocker. He tips the scales at svelte 50lbs but for short distances, he's pretty quick.
zero dog problems in NJ but...bicycle268
Dec 29, 2003 8:02 AM
I just got back from a week in southeastern Mass. and couldn't believe how many larger than-I-dogs are out loose on the streets. EVERYONE has a 100lb+ dog and NOBODY ties them up. I would ride every morning and my route was dictated by dogs. They would run out to the middle of the road and force me to turn left or right. I felt like I was trapped in a Stephen King novel. I'm not saying that they were all mean but you gotta assume lest you lose a piece of your leg!

I love dogs... but if I get attacked and it's him or me.... break out the ppk, appologize to the owner and ride on.
Funny you mention Jersey...biknben
Dec 29, 2003 8:33 AM
I did a small group ride in Sussex Cnty. on Friday. We had two dog incidents. The later one included
i two
dogs. As luck would have it, I was at the rear each time.

These dogs obviously didn't have a good Christmas. :-)
Do I have a story for you ..!globalhelipimp
Dec 29, 2003 9:02 AM
My local ride (30miles) takes me through the suburbs and
out to the countryside. One house that I always pass
literally has about 6+ dogs, some leashed and unleashes.
On numerous occasions these dogs have physically chased me
while passing the house. This day would be no different ..

So I'm nearing the house and see about 6, yes 6, country
dogs sitting right next to the road, barking at each other
and watching the cars pass. I pause there for a few
minutes, debating what to do. Roofers working on the house
next door yell to me, "Don't worry about the dogs- they
just bark at the cars." And I say, "Well, I'm not a car ..
I'm a biker. They chase me everytime I pass." So he
replies, "Oh, well I guess I've never seen any bikers pass
before ..".

I decide to proceed on, and I'm about 200m from them when
they all stand up and move toward the road. A car was
coming up behind me, so I waved for them to slow down
(15+mph), and tag along their passenger side. Three of the
dogs continue to walk into the road, right next to the
driver side. All of a sudden a car in the other lane comes
around the bend and nearly hits all three of them.

Needless to say it was an interesting ride.
Two painful anecdotes on dogsPaulCL
Dec 29, 2003 10:51 AM
I t-boned a dog at 35mph+. It ran in front of me to chase my riding buddy. I went down. Bent fork, tacoed wheel,cracked crank, ruined shoes, etc.... Me: 3 degree seperated shoulder, damaged sciatic nerve, roadrash extrordinaire. Off the bike for 8 weeks, could hardly walk for 7 days.

My first crit. Someone's puppy got off the leash and ran onto the course at a 90 degree turn into the finishing straight. 4 or 5 guys went down. Luckily, I wasn't one of them.

I love dogs. But when on my bike, I'm afraid of what they can cause. When one runs along side of me, I'll usually either out sprint them or stop and get friendly.

there but for the Grace of GodPatrick
Dec 29, 2003 11:45 AM
I was on a Century this fall and had been riding at the rear of a group in the first hour or so. I got dropped
as a short climb began and watched the group open up a gap. I decided that it was a good time for a whizz.
After relieving myself in a convinient shrubbery, I continued up the hill. The climb was followed by a nice descent which I was enjoying until I came upon an accident scene at the bottom, complete with Police cruiser, small crowd, and a guilty looking dog & owner.
It turned out that the last guy in the group I had been riding with (formerly me!) had been charged by the guilty dog, and he wiped out at high speed. A broken collarbone and KO'ed bike were the result.
I felt ill as I rode past, realizing that it coulda been me. Needless to say, I was hyper aware the rest of the ride.

It's amazing what can through your mind in half a secondTNSquared
Dec 29, 2003 12:27 PM
Yesterday, riding with J's Haiku shop and 3 others, I was in front as we crested a hill and started around a bend on a 2 lane counry road. Just as we approached a particularly narrow section created by construction equipment in the road, an unidentified, small, hairy ball came streaking toward me from the right.

As I reached to grab the brakes for fear the dog would cross my front wheel, I remembered J was on my wheel - riding his Fixie. Split-second judgment ensued. Which would cause more bike and bodily damage, t-boning the hairball and going airborne over the bars, or J flattening me underneath the Surly Steamroller?

Both scenarios played through my head as I feathered my brakes, heard grunting behind me, and winced. Fortunately, the dog peeled off and J was able to avoid my rear wheel without blowing his knees out. It could have been quite ugly, though.
Fixed-gear rule #1:Dave_Stohler
Dec 29, 2003 3:23 PM
Never, ever draft somebody when you are riding fixed

Rule #2:

never, ever allow somebody to ride fixed on your tail
Tutorial appreciated but not needed......TNSquared
Dec 29, 2003 6:24 PM
but perhaps I need writing skill lessons. I didn't say J was drafting behind me, but I probably wasn't clear. Let me be clear: J was *not* drafting behind me. We were riding a very conservative pace in a loosely spaced group, not pacelining or drafting.

The sudden lack of available road due to the construction equipment, which we couldn't see until we rounded the bend, forced us momentarily to get more in line - although I doubt it was even single file at that point - I didn't exactly take the time to look over my shoulder. I'd be shocked if J ever came within typical drafting distance of my rear wheel. J has ridden thousands of fixed gear miles and believe me he knows the rules, and while I'm still learning I do know enough not to be bumping my arse against a moving freight train with no brakes.

My *point*, simply put, was that he was behind me somewhere at that moment due to circumstances, and to point out just how much can transpire in a moment. This whole episode took place in the course of, oh say 3 seconds. Narrowing roadway, dog attack, unavoidable scrambling by group, fortunately no accident. That is all.