|Among all the hazards cyclists face, few are as ubiquitous as man’s best friend. Wherever you ride, whatever you ride, whether on road or on dirt, at some point a dog will conclude you are persona non grata, or worse, decide a pound of your flesh might make a fine hors d’oeuvre. Here are some tips on keeping your calves and ankles whole:
Critical concerns when being pursued
- Make sure that you do not hit the dog; you will fall, injuring yourself and the dog.
- Keep calm and stay in control of your bike; if you panic you may lose control and fall.
- Remember, like a cheetah after a gazelle, even the fastest dogs lack endurance for long distance chases and will eventually give up as long as you keep moving.
- Discretion is the better part of valor, and avoiding injury to either party is the goal here. Both you and the dog are enjoying life and doing what comes naturally; you are just riding and he or she is just being a dog.
- Continue pedaling and ride past the dog; it is protecting its territory and should stop once you have exited its domain.
- Remember that some dogs bark and chase for fun with no intention of attacking.
- The faster you and your feet are moving, the less likely you are of being bitten.
- Yelling at the dog will usually startle it, making it cease and desist long enough for you to safely escape.
- Spray water from your water bottle into the dog’s face; it will get a drink and back off.
- Physical violence and pepper spray should only be used in extreme cases. In such circumstances, it is advisable to keep your bike between your body and the dog.
Threatening as they may be, irrate dogs can be more rational and are certainly less dangerous than enraged or careless humans driving oversized vehicles.