Dogs & Bikes

In the city every once in a while you may pass a pack of stray dogs or maybe just one running solo. I had never had problems with one chasing me.

I’ve ventured out of the forests to cover more ground by bicycle and I have to constantly be on guard for random dogs expressing their desire to chase me down.  They express this desire quite loudly, which gives me a moment to prepare.  Previously my rides were cut short when I would see 3 dogs running toward the road from the back of their yards and I’d quickly turn around and ride the other way – cursing if that meant riding uphill away from the dogs.

I hate the idea of being trapped within a boundary and having to ride the same route over and over.  I also hate the thought of having my leg ripped off by a dog, having the dog get hit by a car, me getting hit by a car, both of us getting hit by a car after the dog runs under my bike tires as well or various other scenarios that could occur.

The only solution that I could come up with since it seems as if every other house has a dog that is free to roam around wherever, including into the road, was to pick up some Halt! Dog Repellent.  The thought of spraying a dog in the face with pepper spray bums me out.  I’ve read a lot of reviews of this stuff and many people have said that the dogs they have had to spray don’t chase them anymore after one (or a couple) of encounters with the pepper spray.  I think that an hour or so of discomfort is worth the dog not running after me and getting fatally injured.

Well the other day I went on a 50 mile bike ride and during this time I experienced 9 occasions of dogs barking and running towards me.  A couple of them were close calls. However one was a little too close.  Only a minute after pedaling away from 2 dogs who wanted to rip me to shreds but luckily a lady ran off her porch trying to convince both the dogs and me otherwise, I experienced the worst moment.  I saw a dog look down at me from atop his dirt palace, I swear he smiled a little and his eyes sparkled- I thought, “this is it, this is going to end badly.” Pepper spray in hand I pedaled hard and fast up the hill in front of me as he ran down toward me on my left, too close.  I cringe and spray the repellent in his face.  He doesn’t yelp or cower away, he just looks as if he as awoken from sleep walking running, and thought, “whoa, what am I doing” and then casually walked at a fast pace back to his yard.  I didn’t stop to see what happened afterward, I am guessing a lot of rubbing his face in the dirt.

Might I add that this dog was adorable, even under the circumstances. He was a huge mastiff-boxer looking mix. Hopefully he won’t continue to run out in the road and will go on living in his dirt palace, eating, and burying things.

Hopefully I won’t have to do that I again, but that is unlikely and I see myself buying another can of Halt! very soon.

Other than those dog encounters, the ride was rad and relaxing. The nights are getting cooler and riding in the morning has been fantastic.

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