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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 04-27-14, 02:05 AM   #1
Bahnzo
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Dogs (unleashed) on MUP.

I come across this a lot. Dog(s) being walked without a leash on a MUP. It's marked (and signed) as a bike path, but it's a popular path in my city for all (and I don't mind that, we all deserve a nice path to walk/bike/run) away from cars and in a natural environment. It's also a law that all pets are on a controlled leash (it's on the signs as well).

But I've come across more and more people who insist on walking dogs w/o leashes on this path. And even with a call (ON YOUR LEFT) they do nothing to control their pets which frequently block the path. I always slow down on certain areas I know are crowded with peds, but this kinda thing is really pissing me off.

Today, a guy I see all the time, who never has his large dogs on a leash, who is always on his phone paying no attention to anything. I stopped and told him that law requires leashes, that this is a bike path and his dogs are a danger to cyclists...told me to go "F" myself and next time he'll make sure his dog's attack me (seriously...not that I really think that).

WTF can be done in this situation? I mean I want to tell him about the time I've been bitten (and the cost that comes with that, for him) and the safety issues as well. But it really seems hard to make many of these people understand.

Spring...that time of the year when the morons come out and we're forced to deal with them? Until they are too fat and drunk to continue their New Year's resolution and just let their neglected pets out to sheet in the backyard?
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Old 04-27-14, 02:15 AM   #2
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A flame thrower mounted to the handlebars?
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Old 04-27-14, 04:34 AM   #3
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There are idiots everywhere who believe their dogs should run free and wild in areas where they should be leashed. They think it's a god-given right when in reality they are supposed to be supervising a quadraped who relies upon instinct / conditioned behaviors vs. common sense.
Unless there is a attack/accident of significance most authorities do very little about the dumbsh#ts who endanger others with their actions.

As per the cell dude - next time do a ninja sneak on him on the bike and snatch his phone. Let em' sick his dog on you as you pedal away into the distance. Of course - you shouldn't do this as it is patently illegal - but it would be wholly satisfying.
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Old 04-27-14, 09:58 AM   #4
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But then again, leashed dogs cause a worse problem when the leashes are too long and stretch across the path like a bicycle trip wire. As a dog lover and a cyclist I'd say dog walking and bicycling just don't mix well.
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Old 04-27-14, 11:11 AM   #5
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Calling out doesn't work well with pedestrians. Even if they do understand the words you are saying, they mostly don't know what you mean. I always use a loud bell on MUPs. Almost all pedestrians know what bicycle bells mean.

If you come upon a loose out-of-control dog, aim your bike directly for its head. If you try to ride around it, it may lunge towards you and knock you off your bike. If you aim directly at it and make as much noise as you can, it will almost always jump out of the way.
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Old 04-27-14, 11:24 AM   #6
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Being the confrontational idiot I am I usually holler GET YER EFFIN DOG ON A LEASH. Lots of varied responses but I have had a few recipients leash up Fido.
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Old 04-27-14, 11:54 AM   #7
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Stick on the AirZound to your bike. It'll give a great awakening to the dogs and owners alike. Why waste your breath yelling when a long continuous blast will do - and much more fun to see them scramble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOmU-G5uBpU
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Old 04-27-14, 12:24 PM   #8
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A bell for all passes, and a vintage klaxon horn for the less aware.

The nice thing about the vintage horn is its loud and gets even the most clueless to jump, but unlike yelling which pisses some off, the quaint "ah-ooga" makes gets an embarrassed smile. I sometimes see off leash dogs, but they tend to be smarter and more aware then their owners.
Like with any other issue, we can only control our own actions, and can't change the world. Use the gear and techniques appropriate for the conditions. We expect others to slow down and give us space on the road, we should be willing to slow down and give others space on MUT's.

IMO, a bell should be considered a must have, and there are many small, unobtrusive ones available, there's no excuse to not have one. Bulb horns are cheap, light and effective too, unfortunately, with some cyclists image trumps safety and courtesy, they wouldn't be caught dead with a bell or horn on their bike.
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Old 04-27-14, 12:32 PM   #9
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But then again, leashed dogs cause a worse problem when the leashes are too long and stretch across the path like a bicycle trip wire. As a dog lover and a cyclist I'd say dog walking and bicycling just don't mix well.
Those leashes can sometimes lead to entertaining situations. I once came upon an elderly couple who each had a dog on one of those things. The woman was on the right edge of the bike path, but her dog was on the left side. Her husband was on the left edge, but his dog was on the right side. Both of them got frantic and tried to correct the problem when I called out to them. In their haste, they made no progress at all. I stopped and we all had a belly laugh over the whole thing.

I suspect they were more attentive to where their dogs were in relation to themselves after that embarrassing encounter. Sadly, many of the leashless/extendo-leash scofflaws don't seem to have any capacity for being embarrassed.
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Old 04-27-14, 02:07 PM   #10
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Why I avoid MUPs: People doing selfish things that make things inconvenient for others in a place where enforcement is and always will be a joke.
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Old 04-27-14, 03:39 PM   #11
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I prefer not having to worry about the leash being a tripwire, so don't mind unleashed dogs at all. Especially since dogs are more nimble and attentive than people as far as moving out of the way.

It's the free roving dogs in neighborhoods that bark aggressively and chase me for 1/4 mile in neighborhoods that piss me off.
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Old 04-28-14, 10:18 AM   #12
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dog spray or get license to carry. Both fix problem
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Old 04-28-14, 10:34 AM   #13
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This is why I try to avoid MUPs and other paths and trails when they're being used by peds (adults and children), dogs, skaters, etc, etc. I also keep my speed down during such times (many MUPs, etc, have clearly posted speed limits that some cyclists completely ignore).

Just keep in mind that a child can step in front of you just as easily as any unleshed dog...
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Old 04-28-14, 11:20 AM   #14
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WTF can be done in this situation?
I feel your pain man. Even my uber-expensive road bike has a tiny but loud bell on it (Incrdebell Duet Brass). Not that this works on anyone wearing ear buds, which is almost everyone these days, and dogs off leashes don't generally respond either. So...just slow down or stop if you have to until the dikweed gets the animal restrained. As you found out on your own, cussing the owner or informing him/her of laws is a waste of precious breath - unless you like being told to F***-Off.

Try not to let "Them" ruin the moment for you. If you hit the MUP already KNOWING you are going to have to slow or stop a few times it seems less annoying. And it gives you more time to develop an alternate route in your head. There are beautiful sections of MUPs in my area that I strictly avoid certain times of the day.

It is always easier (and most times faster) to change your own behavior, or at least how you react to the less civilized trail users.
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Old 04-28-14, 11:48 AM   #15
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Here in Southern California animal control would come if called.

My experience with animal control is they are reasonable. I say that has someone who had 2 large and scary dogs. (Scary to adults, not so much to kids).

Show the attitude that the guy with the large dogs did and animal control would be all over him. Threaten the animal control officer an any way and expect police to be there pretty darn fast.
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Old 04-28-14, 11:53 AM   #16
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I occasionally ride MUPs and slow for peds and dogs. First the bell, then the Airzound if they don't repond. FWIW I have used the Airzound on dogs loose in the street. Sometimes it startles them and they stop chasing. One poor beagle did a backflip. My feeling is it's not us vs. them, it's us and them. Here in Colorado Springs it's bikes yield to pedestrians, and to horses.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:13 AM   #17
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It's seems that these days 1/2 or more of the people on the MUP's around here are wearing ear bud's so calling out that I am passing on the left whether they have a dog or not is futile. I do however call out, and if they have to get startled as a pass by them, well, that's their problem (unfortunately if I were to run into somebody or some animal because they weren't paying attention it would become my problem as well). I really think it would be helpful if there were some signs posted on MUP's encouraging people to stay to the right if not passing and to keep in mind that there will be faster moving traffic. Most of the MUP's I ride on are pretty wide so people could stay to the right and still walk side by side no problem, unfortunately many people salmon all over the place completely oblivious to the world around them.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:22 AM   #18
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I am sorely tempted to get one of these:

Loud Bicycle | Car horn for bikes

Basically it's a dual-tone car horn for a bicycle. If they don't respond to the bell, hit 'em with this and watch them react to thinking they're going to be run over by a car.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:58 AM   #19
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Take pictures. That usually gets the owners attention, and remind them they're breaking the law in a place where they have no expectation of privacy if they complain.
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Old 05-04-14, 04:32 AM   #20
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A flame thrower mounted to the handlebars?
Just don't ride too fast.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:02 AM   #21
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Just don't ride too fast.
If I were to ride on a MUP, and encountered an unleashed dog, I would be friendly towards the dog. I wouldn't be hostile towards the dog.
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Old 05-04-14, 06:54 AM   #22
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As someone who has helped raise, care for, walked, train, and transport many a creature, i can tell you right now that most humans are incapable of properly caring for a canine unless they actually take their responsibility seriously. As seriously or more than a child or even themselves, but not so crazy that they become OCD.

I have very often come across the full spectrum of dog walking persons, and even dog walking cyclists. The cyclists seem to be the most concerned about others, while pedestrians seem to be off in lala land more often than not.

When walking a dog on a MUP they need to be in 2 places, either at the owner's side (heel), or just behind following. Some dogs are naturally curious & want to check out smells or sounds from the sides of the path, thats fine, but if a cyclist comes along, or another pedestrian, they need to return to one of those 2 positions. Dogs should never lead unless they are guide dogs, which are conditioned to pull and stop based on whats going on around them.

The attitude of "everyone else will just have to deal with it" is often also found with drivers. This can frustrate many a cyclist, as the park is supposed to be free of that crap.

My advice is to come up with a very short, very easily understood phrase about leashes and the law, and sharing the path, and be prepared to get the 3rd degree in return, alternately you can do or say nothing to them, and simply report to a ranger or other law enforcement person in the park.

Above all, don't let them get you angry. Everyone has their problems, and you have no idea what their life is or how their day is going, so just be kind and you may just convert some sloppy dog walkers into the neat and respectful type we all want to be and/or see.

- Andy
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Old 05-04-14, 01:08 PM   #23
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I look at encountering dogs anywhere w/ or w/o their owners, like a triangle. The dog is at the apex of the triangle. Because, No matter how much a dog is trained, and how hard a cyclist tries to avoid a dog. The dog still has independent thought, and instinct.

So, Whenever I encounter a dog. I slow down for the dog. To let the dog know that I mean it no harm or ill will.
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Old 05-04-14, 02:37 PM   #24
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told me to go "F" myself and next time he'll make sure his dog's attack me (seriously...not that I really think that).
A good idea to carry a folding knife or a concealed firearm in situations like these. Some dog owners get tickled with delight when their big scary dogs bark and chase cyclists or runners. I think when they are forced to carry Rover's carcass back to the car they'll be considerate in the future.
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Old 05-04-14, 02:49 PM   #25
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A good idea to carry a folding knife or a concealed firearm in situations like these. Some dog owners get tickled with delight when their big scary dogs bark and chase cyclists or runners. I think when they are forced to carry Rover's carcass back to the car they'll be considerate in the future.
It would be much better having the dog drag the owner's carcass back to the car.
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