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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-11-11, 12:47 PM   #1
silmarillion
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New commute threat...

First off let me say I love dogs. I have a yeller lab named Chance. He's a good boy. I can ride and he will run along with me...(for awhile anyway..) but he's used to bikes.

But this morning, I was nearly mauled by a big dang mutt dog mastiff looking beast.

I was totally not ready for him, and he came up behind me like a freight train. He had that running growl thing going on or I would have never known he was there.

So I threw it into hammer-time and like to died of heart-failure. I don't know if it was the dog, the surprise or the nice incline I was riding up.

That is the first time I have seen him in nearly two weeks worth of commuting.

So I yelled at him and told him to go home (little help) while I pedaled quickly away.

I will seek the owner before I call animal control. But if I get chased again, too bad for puppy. He's going to the clink.
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Old 05-11-11, 01:30 PM   #2
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I know some riders who have dog problems like to carry pepper spray for exactly that reason.
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Old 05-11-11, 02:06 PM   #3
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Most dogs will not give you trouble... problem is, you can't tell which ones will until it's too late. Do what you have to do to protect yourself.
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Old 05-11-11, 02:07 PM   #4
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I know some riders who have dog problems like to carry pepper spray for exactly that reason.
...or a squirt from your water bottle.
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Old 05-11-11, 02:59 PM   #5
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Yeah, I don't want to hurt the dog...of course, perhaps his owner. People who let their dogs roam free (except in the country) shouldn't own them.

That dog will more than likely get hit. This road is not as traveled as others, but when people do drive on this road, they are zipping along. We have a county ordinance, all animal control needs to see is the dog roaming free without a leash, and they write a ticket.
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Old 05-11-11, 04:05 PM   #6
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Scary. Glad you outran him. I'm doing well to outrun little dogs.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:48 PM   #7
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Now this is one good boy! BTW, I didn't see the Old Peachtree menace on the way home this evening..
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Old 05-12-11, 10:31 AM   #8
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...or a squirt from your water bottle.
+1000
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Old 05-12-11, 10:38 AM   #9
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Dogs are just a part of riding, especially in my part of Texas, where everyone seems to let their dog run loose. I've outrun them, barked at them, sprayed them with Halt, and even stopped and brandished my bike at them. Don't hit them on the bike, though. Sometimes, that doesn't work out very well.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:47 AM   #10
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Punched a dog in the head once when I was walking. Idiot put it on a chain in the yard, put a cinder block on top the other end of the chain. Rotweiller. Setting a 5 pound block on top the end of a chain does nothing. It came running at me.

Funny thing, I stepped back as it came at me (messing up its attack) and punched it in the head, hard. It's like hitting a rock. Probably didn't even phase the damn thing; but it got the message across. Dog pretty much stopped, looked at me like I'm silly, and then wandered away back into the yard.

Strange animal. Don't think I could plant it on the floor without cracking its skull--my hand might break by then, too, given how hard its head was. Don't really want to find out which is harder.

Yeah I'm nutty. Who gets in a fist fight with a dog, right? It seemed like a good idea at the time; I can outrun a dog but it's hard and they have more stamina, not sure exhausting myself helps.

Never thought of pepper spray. Have considered a candy cane but eh.
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Old 05-12-11, 11:56 AM   #11
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One of my friends here carries a bag of Gaines Burgers in his shirt pocket when he knows there are dogs on the route. He says they stop cold when it comes to their stomach. Only thing is, the next poor dude gets eaten.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:03 PM   #12
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...or a squirt from your water bottle.
I don't carry a bottle on my frame. Would forceful application of the hammer end of my ulock between his eyes work or should I aim for the top of his skull?

I'm not a dog person.

City dogs tend to ignore bikes, country dogs will chase for a country mile.

I've never really hurt a dog but I've wanted to a few times. Very few times, this is a very rare problem where I ride.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:18 PM   #13
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Get a dog whistle or safety whistle and strap it around your wrist or neck. Once you see that beast, blow and it'll confuse it.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:22 PM   #14
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Air horn:

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Old 05-12-11, 01:23 PM   #15
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I carry some cheap dog treats. Had one dog bug me on a training ride route I used to take. I kept a small plastic bag with milkbones on the bike. Dog came running, I tossed a couple its way, it stopped and I cruised away. After a while, dog stopped chasing and just wanted its milkbone.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:29 PM   #16
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I kinda wish I rode where dogs run loose just so I could feed them Milkbones!
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Old 05-12-11, 01:36 PM   #17
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I kinda wish I rode where dogs run loose just so I could feed them Milkbones!
I like THAT attitude!

Bluefox: don't use your fist for hard targets, use a soft weapon like your palm heel or the edge of your hand. Dogs also don't seem to be able to see a round house kick coming in from the side, though my border collie learned to. No I wasn't kicking her, we were playing the Daddy's Home! dance game.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:39 PM   #18
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We've got a ton of free-range dogs in my part of town. I worried about them when I first started commuting last summer, but haven't been bothered yet. They seem much more interested in scrounging for food.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:50 PM   #19
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...or a squirt from your water bottle.
I must be too dumb to understand how this works. Do you mean you stop and then squirt the dog?
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Old 05-12-11, 02:51 PM   #20
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Squirt them while riding with one hand.

If you are stopped or decide to stop, put your bicycle between you and dog. They do not know how to handle that situation; you can even charge them and they will generally run away as the bike comes near.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:02 PM   #21
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Bluefox: don't use your fist for hard targets, use a soft weapon like your palm heel or the edge of your hand. Dogs also don't seem to be able to see a round house kick coming in from the side, though my border collie learned to. No I wasn't kicking her, we were playing the Daddy's Home! dance game.
Dogs are pretty dumb.

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Old 05-12-11, 04:35 PM   #22
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Squirt them while riding with one hand.
That's what doesn't seem to work for me. The water gets blown backwards instead of at the dog.
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Old 05-12-11, 04:55 PM   #23
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I use pepper spray, doesn't seem to hurt them, just makes them freeze and get a "wtf?" look on their face. It's probably a Bad Idea (tm) to use treats to get them to leave you alone. They'll associate treats with attacking cyclists, which will suck for the next bloke who comes along and didn't bring treats. If you're off your bike for whatever reason, placing it between you and the dog works wonders. Saved me from 2 crazy dogs tearing my face off last year.
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