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Old 08-11-10, 09:15 AM   #1
Loose Chain
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The Threee Big Ones

My recent encounter with dogs that resulted in my having a broken femur and laying on the road UNCONSCIOUS in 105 degree heat for 30 minutes leaves me to contemplate what sorts of things represent real danger to cyclist, in other words, what causes these types of accidents and I have thought looking back over many years that there are really only three.

1. Dogs
2. Cars
3. Other cyclists

And maybe a distant 4th, loss of traction on slippery, uneven surfaces or loose gravel.

Aside from those things, I have never even come close to hurting myself and while I have bounced off cars, slid out, been chased and bitten before or had my wheel overlapped by another cyclist the results was usually just some road rash bruises and soreness, never a broken bone.

So, I am sitting here trying to heal up some and my wife's friend calls and tells us that her mother went down on her bike. I immediately thought, dogs, cars, cyclists and of course it was a dog that hit her and she has a broken tibia and collar bone.

I don't know what future tactics I might use in regard to other cyclists or cars but I can tell you one thing, in the future, if I see a dog, I am coming to a complete stop, I would rather get bitten than take a hard fall trying to escape or out maneuver, and, I am getting me some Mace so that if after I am STOPPED he comes after me, I am going to spray him.

I love animals, but enough is enough and I assure you, splatting the ground at 25 MPH and getting a broken femur, once is indeed enough.

Y'all be careful out there, oh, why did I put it in the 50 YO section, well, I used to bounce and hop right back up, older people, I am learning usually don't hop right back up, we go off on an ambulance adventure .
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Old 08-11-10, 10:13 AM   #2
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I don't have personal experience, but I've heard that one strategy with a dog is to stop and then to get the bike between you and the dog.
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Old 08-11-10, 10:28 AM   #3
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Being unconscious for 30 minutes sounds like you had a pretty bad concussion. I hope you are feeling better soon.
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Old 08-11-10, 10:50 AM   #4
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Your "distant 4th" is the only thing that's taken me down off my bike.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-11-10, 10:53 AM   #5
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I don't have personal experience, but I've heard that one strategy with a dog is to stop and then to get the bike between you and the dog.
If I'm pretty sure I'm below "escape velocity" with a given dog, this is what I do. If they are persistent, I give them a squirt with a water bottle when they get close.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-11-10, 11:02 AM   #6
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In urban areas, doors of parked cars.

I know people who've been hit by them. One was killed.

I never saw a bike accident like that but I did see a door be opened into the path of a car once. It was not a pretty sight.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:21 AM   #7
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Absolutely where I live dogs are number one. Yes, stop and get off the bike when an agressive one comes out. Yes keep bike between you and the dog. And yes, HALT works. We had the sheriff out Sunday morning after a dog rushed us and my GF went down. Same dog actually bit me about a month ago. I was very surprised to see that dog back there, he had been missing for the last several weeks, but lo and behold, here he is. Loose again, after having already bitten once! The thing is, its never the dog's fault, its always the stupid damned owner that won't fence their dog in. Often after hearing complaints.

Here's hoping you heal well and fast. And that the owner of the dog that took you down feels some pain over this as well.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:29 AM   #8
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I've never really experienced any of the 3 things listed. I guess I'm lucky.
My big fear is riding through certain areas of town. I just don't feel safe there. I ride only through areas that seem "safe". Consequently my ride route is short and my options are few. If I'm riding with a group (which isn't very often) I'll ride in those "unsafe" areas of town.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:42 AM   #9
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I've often thought about making a tazer (read electric cattle prod) into a frame fit pump. Long enough to get distance and works with people as well.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:53 AM   #10
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OUCH! Heal quickly.
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Old 08-11-10, 12:12 PM   #11
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Thanks,

Yeah, the door thing, I guess I was including that in the "Car" category.

You betcha, next time, I am coming to a stop, thing is this time I was sorta ambushed by one of the dogs, one came in the road in front of me and while I could have gotten around him, not after the one in the ditch ambushed me, it was as if they had a plan and executed it perfectly.

I could have been killed or broken my spine, I hit H_A_R_D is all I can say, so, you guys be careful of dogs and the "other" bad things.
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Old 08-11-10, 02:58 PM   #12
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My big fear is riding through certain areas of town. I just don't feel safe there. I ride only through areas that seem "safe". Consequently my ride route is short and my options are few. If I'm riding with a group (which isn't very often) I'll ride in those "unsafe" areas of town.
I'm actually pretty amazed how safe "bad" areas of town have turned out to be when I've ridden them. There are a lot of areas that I would never drive my car through but now that I ride I will bike through them. I am much more cautious at night though.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-11-10, 03:41 PM   #13
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Dogs have been a concern of mine too and I was wondering what is the best way to handle them. I suppose stopping and keeping your bike between you and dog is a good idea provided that there is only one dog. My wife and I have been chased by dogs and so far we've out run them.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:13 PM   #14
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune LC...I carry pepper spray just for such things, and I suppose people too if it comes to it.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:27 PM   #15
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WOW - I'm sorry to hear about that. Get better and keep us informed.

Our leash laws are enforced and followed with rare exception. Only one bad experience, and in that case the dog was leashed, but was so big and powerful that the dog pulled the lady owner along in its attempt to get me. I got away fine, and the dog got stopped. Lady said the dog hated bicyclists. I guess I should have asked - "Why are you walking the dog on a MUP?" I didn't. The owner blamed me because I didn't warn her I was behind her. As I was going to turn off the trail shortly, I did not make a warning, not wanting to pass and then in just a second, turn in front of them. Oh well!!
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Old 08-11-10, 07:03 PM   #16
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For dogs, the best approach I have found is to get off the bike and place it between you and the animal or keep turning and swinging the bike if a pack (been there, done that, it worked, but only two of the 5 dogs appeared aggressive). I have tried quite a few other tactics that didn't work as well, resulting in 8 bites (none very serious) over the years.

I think the most dangerous obstacle faced most cyclists is rider stupidity/carelessness (not that I would know anything about that)..
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Old 08-11-10, 07:07 PM   #17
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Another thing I've done with success is a spray with the water bottle...that usually slows them down if they aren't really intent on biting.
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Old 08-11-10, 07:10 PM   #18
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Sorry to read of your injury. I wish you a speedy recovery.
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Old 08-11-10, 07:56 PM   #19
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Yep, the water bottle squirt works well usually, and the frame pump in most other situations, but in an ambush it's hard to know without being there. Heal well we need as many healthy combatants as we can get.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:17 PM   #20
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I've often thought about making a tazer (read electric cattle prod) into a frame fit pump. Long enough to get distance and works with people as well.
You can buy shock sticks online.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:38 PM   #21
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My word - glad to hear that you regained consciousness after your slow roast.

I hate the feeling of broken bones as they mend. Feels like you have termites.

So far, my four takedowns were as follows:
2 by cars >strained shoulder tendon and partial clavicle-acromion separation,
1 by loss of traction > dislocated elbow, and
1 by former significant other slowing down right in front of me saying "what?" to something I said > 3 clavicle-acromion separation (the shoulder that the cars didn't get!). No canine culprits yet.

I hope you get to ride before too long, and that your healing isn't too tedious.
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Old 08-12-10, 11:16 AM   #22
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You can buy shock sticks online.
These are quite cool. Had no idea they were around or that you could purchase them. I wonder if they would disable a car....

http://www.tbotech.com/stun-master-stun-baton.htm
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Old 08-12-10, 12:22 PM   #23
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I've seen numbers one and two up close and personal this week. A pit bull ran out in front of my riding partner Monday afternoon. Despite a raised arm, firm yell and a spray from his water bottle, the dog paused and then continued to run in front of him. He ran into the dog and went down, nearly taking me with him. Fortunately we had just topped a hill and were rolling fairly slow and nobody was hurt. Then on Wednesday a car hit me from behind, breaking my bike, knocking me out and giving me some good bruises and road rash. When I'm able to ride again I may avoid other riders for a while to prevent completing the trifecta.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:47 PM   #24
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Wow BD. Sorry to hear the news. Hope you're back on the bike soon.
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Old 08-12-10, 03:30 PM   #25
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Wow! That was an awful accident! My worst bike nightmare is lying unconscious and unfound by the side of the road....vultures circling overhead....

Please heal quickly!
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