KT, you left off Rover on the 70 ft retractable leash made of a space age material that is invisbile to the human eye.
OK, the story jsharr referred to wasn't in the "stereotypes" thread, so I'll give the short version here.
This happened about 3 years ago now, I'd guess. It was at least a year before I moved to WA (now almost 2 years ago).
For a time I was working later hours to accommodate time on equipment at work. It was a great scenario because I could get a ride in every single morning. Remember this was in Florida, so I had to go pretty early in the morning to beat the horrible heat and humidity.
So I'm cruising down the trail at about 7:15am or so. There is this one area with a small lake where the trail splits and goes straight or around the lake (slightly longer). I always took the 'around the lake' route. I'm cruising along at a normal pace, maybe 12 mph and I see a guy lying down on a bench there. I don't think much of it....figure he was coming to use one of the exercise things there and was lying down for a minute before starting or something.
As I start to get closer now, I notice a small dog on the other side of the trail (in relation to the bench the guy was on). Still no big deal as neither are 'on' the trail. Suddenly I get pretty close and realize the dog is with him and on a very long, thin (e.g. nearly invisible) leash which is lying across the trail. I figure I'm ok as long as he doesn't notice me, I'll ride right over the leash. I'm close enough that stopping would be difficult any way.
So I keep going, trying to be quiet when he finally hears me as I'm about 10 feet away (coming at 12mph or so). He suddenly startles and thinks his dog is in danger and immediately sits up and pulls the leash.
What's that result? I suddenly have a clothesline level wire right in front of my face while riding into it at 12mph. My brakes (and tires) got one hell of a test that day as I left quite the skid mark stopping so suddenly with both brakes. It's a wonder I didn't fly off the bike.
Then he just mumbles, "sorry" and crosses in front of me and starts walking away.
While here I am with my heart pounding 500 bpm knowing how close I came to a clothesline.