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  1. #1
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    Who is at fault (dog incident)

    Hi - I joined just to post this question because I really want to get the perspective of cyclists on this. I bike a lot as well but with this incident I was the dog-owning pedestrian.

    Here's what happened:

    I was walking my bulldog mix dog on a multi-use trail. My dog is young and gets excited by bikes coming toward us (facing us) but I can tell her to leave them alone and she'll be fine.

    We were walking and a cyclist came by extremely fast (probably 20+ MPH) very, very close to my left. He didn't give any verbal warning and startled my dog, who pulled toward him really fast (all of this happened so fast). He hit the brakes and proceeded to yell at me. My dog didn't do him a bit of damage; I don't even think she made contact with the bike. Anyway, he was yelling at me and I told him that he should have given us warning so I could have shortened the leash. He rode off in a huff.

    This has been bothering me all day, especially because another pedestrian who witnessed it (from pretty far away) started yelling at me that my dog had attacked him and should be put down because she's vicious. Obviously my dog didn't bite him or anything, she just jumped toward him because she was startled.

    Anyway, I'd like to get cyclists' opinions on this. Obviously we're going to stay off that trail for a while - my dog was so freaked out after this happened that she started barking at other bikes which made for a long and miserable walk him.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    The cyclist should have either warned you he was preparing to pass or should have been far enough to the left it wouldn't have mattered. If I see someone with a dog on a long or retractable leash I always warn and/or slow way down depending on circumstances. Not your fault!
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  3. #3
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    On a mup ped>cyclist, cyclist is at duty to slow down if needed to safely pass you, common courtesy also says he calls from the back to let you know he's there.
    More common sense, spooking a dog on a narrow pass is dumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
    The cyclist should have either warned you he was preparing to pass or should have been far enough to the left it wouldn't have mattered. If I see someone with a dog on a long or retractable leash I always warn and/or slow way down depending on circumstances. Not your fault!
    Thank you, that makes me feel a little better. I usually move off to the grass when I know a bike is coming. And I never use retractable leashes.

    My dog and I have been so shaken up by this whole thing. To complicate things, she looks a bit like a pit bull which is why I think the other woman started freaking out at us.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I also think the rider should have said something before he passed so you would have a warning of his approach and take action to secure the dog. And the rider needed to slow down, obviously he saw you and the dog on the path it was his duty to slow down to a safe speed. What would have happened if the dog suddenly pulled you toward the path of the cyclist? Crash bang thank you ma'am. The cyclist should have slowed way down and announced his approach.

    But if the path is narrower and there is a grassy side area to walk then you should probably walk your dog in the grassy area...at least the dog should be in the grassy area perhaps you as well if there's room. Some cyclists have no concern for safety and think they should be able to speed along at 20mph on a busy path littered with people, so to eliminate your dog from getting seriously injured, not to mention the cyclist, I would walk the dog further over.

  6. #6
    Roll Model krustyone's Avatar
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    I would have thanked you as I passed, most on the MUT in our area have no clue, I have ended up in the grass more than once even though I slowed down and announced my intent. No worries on your part!
    "Science has proven that if you have one flat on your bike, you will have another one, sooner or later. This is the reason that you should always buy a new bike when you get a flat." Mr Grumpy
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  7. #7
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    The cyclists was most probably afraid of dogs in general and a bulldog mix, in particular. Many people get there breeds mixed up and assume that bulldogs and pitbulls are all from the same pool. That would explain his rate of speed!

    It really doesn't matter though, it was his responsibility as a moving vehicle to alert you concerning his passing.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Don't know about your MUP/MUT, but the ones around here have a 10 or 15 mph limit that is posted every so often. If that cyclist was indeed doing 20 or better, they really ought to be on the street. Too many variables on the MUP to safely maintain a speed like that...

    Of course, the cyclist could've just pegged you for another iPod zombie walking a dog, and figured that it would've been a waste of breath to call out...
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  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I use a bell, works well warning peds and dog walkers. I get lots of thank you's and give lots of thank you's to those pulling their dogs for a safe pass.

    Not to mention, around here, the speed limit on the path is 10 mph. I do go faster but when I encounter a ped or a dog walker, I'm smart enough to slow down for legal and safety reasons.

  10. #10
    Roll Model krustyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Don't know about your MUP/MUT, but the ones around here have a 10 or 15 mph limit that is posted every so often. If that cyclist was indeed doing 20 or better, they really ought to be on the street. Too many variables on the MUP to safely maintain a speed like that...

    Of course, the cyclist could've just pegged you for another iPod zombie walking a dog, and figured that it would've been a waste of breath to call out...
    Regardless, on a MUT you must be wary when riding.
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    Usually they're 15 MPH around here (Northern Virginia), but there are always some people who seem to think they're in the tour de france on weekends.

    I get it. I bike too and I consider dogs up there with toddlers on tricycles in terms of unpredictably. I just don't understand why someone would risk it. And now I have to contend with my dog now flipping out at every bike she sees, which isn't really going to help anything.

    Ugh. I think she needs some wine and I need some peanut butter. Or perhaps I have that backwards...

  12. #12
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    Yes, would have thanked you too.
    Last edited by Kip; 02-20-12 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Spelling error

  13. #13
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    Should've used his bell.

  14. #14
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    Prior to this exercise, you should sit down with your dog, while your cyclist friends very slowly ride all around you, without actually invading the personal space between both you and your dog. Freely talk to your friends and your dog while this is all occuring. Don't allow your friends to pet your dog at anytime on this day, until the exercise is over. (10 minutes)

    Phase1

    Get your biking friends together along with a bucket of KFC. Take your dog back to the scene of the crime. Have your friends drive by slowly at first several times as you walk forward with your dog. Maybe exchange pleasantries as they pass by. Each time they pass, give your dog a piece of KFC, if it doesn't negatively react.

    Phase2

    Next, have your friends pass by once every thiry seconds at the speed limit without speaking to them. If the dog freaks, no treat. Talk calmly to the dog and wait for the next pass, as you once again walk at a medium and calm pace forward. Everytime your dog fails to react negatively to a passing cyclist, give it some KFC.

    Phase3

    Now walk your dog slowly and have your cyclists friends pass every 30 seconds like a bat outta hell! If no negative reaction, KFC. You must talk to your dog throughout all phases with a calming tone of voice, treating it with KFC with each successful pass. Of course, there will be no KFC, if your dog fails to respond positively.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 02-18-12 at 11:01 PM.

  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The cyclist was riding over 20 mph when he passed you and was able to stop so close to you that your dog was able to jump at him?

    Man, I wish I had that kind of brakes on my bikes.
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  16. #16
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    It's a MUP, not a velodrome... unless you dog was on a 33 foot leash and far away from you, it's hard to imagine that any reasonable person would think you were in the wrong.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Prior to this exercise, you should sit down with your dog, while your cyclist friends very slowly ride all around you, without actually invading the personal space between both you and your dog. Freely talk to your friends and your dog while this is all occuring. Don't allow your friends to pet your dog at anytime on this day, until the exercise is over. (10 minutes)

    Phase1

    Get your biking friends together along with a bucket of KFC. Take your dog back to the scene of the crime. Have your friends drive by slowly at first several times as you walk forward with your dog. Maybe exchange pleasantries as they pass by. Each time they pass, give your dog a piece of KFC, if it doesn't negatively react.

    Phase2

    Next, have your friends pass by once every thiry seconds at the speed limit without speaking to them. If the dog freaks, no treat. Talk calmly to the dog and wait for the next pass, as you once again walk at a medium and calm pace forward. Everytime your dog fails to react negatively to a passing cyclist, give it some KFC.

    Phase3

    Now walk your dog slowly and have your cyclists friends pass every 30 seconds like a bat outta hell! If no negative reaction, KFC. You must talk to your dog throughout all phases with a calming tone of voice, treating it with KFC with each successful pass. Of course, there will be no KFC, if your dog fails to respond positively.
    Do you own an extremely obese dog, Slim?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The cyclist was riding over 20 mph when he passed you and was able to stop so close to you that your dog was able to jump at him?

    Man, I wish I had that kind of brakes on my bikes.
    She jumped at him right as he passed us, then he stopped and backed up to yell at me. I could absolutely have the speed wrong but it was way too fast - neither the dog or I knew he was coming until he was there.
    Last edited by mcrose; 02-18-12 at 11:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    It's a MUP, not a velodrome... unless you dog was on a 33 foot leash and far away from you, it's hard to imagine that any reasonable person would think you were in the wrong.
    well he swerved and hit the brakes. Like I said it happened REALLY fast, she just flew at him as he was flying by. I'm sure it freaked him out. It freaked me out. It freaked her out. It was a big freakout.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrose View Post
    Hi - I joined just to post this question because I really want to get the perspective of cyclists on this. I bike a lot as well but with this incident I was the dog-owning pedestrian.

    Here's what happened:

    I was walking my bulldog mix dog on a multi-use trail. My dog is young and gets excited by bikes coming toward us (facing us) but I can tell her to leave them alone and she'll be fine.

    We were walking and a cyclist came by extremely fast (probably 20+ MPH) very, very close to my left. He didn't give any verbal warning and startled my dog, who pulled toward him really fast (all of this happened so fast). He hit the brakes and proceeded to yell at me. My dog didn't do him a bit of damage; I don't even think she made contact with the bike. Anyway, he was yelling at me and I told him that he should have given us warning so I could have shortened the leash. He rode off in a huff.

    This has been bothering me all day, especially because another pedestrian who witnessed it (from pretty far away) started yelling at me that my dog had attacked him and should be put down because she's vicious. Obviously my dog didn't bite him or anything, she just jumped toward him because she was startled.

    Anyway, I'd like to get cyclists' opinions on this. Obviously we're going to stay off that trail for a while - my dog was so freaked out after this happened that she started barking at other bikes which made for a long and miserable walk him.
    I now have a titanium rod in my left femur after having been attacked by some sweet little pitbull type dogs. I tell you this clearly, I have a CCL and I carry and any dog ever attack me again he is a goner.

    If you cannot control your dog, keep him at home. Or else.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    From your description, it sounds like the cyclist was at fault, and overreacted.

    BUT, you should consider professional training help for the dog, it shouldn't be reacting that badly.

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Joining a cycling forum "just to post this question" makes me think that perhaps the OP might be trying to justify what her dog did.

    We're hearing one side of the story. One wonders what story the cyclist would tell ... if the perspective would be the same, or might be a little bit different.

  23. #23
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    LOL I'm sure the cyclist would have a different perspective. This happened in a split second - like most things I'm sure there are many interpretations. Yeah, my dog got startled and lunged at a biker and didn't make contact with him. THe biker freaked out. I thought perhaps there was some different interpretation of road rules or something because he seemed pretty livid. I personally would err on the side of caution when passing a dog, because they can be unpredictable, despite the owner's best efforts.

    And I will be contacting her trainer tomorrow to discuss.

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    After having words with a woman over a similar incident. The police man told the lady.

    "You walk on the right side, you keep your dog on the right side. Cyclist are not required to
    honk, ring or call out. They should, but not required."

    If your dog was left of center.. all our paths have lines down the middle.

    I called out, the old bag looked over her shoulder and did not rein in her dog,
    I had to almost stop and go to the grass. I kicked the crap out of the little sob.
    She got a bit upset and called 911! She was also warned, written warning,
    for calling 911 for this.

    Next time I'll just spray her and the dog. I haven't seen her again on the path.
    I was also told I was not the only one she had called about. They knew her well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
    After having words with a woman over a similar incident. The police man told the lady.

    "You walk on the right side, you keep your dog on the right side. Cyclist are not required to
    honk, ring or call out. They should, but not required."

    If your dog was left of center.. all our paths have lines down the middle.

    I called out, the old bag looked over her shoulder and did not rein in her dog,
    I had to almost stop and go to the grass. I kicked the crap out of the little sob.
    She got a bit upset and called 911! She was also warned, written warning,
    for calling 911 for this.

    Next time I'll just spray her and the dog. I haven't seen her again on the path.
    I was also told I was not the only one she had called about. They knew her well.
    hmm I am pretty sure she was right of the center and the guy passed at the center, but not quite sure.

    I have a leash with a traffic handle close to her collar that I would have been glad to grab. She's a big girl - 60 pounds of muscle and I can absolutely understand why someone would panic. I wouldn't want to see her flying at me if I was out on my bike, whether her tail is wagging or not.

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