Joined a DF friend for a ride out to the Mollala River today (round trip 51 miles). He had done the ride before a couple of times, it was my first time, and oh by the way, he mentioned there were a couple of dogs that chased along the way, no biggie.
Dog-1 - I did not know where these dogs were along the route, guess I should have become suspect when my friend edged ahead of me a bit. Then from the left a tall, black & white dog bounds in. Having 3 dogs myself, I could read by the body language that it was a friendly dog just coming out to check us out. My neighbor doesn't have dogs and slows down forcing me to veer left, leaving the dog between us. It was actually comical as I think we confused the dog as he nearly did a 180 degree turn in mid-air trying to keep track of us.
Dog-2 - We pressed on. Then from the right, a black dog, probably a lab-mix of some sort, goes for my friend who is out in the lead, gets tired, slows down enough to catch his breath and here I come. The hair on this dog's back was standing straight up, not a good sign. He starts to chase me, I reach for my water bottle and start spraying him on the right, then he is behind me and I just hold the bottle up and spray behind me without even looking where he was. I think I have him beat, but check my mirror, he is still coming, but finally tires and drops back.
I learned today that recumbents really don't have the "stand up and stomp your peddles to get going fast" capability, or at least I have not developed it yet.
We get to our half-way point, and guess what? It's an out & back, and we have to come back the same way we came in. This time, I am stoked, I was pedaling hard thinking perhaps I could just speed by the critters. I apologized later to my DF friend who was a couple hundred feet behind me this time. As hard as I tried, the landmarks I remembered on our way out did not look the same from the other direction.
Dog-3 - So, here we were again, the second dog (Dog-2) we encountered was now tied up (thank you), but his neighbor dog that missed us the first time was now out and comes in from the right. He was a mangy mutt, but fast, and seemed meaner. The dog was on the right, then straight ahead (nearly hit him), then to the left. I hollered at him to scare him, and just kept pedaling, I could no longer see my DF friend in my mirror. He got the same treatment.
At last we get back onto roads I am more familiar with which have few surprises like the ones I had experienced up to this point. But I was wrong.
Dog-4 - A shepherd/husky like dog crosses the road ahead of us and appears to be observing some goats on the opposite side of the fence from him. After the previous 3, I started to pedal harder to build that freight train momentum I've learned riding my bent. The image of my DF friend fades in my mirror. As I approach the dog, he seemed harmless to me as he only gives a slight turn of the head in my direction, then back to the goats. Maybe his doggie brain was figuring out the odds of getting through the fence to the goats vs chasing the goats on his side of the fence (me and my DF friend). Yup, the chase was on. This one was the fastest of them all, or maybe we were just getting tired. I fumble for my water bottle, but the nipple was closed and my gestures to spray the dog were fruitless. But I get past him. My DF friend sees this, watched the dog return to the front porch of the house only to start to chase him too!
We survived, an exciting ride today. We go nearly all summer without any chase like this, and in one day get four! What is the deal with that? In closing I gotta tell you, a dog chase at the bent level is a whole new perspective for me.