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  1. #1
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    A couple of things that worry me while planning my first tour.

    Hi. I have been lurking about and posting a little bit here in the touring forum the past month or so. Reading a lot... learning TONS.. But a few things still worry me aside from buying gear and setting up my bike. Which is a whole other story.

    I guess my main worry (having never done a tour before). Is locking the bike up while I'm in a grocery store or in someplace having a meal. Locking the bike isn't a problem but what about the panniers & trunk bag & the stuff in them? Do you guys somehow lock the panniers or bags?

    Dogs.... I had NO fear of dogs for the longest time. I rode for 5 or 6k miles without a problem (not on tours just riding). Then 3 blocks from my house on a back road on the mountain bike a dog rushes out jumps up and bites my on the calf and runs away. That put the fear in me.. <sigh> In that case I had NO time to react or do anything.. The dog was silent & never barked. No stitches or anything but had blood running down my leg into my sock. Turns out I was the second person that dog had bit. So animal control took it. But anyway how do you handle dogs while out on the road?

    Any advice hints tips or tricks are all welcome... I should add this to my signature because I have said it so much... "I don't know what I'm doing but I'm sure having fun doing it... Planning my lil tour and setting up the bike".. If your REALLY bored you can check out what I have done/planned/set up so far here ...

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...irst-bike-tour...

    thanks.... Jay.....
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Wheelmonkey's Avatar
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    I've read on here that some folks carry mace/pepper spray on their front handlebars (somewhere it's easy to access). I haven't done that yet myself, but it's probably a good idea.

  3. #3
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Lock your bike up in a very public area when you going to be out of sight of it. Don't park it along the side of the building, chain it to the most public spot (and the area most likely to have cameras) you can find. Always carry in your valuables such as cameras, wallet, electronics etc when you go inside a building. You want nothing exposed that can make for a quick "grab and run" like a cyclometer. And of course if eating in a restaurant, eat by a window with your bike in sight.

    As far as dogs, yes they can be a real pain the butt. You will be harassed by them at sometime. Like previous poster mentioned, carry some sort of spray (HALT is great) for the dogs. You can order HALT on amazon.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Sorry bout the dog bite man. The way that happened is very, very unusual. A stealth attack. I've toured/ridden many thousands of miles and have never come close to an experience like you describe. No way you could have prevented that. Reminds me of responsible cyclists, following all the rules, and still getting hit by a car.

    A friend of mine in Kansas City was bitten while pedaling along in his own neighborhood. Don't know if it was a stealth attack.

    There is no one, sure fire way of dealing with aggressive dogs. Many carry pepper spray, which if you can hit the sucker, works. But so will a spray of water. Sometimes you can outrun them. A few ppl prefer to stop and try making friends. I just keep pedaling as fast as possible, making the target harder to grab. Has worked so far. Should I ever get bitten, my somewhat cavalier approach will, I'm sure, become more cautious.

    Actually dog encounters on tour are pretty rare as I tend to stick to state and US highways. Rural back roads and neighborhoods in towns are where you find the loose dogs.

    As for the security while shopping/eating issue, I try to never leave the bike where I can't keep an eye on it. If at a large grocery store, I just roll it inside without asking. Have never been thrown out. For the rare movie I might go to, they've always found a secure place inside for it. Also avoid sketchy areas of town like the plague.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 07-11-11 at 01:26 PM.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I carry an air horn:



    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Is the air horn a one time use? Or, can you use it a number of times?
    1974 Mizutani Super Seraph Road Bike
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  7. #7
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    That's awful about the dog bite. Could you sue the owner since it drew blood? Might want to look into that. I've used an air horn up until recently when it ran out (it lasted for 15 or so blasts) but won't bother with getting another. They don't work on every dog. I've used Halt but the wind has to be just right. And there's not enough power from the small can it comes in. (Bear spray is much more powerful but using that stuff on a dog would probably be cruel) I now throw small stones that I keep in a Bento box type thing hanging from my handlebar/stem. Stones make sense to me because they're found anywhere, cheap and can be thrown hard or just lobbed, no matter how strong or which direction the wind is coming from.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Sorry bout the dog bite man. The way that happened is very, very unusual. A stealth attack. I've toured/ridden many thousands of miles and have never come close to an experience like you describe. No way you could have prevented that. Reminds me of responsible cyclists, following all the rules, and still getting hit by a car.

    A friend of mine in Kansas City was bitten while pedaling along in his own neighborhood. Don't know if it was a stealth attack.

    There is no one, sure fire way of dealing with aggressive dogs. Many carry pepper spray, which if you can hit the sucker, works. But so will a spray of water. Sometimes you can outrun them. A few ppl prefer to stop and try making friends. I just keep pedaling as fast as possible, making the target harder to grab. Has worked so far. Should I ever get bitten, my somewhat cavalier approach will, I'm sure, become more cautious.

    Actually dog encounters on tour are pretty rare as I tend to stick to state and US highways. Rural back roads and neighborhoods in towns are where you find the loose dogs.

    As for the security while shopping/eating issue, I try to never leave the bike where I can't keep an eye on it. If at a large grocery store, I just roll it inside without asking. Have never been thrown out. For the rare movie I might go to, they've always found a secure place inside for it. Also avoid sketchy areas of town like the plague.
    Yep it was a weird attack for sure... And a few blocks from my house, down a road that I had ridden on hundreds of times.

    You know now that I think about it all of the dog encounters I have had over the years were on side streets or back in the sub near where I live. Usually when I'm just out riding without extra weight on the bike If I cant out ride them I end up putting my bike between me and the dog and just back away. And the lil tour I'm planning now is mostly on main highways with a nice bike lane on the side. Where dogs are usually fenced up or dead. I'm NOT saying that to be mean or nasty it is just kind of the truth, if an owner doesn't keep a dog fenced in on roads like that.

    NOT to turn this into a dog encounter thread... But .. One time I was backed up in the middle of a side street by an aggressive dog, I did the back away thing and got back on the bike. A block later here comes an animal control truck. I flagged the driver down in the middle of the road and told her what happened... She went right to the house.

    Appreciate all of the replies.... good info!!
    Last edited by zzOtherlandzz; 07-11-11 at 02:59 PM.
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  9. #9
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    Aside from locking the bike and leaving it in a public place, I have also attached my panniers to the rack using a small lock and nylon tapes. This should prevent the opportunist thief since they will need a knife to remover the panniers. Beyond taking these measures, it would spoil my touring if I worried any further about theft.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Locks...
    It depends to a large extent where you tour. In little towns with two digit populations and the next town 40 miles away I don't bother locking at all. The rest of the time I have used a light, inexpensive cable lock. In big cities I try to avoid leaving my bike unattended, but mostly avoid touring through big cities. It helps my peace of mind to use a bike and gear that I can easily afford to replace.

    As far as the panniers and their contents, I figure they are just dirty clothes and used camping gear. The theft worthy stuff goes in the handlebar bag and that goes with me.

    Dogs...
    Avoid Missouri, Kentucky, and the Central Valley in California
    Since I grew up in a time and place where dogs ran free and I was chased pretty much every ride, I usually look at dog chases as good sport. If you are afraid of them Halt works pretty well and will give you a bit of peace of mind.

  11. #11
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RepWI View Post
    Is the air horn a one time use? Or, can you use it a number of times?
    The secret is to Wait until the dog is very close to you. Then blast the horn.

    Number of times, depends on duration.
    Some say 100 blasts.
    Walmart has a good one.
    Found some at Dollar Tree for $1.00
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecrunge View Post
    That's awful about the dog bite. Could you sue the owner since it drew blood? Might want to look into that. I've used an air horn up until recently when it ran out (it lasted for 15 or so blasts) but won't bother with getting another. They don't work on every dog. I've used Halt but the wind has to be just right. And there's not enough power from the small can it comes in. (Bear spray is much more powerful but using that stuff on a dog would probably be cruel) I now throw small stones that I keep in a Bento box type thing hanging from my handlebar/stem. Stones make sense to me because they're found anywhere, cheap and can be thrown hard or just lobbed, no matter how strong or which direction the wind is coming from.
    The owner I found out later was a piece of (fill in blank). Animal control took the dog for observation for I think 5 days to make sure is didn't have rabies. The owner never bothered to pick up the dog, he was too cheap to get the shots that it never had in the first place.

    Yeah.... I figure my luck... If I tried to spray a dog with something.... It would end up in my face with the dog chewing on my foot or something I have used the throw a rock/stick method a few times. Not many rocks in Florida though..... Hmmm maybe i can throw sand at em? LOTS of sand here lol
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  13. #13
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    If the dog is chasing you but hasn't yet gotten too close, try tossing a bit of beef jerky or some other treat and then pedal like hell.

  14. #14
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  15. #15
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    I have had just a few dogs either bite me or try hard to bite me. I love dogs and own a couple but really would rather run into as few aggressive mutts as possible. That saying "once bitten twice shy" is too true.
    I dismounted in front of a german shepard that seemed ok but still a little scary, bit me right in the stomach quicker than you can imagine. I put the bike between us a eventually made a getaway.

    Mike
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  16. #16
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    I guess I've been lucky so far, I do very little riding through city though, I live in a nice Island outside of all towns.

  17. #17
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    i usually scream at the dogs and scare the heck out of them many times. Other times I pedal fast then I noticed they seemed to be hypnotized by the pedaling motion so I stopped pedaling for a few seconds and it broke the concentration and I got away. The dogs most times chase just as far as they think there territory is. The edge of property line. one guy I met on a tour was sort of nuts he would let the dog get close but just out of reach then when the dog gave up at the property line this guy turned and started to chase the dog yelling and acting nuts. You had to see it to believe it it was quite a sight.

    Locks? as others have said avoid bad places got with a gut feeling. most times in small towns I just leaned my rig against the building took the handle bar bag holding my valuables in with me . If I had a bad feeling i would lock it using a cable and combination lock never had to worry about loosing the key most times at night i would lock the bike just for peace of mind while sleeping. If you think you should lock up do it trust your gut feeling have a great tour
    Catfish
    Last edited by catfish; 07-11-11 at 05:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I use a money belt, and wear it under my clothing ,
    small fanny pack for the daily cash.
    to comfortably wear the Money belt, cycling,
    I has someone sew a tunnel pocket
    on the back of a singlet,
    worn as base layer.


    My favorite lock is the frame mounted ring lock, convenient, it's always there ,
    you close it around the rear wheel, and remove the key,
    and the bike wont be rolled off,
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-11-11 at 09:04 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    I've never had problems in Oregon - I usually don't even bother locking the bike. It's not like your average person is going to get very far with a loaded down bike with clipless pedals. I always bring my wallet and camera with me. Nothing else on the bike has that much value. You do want to park it out in the most public place possible and hopefully within your view. (I've had staff in restaurants actually offer to let me bring my bike into their storage area or such.)

    I've never had a dog bite me, but have been chased many times. Once a dog came tearing after me and a buddy about the time a semi-truck was coming down the highway in the other direction. There were kids out in the yard and they were doing nothing to stop the dog. We shouted sit and stay, but it kept coming. We had passed the dog and heard a sickening thud and yelp behind us. We didn't look back and kept riding.

    They say it's best not to run away, but get off the bike, put the bike between you and the dog, talk calmly to the dog and walk slowly by. By experience, I'd say it depends on the situation. If you can tell that you will outrun the dog, keep going. If you can not outrun the dog, stop if the dog does not appear to be aggressive. If the dog appears to be aggressive, make sure you have a buddy with you that's a slower rider than you. (jk)

  20. #20
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    I like the slower buddies idea... LOL But my slower buddies have quit riding with me again. So I'm back to solo and dealing with the dogs all alone.. I actually bought the bike I'm converting into my touring bike because I thought If I had a good bike for one of them to ride.... they would ride with me more. LOL ... It worked for a bit... They even bought some bike shorts. One of them even talked about getting a bike... But all is good.... I'm having fun...

    Lots of great advice.... Thanks...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
    2011 Rocky Mountain Vertex 29'er
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    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara Sold, went to a friend who still rides it!!
    Gone but not forgotten 2003 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
    I've never had problems in Oregon
    It depends on where in Oregon. I'd put the more bike friendly cities in the high risk category for bike theft. I am pretty cavalier about locking in many places, but I would recommend extreme caution in Portland, Seattle, or Eugene.

  22. #22
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    Almost all dogs that chase you are in it for the chase, and not for the kill. Very odd what happened to you. If you ever do encounter an aggressive dog, the best way is to take control of the situation by being even more aggressive - dogs understand that type of behavior. If that ever happens, you have to be ready to attack them, get them in a headlock and choke them out. Obviously if you have a repellant, that's easier, but the problem with repellants is that you might be tempted to use it on dogs that are only playing. I've been chased a few times when running and knew that I couldn't out run a dog and instead just turned around, squared up and yelled at them while also reaching for a big rock. I've never had one actually go for an attack. Maybe just lucky, but I think it's one of a zillion unlikely things that might happen and I wouldn't want to carry anything just that unlikely scenario. But, if you're spooked b/c of what happened, then I would get the repellant, but just be sure to use it wisely.

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