As a company with many cyclist, we are acutely aware of the danger that cars on the road present. Something that caught our attention this week was the low awareness of the danger that animals, particularly loose dogs, present to cyclists. If you type “Dog and Cyclist” into a Google search, you will find a myriad of You-Tube videos depicting dogs attacking cyclists, in one case “25 dogs attack a cyclists”. Within that Google search there are many articles, on various cycling sites, discussing the dangers of loose Dogs and Cycling.
In one article, “Cycling Around Aggressive Dogs“, Neil Bezdek from Bicycling.com discusses the problem of loose canines, and offers “A few tips for dealing with pushy pooches when you’re out riding”. Citing that each and every state poses a different threat to cyclist, Bezdek states, the Southeast “has dogs… [interrupting every workout].. looking for a quick meal”. Bezdek reveals that within his cycling community, some people have resorted to carrying pepper spray, or even carrying special “canine-repelling sirens”. For those of us that refuse to resort to such measures, Bezdek offers 5 steps to facing off with you canine oppressor. First, Don’t Panic, as Bezdek points out, “This is the No 1 Rule for safe cycling”. Second, Anticipate, which can be difficult to do with a dog. Third, Identify the Prey in a group ride. Fourth, Be the Aggressor, and Fifth, Warn Drivers to the potential of a loose animal. While Bezdek makes some great suggestions, sometimes things don’t quite work out as planned, and unfortunately cyclist do get injured.
Here in Northwest Arkansas, our cycling community has had quite a few experiences with loose dogs. Most recently, a close friend of SKIN STRONG, Adam Socia, experienced a separated shoulder, fractured collar bone, and separated rib after a large dog caught up with him. Here is a picture from that accident…
Gruesome as it may be, it is a reality that many cyclists and runners face daily. Hopefully, dog owners will begin to keep their dogs on leashes or behind fences. However, until a day comes when every dog is restrained, cyclist and runners need to prepare themselves for the possibility of encountering a loose dog.
If you would like to share your loose dog story, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!
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