The Bike and Brunch Newsletter
The Truth About Bikes and Dogs
The truth is, there have been reports of dogs riding
bikes (with the help of training wheels). But it's often
advisable to keep the two (bikes and dogs) at arms
In previous summers, some B&B riders have been accosted by dogs en route. Although no flesh was torn, and no rabies found, the riders' recollections of the events indicate a high level of trauma.
If you encounter a dog while riding a bike (you, not the dog), conventional wisdom might suggest:
1. Ride in the opposite direction of the dog.
2. Remember, the K-9 has four legs; you only have two wheels. The four-legged animal can outrun you, but not outthink you.
3. Always keep the bike between yourself and the dog.
4. Don't wear red. The dog may think you're a
toreador, and that the rolling hills of Poolsville are
In addition to conventional wisdom, B&B posed the dog question to the participants of the biking newsgroup, rec.bicycles.ride. There were as many responses as there are canine breeds.
For every rider that recommended yelling the word NO
in a loud authoritative voice to startle the dog, an
equal number of people rejected the vocal defense. What
will work to startle the dog will also startle other
For every rider that sanctioned the use of pepper spray to distract attacking (or threateningly barking dogs), an equal number of people rejected the pepper spray defense on the grounds that it backfired.
The decided winner was the aqua defense, converting
the innocent water bottle into a weapon of self-defense
by squirting the dog with water. At the least, this
causes the dog to swerve out of the rider's way, just
stop attacking, and in many cases head for the hills.
Bath time can be a bitch!
The single response that got everyone's attention was
yelling at the dog, "Get off the couch!" When
it does actually work, the dog's puzzled look is said to
be priceless. If a dog is barking, it can't be gnawing at
your leg. Fortunately, in most cases "a dog's bark
is worse than his bite".