a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Dog on your Tire
Dog on your Tire

Dog on your Tire

Dog on your Tire

If you are a cyclist, you will eventually have a dog on your tire at some point. Where I live and cycle, I am often traversing country roads where dogs are generally off leash and property is unfenced. Something about the spinning of the wheel and the movement, really gets dogs excited and the chase is on. Here are some tips to stay safe, when out on the road.

Note: Most of these tips also work well for runners!!!

Where ever you are riding be aware of dogs on your tire
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Dog on the Chase

Table of Contents

Be Loud

If you are out in the country, you usually have a bit of extra time before the dog makes it from the house to the road. As the dog begins to make its way toward you, make yourself heard. Shout “NO” loud, clear and confidently for both the dog and its owner. If you don’t scare it into retreat, usually the owner will hear and call of the dog back before it makes it out to the road.

If you the dog is on your tire before you realize, a loud “NO” can often surprise them into a brief stop and give you enough time to escape.

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Country Riding

Be Large

In addition to raising your voice, actually make yourself physically larger.

When I ride, I am usually in aero-position and small to avoid wind and resistance. When a dog is running at me across a yard or field, I first sit up. Then I turn to open myself up and raise and wave at least one arm. If. you are able to ride hands free (I’m not), two waving arms would be even better.

If you can present yourself as large and opposing, the dog will generally back down or at least slow down giving you the opportunity to cycle away unharmed.

Most large dogs are generally just excited to see you out on a country road and will back off at this point. However there are some more persistent dogs that are harder to shake.

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Be Strong!!

Ride Fast

For those particularly frisky K-9s, like heelers and boarder collies, they love the chase and can’t be surprised or frighten as easily. When this happens, you need to turn on the speed. Sometimes there is a dog on your tire that can only be shaken with by sprinting down the road.

After shouting and waving your arms, some dogs still want the chase. That means it is time to turn your wheels on and ride. If you can get enough speed, most dogs will turn around after a few hundred feet.

Note: Do the exact opposite as a runner. Stop and face the dog. You will not out run it.

Don't show the dog on your tire that you are afraid
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Carry Pepper Spray

Finally, as a last resort a can of pepper spray will turn all critters around. I personally don’t ride with pepper spray, but I have a riding buddy that keeps a bottle clipped to the side of his handlebar bag. If it is attached in an easily accessible spot on your bike, a can of pepper spray can definitely save a ride.

This definitely a last resort. Before breaking out the pepper spray, try the shouting, waving, and speeding away first.

Update your Routes

Although we all have favorite routes to ride and roads we know are safe, sometimes we need to update our routes. If you are trying a new route, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for off-leash dogs and other wild animals. If you are using Stava, make a note on the route for future riders.

On regular routes, make a mental note and know where animals are fenced in or leashed, they could be out for a day and this might surprise you while riding.

Maps are Helpful

Recently, on an out-and-back ride, we were chased by a heeler for a half-mile. Instead of facing him down again, we found a new and interesting route on the return ride. At a water stop, a quick look at Maps, gave a few options to try on the way back.

Find a new route when you have a dog on your tire
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Stay Safe Riding

Riding on the road brings me a lot of joy, especially on a warm summer morning. Although cyclist have the same rights to the road as cars, there are few more inherent dangers out there. Without the protection of a car, you are open to the elements including weather and wildlife. Remember to be a proactive rider. Be aware of your surroundings and actively keep your eyes and ears scanning! Hopefully you will only face friendly dogs on your tire!

Safe riding out there ~KiteBikeVan

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