Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Doggone it!".....really?!?!?

Dear Mr. Bob Mionske,

I just read your Bicycling Magazine article, "Doggone It!" and thought it was a piece of dog doo doo. Actually, it did have some bits that were of interest, such as how some states (which ones!??!? link? hello?) have laws about dog bites and owners.

But let me get to my main point. Have you actually had an encounter with a dog before? You write, "Some people suggest defusing the situation by stopping, placing your bike between the dog and yourself, and standing your ground without challenging the dog by staring it down. Others swear by giving the dog a firm command."

So when Cujo comes flying out of his/her driveway at me at mach 7.5, you want me to STOP? Seriously? Stop? Where is the time to stop, get off my bike (while one leg is dangling awkwardly over the top tube) to put my bike between me and a barking monster so that I can sing it a lullaby whilst staring it between the eyes to please not eat me. Really?

Or take another common situation, which is dog comes out of its turf, doesn't come straight for you but starts to play chicken. You slow. What do you do then? I guess you could stop? But really, at that point you can just gun it and you will most likely outrun the dog at that point. I would NEVER stop and let the dog take a look at my meaty leg for it to think, "Oh! Calve! Chicken! Yum!" *CHOMP*....most likely the dog is just saying, "This is my turf, F off!"

Out of all of my dog encounters on the road, I am 2/3 in terms of successfully avoiding the "Dog Kamikaze attack". My first encounter was Buster. Buster was a 150 pound great dane/pitbull monster mix. I first heard a woman yell, "Buster! Buster stop! BUSTER!!!" and before I knew it Buster was on a T-Bone intersection tragectory for my rear wheel. Fortunately I had .5 seconds to gun it before Buster narrowly missed before all I heard was nails scratching across the pavement as Buster lost traction, then tried to regain composure to rebound for round #2. Fortunately my adrenaline picked the "Flight" mechanism and propelled my body as fast as it could.

Scary encounter #2 was down in southern France. A friend I were riding and I was bonking at the time before Cujo' la Chiene jumped out from a bush behind us and started chasing. Before I know it we are going mach 3 to outrun this 150 pound monster that looked like mix between a German Shepherd and a Werewolf! After a kilometer of chasing, the dog ducked into a field. "Phew!" we thought. The dog is gone. WRONG!

This dog knew what it was doing. Look at the diagram below to see what this dog with French intelligence did to get us a 2nd time:

As you can see, the dog cut through the field to cut US off! So after we thought we were in the clear, the dog jumps out again from behind us and off we go again. Look, I love doing intervals, but not when I am bonking and I am being chased for dinner (as in I am on the menu!).

Encounter #3 wasn't so great, in case you haven't read it.

Mr. Bob Mionske, I will give you one free pass: The illustration on your article rocks, but other than that, please go out and find a dog and get yourself attacked so that you can give us some actual USABLE knowledge!!!

Do you have any interesting dog stories on the bike?

*Disclaimer* I LOOOOOOOOVE dogs. All dogs that my family has had have been members of the family and loved dearly. I can't wait for the day that I get my first furry friend! Unfortunately, there are some rotten members of the Canine family out there, including their rotten owners.


  1. OMG, this is pretty funny although I am sure it wasn't funny when French Cujo made his second appearance.
    I have only had 2 encounters with dogs. The first one was a BIG dog and I was tooling along at my usual slow pace. I had a long pump within reach and I took one swing at him and kicked it into high gear and he retreated. The 2nd was a little furry thing and I mistakenly laughed it off. Well, that little furry thing was ferocious and got a piece of my ankle. Luckily he couldn't hang on, but there was blood and it was mine.

  2. Awesome post! As someone who has been attacked in flight by Canadian Geese, crossed paths with a rabid coyote, almost trampled by a herd of deer, passed a loose bull, jumped over a copperhead a running buddy in front of me had stepped on, and been stund in the mouth by a bee...these simple little animal deterant suggests I read about usually humor me too. Good luck on the road and be safe!!!

  3. you should email this to that guy, I'd love to hear his response! LOL

  4. Dude, I was just chased on the bike by a german shepherd for almost half a mile and it scared the crap out of me...actually, i thought of you when i was speeding away!
    nice piece, agreed!

  5. OMG...BUSTER!! Buster would have been bad...totally LOL at the diagram nice work. Now I know where Emily got the gum chewing thing - Charlie and the Choc Factory!

  6. HAHA I hope to see your reply in next months issue.

  7. LOL - love the diagram. You should email that response to him seriously, it is so good.

    I was chased by a dog last summer when I biked in a new place when I was away from home for work. The owner hollered at me "HEY, MY DOG!" - her dog was running after me on a bike, and she is yelling at me??? Really? No wonder her dog sucked.

  8. Your paint and photoshop skills put mine to shame!!!

    Jon, seriously, Cujo was a FRENCHIE? You should have stopped and slapped him, he would have surrendered!

    Sorry couldn't resist that joke!

  9. As I understand it, you are NOT supposed to look a dog in the eyes, they take it as a challenge.

    Uh, your photoshop job, seriously? you are a professional, I expect more from you!! ;)

    Btw, everyone keeps telling me not to go crazy with taper, what the hell does that mean? lol.


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