Has anyone actually used "Halt", or some other spray device, to successfully ward off a nasty-looking dog chasing your bike?
Here in Virginia, ill-mannered & unrestrained dogs are a fact of life. In a lot of cases, those terms apply to the dog's owners too. My immediate, impulsive, response when faced with a threatening dog is to stand on the pedals & sprint. I've still been bitten once on the foot, put some holes in my Sidi but not in the important stuff stuff inside. I've also learned that at least sometimes, the action of the feet twirling around on the pedals is what gets the dog all excited in the first place, and if I simply stop pedalling, the situation diffuses. But if it doesn't diffuse, that strategy makes it that much easier to get bitten....
I'm getting ready for a trans America tour pulling BOB, and I don't think I'll be sprinting away quite as easily as i can on my lightweight, unloaded road bike.
I have some concerns with using a pepper spray or whatever: (1) possible loss of control of the bike while fooling with a spray can with one hand, & trying to ride/escape at the same time; (2) what happens if the prevailing winds, bad aim, or whatever cause the spray (or some of it) to end up in your own eyes or in the eyes of another rider who happens to be nearby?; (3) what about Bubba the dog owner, who comes out with his belly & pickup truck to chase down whoever's messin' with his dog?
I know a lot of people carry this stuff, but haven't heard a lot of success stories about people actually using it. Any out there?