Author Topic: Hillbilly dogs  (Read 5732 times)

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Offline John Nettles

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Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2021, 01:00:36 pm »
There's a nice gravel ride near my home ruined by a pack of aggressive dogs that will run you off the bike against a bramble hedge until their redneck owner calls them off.  He calls them home but doesn't exactly discourage them.
Another roadbike ride nearby is universally avoided because the owner will run after and intimidate bikers in his car if someone sprays his aggressive dogs with water.
If I rode that road, I would tell the owner one time to get their dogs under control or the animal control would be called.  I would warn him that something like the 3rd call and the dogs are gone due to being a "continued menace".  And I would tell him that if he ever tries to intimidate me again I would give the video evidence to the police and press charges.  And I would follow through on both if need be.  To me, this case (and most cases) are usually about the owner not exerting control and/or the owner being a bully.  I feel sorry for the dogs because they are basically trained/not trained to do something. Obviously, feral dogs are another matter.  We would call animal control if the dogs attacked.

After several severe accidents (riders hospitalized) with dogs in our county, the bike clubs doesn't hesitate to call animal control and/or the sheriff and file complaints.  Usually, after the first complaint, the owner ensures the dog is fenced in and the owner doesn't try to pull that stuff anymore. Plus, in our county the owners are liable and once warned are really on the hook financially.

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2022, 04:20:41 am »
Yes Missouri and East Kentucky were bad but not life threatening! In spite of all the dog chases, I never had anything that got it’s teeth near me and most of the time they just ran after you a bit and then gave up the chase, but that’s not to say other people didn’t have worse experiences, but they did seem to be the exception rather than the norm!

When I did the TA the transamerica bike race was on, going west to east and I was going east to west and there were reports coming down the line of some people getting mauled by pit bulls and these were real instances!! (See pic below)

I think sometimes you get lucky and unlucky. I dog legged a couple of places but I’d also met people who never saw a dog on the whole TA!! I was told by another Welshman at some point that he’d used wasp spray to great effect, so there are plenty of deterrents out there!

The only issue with the whole dog thing for me was when they come out of nowhere and you’d get startled! I enquired with the folks at the ACA why they didn’t engage more with local police in particular hot spots and explain the problem and explain that cyclist were actually bringing a lot of revenue into these small communities! Seemed to fall on deaf ears which was frustrating!!!!!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 04:27:29 am by Soulboy#1 »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2022, 10:22:12 am »
I was told by another Welshman at some point that he’d used wasp spray to great effect, so there are plenty of deterrents out there!
Can't tell if you are an American or a Welshman.  Regardless, in the USA, I personally would be very reluctant to use wasp spray as that could permanently injure or kill the dog.  I say this due to legal issues that MIGHT occur since as you may know, America is unfortunately a very litigious nation.  Sure, I am totally for protecting oneself but I would use Halt!, water, etc. before wasp spray, ammonia, etc. due to the potential legal issue.  I am NOT trying to get this into a flame fest; just saying you might consider using some other deterrent.

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2022, 11:24:25 am »
I am Welshman and it was by chance that it was another Welshman who offered this advice whilst in the US (we get everywhere). I didn't actually use the wasp spray as by the time I was advised to use it, I was well out of MO and KT. I had a little canister of pepper spray velcro'd to my top tube and didn't use it once. I think as you mentioned John its probably best not to have a run in with a dog owner (even when they should have their dog under a bit more control). I think dogs are unavoidable but you'd be very unlucky to get bitten. You hear all kinds of horrific stories come down the line, but nothing serious happened to me anywhere en-route.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2022, 11:03:57 pm »
America is a big place. There are more roads to get to your destination than just the established routes...
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Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2022, 09:20:04 am »
I had a can of Halt! riding the TransAm; only got to use it three times, and only once to good effect.

It seemed that the dogs on the route had been trained by previous cyclists.  See a little white can with a red nozzle?  Stay six feet away!  It was a little frustrating -- I couldn't spray the mongrels, and they'd stay 6' back, just out of spraying range, until they got bored and let us go.

I'm not sure how you would re-route around dogs.  Kentucky roads reminded me of the classic "Adventure" computer game -- "You're the middle of twisty little roads, all different," and despite the built-up dog lore, most of those twisty little roads won't have a loose dog when you ride through.  Even if you did, dogs could as easily be on your re-route, and not having been exposed to touring cyclists, they wouldn't know to avoid getting too close.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2022, 09:30:57 am »
I'm not sure how you would re-route around dogs.
I guess you could reroute 100 or more miles north and see a lot fewer free range dogs.  I don't particularly advise that option just to avoid the dogs, they weren't that big of a problem IME.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2022, 09:37:47 am »
Missing the dogs is part of what the TransAm Eastern Express addresses.
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Offline staehpj1

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2022, 09:47:18 am »
Missing the dogs is part of what the TransAm Eastern Express addresses.
It does.  I wouldn't choose it if that were the only reason though.  That isn't to say that someone else might.  That said I may ride it sometime for other reasons.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2022, 05:29:58 pm »
Missing the dogs is part of what the TransAm Eastern Express addresses.
It does.  I wouldn't choose it if that were the only reason though.  That isn't to say that someone else might.  That said I may ride it sometime for other reasons.

While I've never cycled across southern Ohio or Indiana, it's hard for me to believe dogs in the rural parts of those states are uniformly well controlled and behaved just because they're not in Kentucky.  Not to mention the escort one hound gave us across southern Illinois -- although he turned out to be a well behaved pup out for a long (4 mile) run, I lost count of how many coyotes he chased off for us.

Sometime I might take a week and ride C&O and GAP, but I suspect a couple days looking at the trees and river would be enough for me.  The southern Appalachians, though, I have a hard time getting enough of those mountains!

Of course, YMMV.


Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2022, 07:41:02 am »

Sometime I might take a week and ride C&O and GAP, but I suspect a couple days looking at the trees and river would be enough for me.  The southern Appalachians, though, I have a hard time getting enough of those mountains!

Of course, YMMV.

I than thru-hiked the AT and we spent a week in Damascus, VA a few years back biking and hiking, so while I love those mountains, the roads are narrow with no shoulder and the climbs are brutal. The one trip we keep coming back to is the GAP. I love the remoteness and the mountains in that area, up to about West Newton, where be plan on turning west on Bike Route S. I like being in the woods and seeing nothing but nature for hours. That is one reason I like to hike as well. :)
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Offline John Nelson

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2022, 01:18:26 pm »
although he turned out to be a well behaved pup out for a long (4 mile) run, I lost count of how many coyotes he chased off for us.

You got me curious so I did a search looking for negative encounters with coyotes. Some, but not many. I only found one report of a cyclist having trouble with a coyote while moving and one report of a problem with a coyote in camp.

I am, however, almost as afraid of a friendly dog as a mean one.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2022, 01:26:35 pm »
I am, however, almost as afraid of a friendly dog as a mean one.
By that I guess you mean the type that are so friendly they can clumsily get in the way causing a wreck.  Then they lick you to death while you are on the ground.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2022, 02:42:11 pm »
Good to see you come back to the thread.

I've posted earlier and from memory I think the gist of my post was about managing fears.

I have a bit of an update. Just prior to Christmas I was bitten by a stray dog in a small mountain village in Colombia (ironically while walking).
It was only back in my dingy hotel room that I realised he had broken the skin and that it was worse than I had thought.
A few hours of constant washing and disinfecting the wound (I have a good first aid kit)  was followed by a trip to the local hospital. Having been vaccinated for rabies I got a (double) shot of vaccine with two subsequent shots required over the next two weeks - wherever I happened to be. I got my last shot last week.

If someone had laid out the scenario in advance it would have seemed terrifying but, in fact, the experience was anything but. I wouldn't advise anyone to get bitten by a dog but the experience did open doors I had not expected and gave me unexpected insights into this country and its people.

Just remember that our fears sitting at home are often far more vivid than on the road.

Good luck


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Hillbilly dogs
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2022, 08:40:10 am »
Just remember that our fears sitting at home are often far more vivid than on the road.

You obviously need to spend more time watching cable news.  Be afraid!  Be very afraid!!

:D