Recommendations on Biker Encounters with dogs
There is no one solution but there might be several that help (depending on the type of dog and rider skill).
The most effective deterrence to dogs often recommended is the use of pepper spray (like Halt), but after reading more into this, we don’t like this idea for our club rides. Users complain of it’s short (less than 10 feet) stream and very little need of it over many years & rides. The chemical’s blow back on a club ride to the adjacent bikers is also a concern, and the safety of this practice is also dubious with one-handed steering in traffic with everyone looking at the dog. . . however we think pepper spray may be viable on a long cross-country ride or a solo ride on a route with a known dog hazard.
Trying to out run a dog on a club ride makes no sense to us. Only the fastest riders might have a chance to do this if they already have a head start, but even then the dog could turn back to run toward or in front of the others.
From the shared experiences, our recommendation is that riders should do a couple of simple things when encountering a charging dog that is running toward any one rider or less than 10 ft along side of anyone:
- Signal intentions, leave pace-line, slow down and make more space between fellow bikers.
- Shout loudly ” NO, . . . NO, GO HOME!”
- For a possible biting dog after #1 and #2 fail, stop and use bike as shield or raise up to intimidate, stay as group to help.
- If someone has bad fall or is bitten, call 911/police. Keep medical help info (Vikki’s) on cphone Notes app, or bookmark medical website on cphone browser such as:
C.B.T.C. Safety Pledge
(Copied and modified from the BRAG Safety Pledge)
1. I will ride single file when a car or truck is behind me.
2. I will never ride more than two abreast, in accordance with Georgia and South Carolina laws. I will not be a road hog. I will yield to riders trying to pass me.
3. I will ride as far to the right as practicable, except when making a left turn, or when going straight at a right turn only lane.
4. I will call out “Car Back” or “Car Up” to riders in front of me.
5. I will call out my intentions to riders immediately behind me: “Slowing,” “Stopping,” Turning.” I will use traffic hand signals when appropriate.
6. I will point to road hazards and/or call out to riders behind me: “Gravel,” “Hole,” “Tracks.”
7. I will call out to riders I am about to pass: “On Your Left,” or “Good Morning.” I will never pass on the right.
8. I will wear my helmet at all times while on my bike. I will not wear ear phone type devices while riding.
9. I will obey all traffic signs and signals.
10. I will always ride defensively. I will always be aware of other riders, vehicles and pedestrians near me. I will never assume I know what they are going to do.
11. I will use common sense and courtesy toward motorists and other cyclists while I am on my bike.
12. I will provide immediate adult supervision to my bicycling children under age 16.
13. I will not ride before daylight or after dusk unless I have proper lights on my bike, in accordance with Georgia and South Carolina laws.
14. If I stop for any reason, I will get completely off the road.
15. I will obey this SAFETY PLEDGE.