Pop quiz*:

You’re cycling when an angry dog jumps a fence and gives chase.  You . . .

a.  Pedal like mad
b.  Stop and use your bike as a shield
c.  Squirt the beast with your water bottle as you flee
d.  Keep a steady pace but say, “Good dog, nice doggy”

I chose “d.”  According to Outside magazine, the correct answer is “c.”  They write, “Aim for the eyes. A splash of water will short-circuit most dogs’ prey instincts.”

Friday afternoon, I almost got to put their advice to the test.  I was biking down a residential street, when all of a sudden a dog starts barking and chasing me.  I thought to myself, “Self, remember the advice about the water in the eyes.”  All well and good, but I looked down and saw an empty water bottle cage — the one day this week that I biked without a water bottle!

Fortunately, the dog gave up the chase before I needed to resort to Plan B (whatever THAT was).  Even if you’re just going for a short ride and don’t think you’ll get thirsty, there may be other reasons to bring that water bottle along!

*From Outside magazine’s November 2009 issue.

UPDATE: As luck (?) would have it, another dog gave chase when I was on my way to church yesterday.  I did have my water bottle with me, but I was hesitant to use it.  I feared that in the process of reaching for the water bottle and trying to squirt it at the dog, I would end up running into a parked car or some such, and end up in a much worse situation.  Instead, I just kept pedaling, and once again, the dog lost interest after about half a block.

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