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.