This is a fun, easy activity that burns tons of calories because it works those big muscles in your legs. And as a random guy who passed me on the road said, I've got legs, "like a mother****er." Yes, he really said that.
You know what works you even harder than a stationary bike? Riding on the open road. I live in the country. There are miles and miles of beautiful roads here. There's only one problem. People have a shit-ton of dogs out here and they do NOTHING to control them.
A friend of mine said he doesn't know why that should stop me. He carries wasp spray with him to keep away dogs. First of all, I actually love dogs and think that's awful. He said he sprays somewhere near them, not on the dog. Well, I'm not comfortable putting poison on or near an animal unless it's trying to kill me. Sorry.
I know the basics of putting my bike between me and the dog, splashing water in their face, things like that. However, I was completely unprepared for what happened yesterday. After much debate, my son and I decided to ride "the block." Out here, that's at least 6 miles (haven't clocked it exactly) with 6 huge hills, one every mile. Most of the places that have dogs are right freaking beside one of these hills. If they decide to chase, there is no such thing as outrunning them.
I was bitten as a child. My left ear points at the top like an elf thanks to this incident. (No shit.) I have no desire to be bitten again.
But back to yesterday. Out of all the dogs (most of them were big) that barked and a few who followed for a couple of paces, only one dog gave us a real chase. A Yorkie. That's right, you heard me. We were in a curve, going up a hill when a herd of mini-dogs comes barking across this yard. I'm not kidding, there were at least 10 of them. A bouncing, yapping, little herd! The first thing I did was say, "Holy shit," and start laughing my ass off.
It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. The Yorkie chased my son who easily outran him. The problem was, I was right behind him. The dog kept darting around, trying to get out of my way and I kept swerving trying to miss him. When I saw my front tire make impact, I threw myself off the bike to avoid crushing the little dog.
I have a big bruise on my right knee, and a knot on my left shin. But other than that I'm fine. The Yorkie was unharmed.
This got me thinking, there has to be an easier way to take a ride and actually enjoy myself. I've read tons of articles on how to deal with dogs while biking and one really cracked me up.
Here's the link. http://www.adventure-journal.com/2011/10/dealing-with-aggressive-dogs-make-your-bark-worse-than-your-bike/
The article says to bark as loud as you possibly can. It will startle the dog when they realize you are completely freaking crazy. HA! We shall see. As it so happens, I am completely freaking crazy. I can do this. I have faith in myself.
The article says to pick a one syllable word and scream it at the top of your lungs for one second. I haven't decided yet what mine will be, but I've got some funny ideas. For one whole second, I'm going to completely lose my shit. I'm going to let those dogs see the side of me that I hold back from everyone else. Everything that's ever pissed me off, they're about to feel it in my voice. I'm going to bring the animal I know I have inside out just enough to scare the holy shit out of those dogs.
What if the owner happens to overhear? Oh well, keep your animals behind a fence if they can't behave. The road is public and I have a right to defend myself if I'm threatened while on the damn thing.
So, I'm going to bark some obscenity at oncoming dogs next time I go. And if they don't listen? I'm carrying some pepper spray.
F*** you dogs! You don't tell me where to ride!