Monday 21 October 2013

What is it with dogs and bicycles?!

On Saturday when Mark (King of the hill) convinced me that cycling another 8.5 miles from Whitstable to Canterbury was a good thing, after already cycling over 66, we cycled along the 'Crab and Winkle Way.' This was a very pleasant cycle route where birders, joggers, walkers and dog owners could all share the loveliness that is the English countryside. On one section a King Charles Spaniel, normally a placid breed was transformed into something quite wild. As Mark cycled along this dog first trotted and then ran a full speed at his ankles. Despite his tired legs, his cadence was picked up a notch as he attempted to out cycle the dog!

Today on a my Brompton commute I was nearly savaged by a small Dachshund. I am sure that some of you are tittering as you read this but I can say I was lucky to make it to work! I was cycling along a side road when I saw an elderly lady walking a little black dog with brown bits. I remember thinking that it looked like a little Doberman. I also recall thinking that it was a silly looking thing as it was like said breed but with its legs cut off and a good deal smaller.

The elderly lady was walking very slowly and had a walking stick in one hand. The other held a small plastic contraption that allowed this little beast freedom to roam freely on an extendable lead. Her dog was also walking slowly and I suspected it too was a frail little thing. How wrong I was!

As soon as the little brute saw me - and that is a good word to use - it showed an interest. It stopped in its tracks, pointed its nose towards the sky and gave a half hearted bark. At this point I was parallel to them both when it all happened. The vicious little beast started to run directly for me with as much lead as it wanted, barking its little head off and barring its surprisingly long fangs. It reminded me of that bit in 'Jaws' where the line on the fishing rod spins totally out of control. 

The elderly lady certainly had no control over "Rexy" as he now started biting at my feet. I wondered how I had got it all wrong as this little Doberman with its legs cut off could run at speed and seemed to share the Doberman's reputation as a fearsome creature not to be messed with! 

Roxy proceeded to grab hold of the flapping part of my Altura waterproof over trousers and  shook its head from side to side. As it did this, it growled. The elderly lady apologised as she came closer and told Rexy to let go. Picking the little savage up in her arms he proceeded to bark and bare his teeth, letting me know in no uncertain terms that he had not quite finished.

The only thing I could utter in my state of shock was, 'really!' I cannot be certain and it might have been the frenzy of the situation but I am almost certain Roxy was foaming at the mouth. Happy that my skin had not been broken I pedalled away not looking back.

What is it with dogs and bicycles? I am sure you out there might have something to say about this matter. For the rest of the day I tried to convince myself that my insatiable desire for water was the result of succumbing to a sore throat! If I also start to fear the same water I am so keen to drink, I will let you know! 


  1. As a London cycle commuter, luckily I've never had this happen to me. In the comfort of my chair, I think how I would handle the situation but the reality is, when it happens, it happens so suddenly that natural instinct will do what it does. Fingers crossed I continue to never have this situation happen.

  2. I seem to remember reading somewhere that their reaction is to do with the sound made by the spokes going round, inaudible to us but damned annoying to canines. If this is true, I wonder if spoke length makes a difference making Brompton riders more (or less) susceptible to attack. Of course none of that makes the owner any less responsible for the control of their pet.

    Hope you're feeling better.

  3. Be thankful that you do not ride at The Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre nr Swadlincote,Derbyshire,weekends it is overrun with irresponsible dog owners letting their animals roam and leave their mess all round the lake,we no longer take our Bromptons this track and the managers at the site do not seem to understand how dangerous the track is becoming,it will only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured,many novice cyclist including young children at weekends use this centre,dogs should have been banned from the start when it opened two years ago


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