Commuting Adventures

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by azul_fahrrad, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. azul_fahrrad

    azul_fahrrad New Member

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    About a month ago I started commuting the entire distance to work on my bike, 20 miles one way, in the mornings. Depending on the temparture and time I manage to get out, I either ride home or take the train. I have logged at least 140 miles each week, once logging 250 miles at the end of the Saturday ride.

    One thing that I have learned is this; If I have no spare tubes with me, I will have a flat tire.

    I have also learned that I must always feel and look at the inside and outside of the tire before inflating the new tube.

    I had a tiny shard of glass embeded in the rubber, when I took the tire off and felt all the the surface areas, I didn't find anything but under pressure the glass pushed up just enough to puncture the tire but when deflated the rubber closed around it and it couldn't be seen. It took me three tubes to figure it out. I just happen to notice a very slight cut in the tread and then found the glass. Of course I only had three tubes so it wasn't to much further down the road before I had another flat.

    Last week I got a flat, when I looked I had a chunk of brown glass stuck in the tire that was so big it slit the tire.

    The other thing I learned is you can teach a new dog new tricks. There is a dog that is sometimes out when I pass in front of his house, he his a large dark brown boxer mixed with some large breed and he really dislikes cyclist. He has caused two people I know to wreck while out on the Saturday morning ride.

    This morning he seemed to be waiting for me. It was still very dark and I could only see what was in the beam of my front light. Just as I passed a line of trees I could see the his faint silouette as he ran towards me, he was barking and panting, I could hear his paws hitting the pavement. He was really close, it looked like today would be the day he got me. I braced for the fall but it never came. I always start through his neighborhood a little bit slower than usual and just before he gets close enough, I hammer so his angle of attack will be off. Today he seemed to be anticipating that.

    He was running very close behind me, when I looked left, he moved to the right, when I looked right, he moved to the left.

    After about 30 - 40 yards I didn't hear him barking and thought he had given up, I still heard somthing so then looked left and he was right there and snapped at my foot. All I could see was the sillouete and then a flash of his big white fangs.

    This dog seems to be learning from his past failure and is determined to get me. I love dog's and admire his determination and adaptability but at the same time find it disturbing that this dog is so determined to get me.

    I am considering letting him have that stretch of road.
     
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  2. Beave

    Beave New Member

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    That is horrible. Don't give up that road; That would encourage irresponsible dog owners to continue letting "problem" dogs roam the street freely.

    Some options I can think of:

    Buy a small can of pepper spray and give him a good squirt in the face. He will most likely not be interested in chasing you anymore.

    Contact your local animal control or law enforcement agency, file a complaint, and have them talk to the owner about leash laws and potentially dangerous animals.

    Hope you can get this issue resolved. Remember, you are not doing anything wrong; It's the dogs owner who is at fault here.
     
  3. threaded

    threaded New Member

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    Be careful with the pepper spray etc. It is not the dogs fault. They are trained to do this. Usually it is, apart from house training, the only thing they are trained for, and they get to be very good at it through their owners constant encouragement and lots of practice.

    Almost always the people who set their dogs out to chase cyclists like to hide behind a tree, curtain, etc. and watch. They get great pleasure from watching such things. They are quite sick individuals and need help, counseling or just plain locking up. If you pepper-spray their dog they will be out quick as a flash to berate you, and will absolutely report you to the police for animal cruelty etc.. If they're not on good terms with the police they will most probably follow you home and you'll suffer vandalism, burglaries, that type of thing (it's what they do, and because you did something to their dog, they can now do whatever it is they do, to you).

    Do not seek out the dogs owner on your own: remember they are not right in the head and you will be putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

    I always feel sorry for when a dog has to be put down because it has been trained to do awful things like this and I think the legal system ought to deal with the animals owner way more severely.

    So the best thing to do is to take along a couple of other cyclists, as witnesses, and then go to your local dog warden, police etc. and make a formal complaint.
     
  4. aubinmg

    aubinmg New Member

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    Your friends who crashed trying to outrun this dog weren't bitten were they? Many dogs are chasers, only, and most dogs are not that brave and will scoot if confronted. I suggest two alternatives; make friends with him, stop where he lives and let him get to know you, maybe give him a treat, or carry a leather strap with you and give him a slap with it when he gets in range. Have you guessed that I'm a dog lover? I've tried both ways, with success.
     
  5. Bolter03

    Bolter03 New Member

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    I've found that frame pumps are not just for inflating tires. A good wack on the nose would be good for him. Also had an incident with some teenagers blocking a trail. Funny thing was they had like three 'extra' bikes with them...my assumption...they were stolen...and here I am on my bike which was worth much more than all of theirs combined. My answer...I didn't slow down, I sped up...they moved out of the way and if they hadn't, the old bike pump would have come out and one of them would have gotten it across the head at 25-30mph.
     
  6. Gus Riley

    Gus Riley New Member

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    A while back I heard of a rider who had problems with dogs. He had hunted in Alaska in the past and still had a can of bear spray. He figured if it worked on bears it most certainly would on dogs. With that he began carrying it with him on his ride. The first dog to come after him he let loose with the bear spray. Unfortunately bear spray comes out as a cloud...which he promptly rode through...The bear spray worked very well...ON HIM!! He fell off the bike and was writhing painfully on the ground. The dog? The dog just stood near and watched the rider move around on the ground.
     
  7. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    HALT works well for your present stage of dog education.
     
  8. timmothyoborne

    timmothyoborne New Member

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    I suggest a quck squirt with a water bottle. Most dogs hate this and the best thing is it doesn't harm the dog and the chances are that you are carrying water anyway.
     
  9. Gus Riley

    Gus Riley New Member

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    +1 This method has worked for me so far. I hope it works on the kentucky portion of our Adventure Cycling TransAm route.
     
  10. Fatherzen

    Fatherzen New Member

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    When I first began to bicycle commute I learned that I should carry a spare tube, a patching kit, a pump, and a CO2 cartridge inflation system. The idea is that on the way into work I would use a new tube and inflate with the CO2 system. That way I would not be late, or very late, for work. If I had a flat on the way home, I would patch the tube and use the hand pump.

    I learned the thing you mention, of looking for pieces of glass that will damage the new tube, but I also learned that street cleaners that use big wire wheel brushes to clean areas leave small fine wires that are even harder to find than glass shards, but they will flatten the new tube very quickly. If you come up behind a street sweeper that uses these wire brushes and get a flat, look and feel very carefully for a wire sticking through your tire.
     
  11. Jonahhobbes

    Jonahhobbes New Member

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    I had a small piece of wire that caused 3 flats recently as it took me an age to find it. It was literally 1 or 2mm long. Finally managed it though, it was so small I had to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to pull it out. It was difficult to find as it was hidden in the tread of the tyre and I guess would only go into the tube when it had the pressure of the road to push it through. It was infuriating.


    please excuse the strange sentence construction in this post. :D
     
  12. azul_fahrrad

    azul_fahrrad New Member

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    Respectfully, I ask what is my current level of dog education?
     
  13. azul_fahrrad

    azul_fahrrad New Member

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    This dog was picked up this past Saturday. It seems that it attacked a small child in a neighbors yard.

    Is was the Police who brought in animal control, only after responding to a domestic dispute when the father and dog owner went at it.

    I happened to be on the way home from the Saturday club ride when I passed by. The dog and the child are both victims but the dog of course is going to pay for it with it's life.

    I ended up spraying the dog with Halt and it worked sorta. He stopped chasing me as close but there was still the issue of running out in the road.

    There was another incident on the Saturday ride this week. About 25 of us were rolling down a narrow back road in a double pace line when a dog came running out after us. It was running back and forth, sort of swerving between bikes, nearly causing several of us to wreck. Someone squirted him with water so he veered off to the other side of the road and went head first into a sedan.

    It is very sad and makes me angry, those who do not value life should not be allowed to keep theirs. In the very least they should not be allowed to keep animals.
     
  14. threaded

    threaded New Member

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    Like I say, there is only one breed I know, Border Collie, that will chase cyclists and nip. All other breeds have to be trained to do it. The handlers of such dogs ought to be severly prosecuted, it's no different to leaving a loaded gun in the street for children to play with.
     
  15. jawnn

    jawnn New Member

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    I have up trying to make a light weight wheel, and discovered that I can add old tire into the new ones. I don't know why it took me so many years to think of it.

    more info here: http://funnyfarmart.com/tirelinersexposed.htm
     
  16. jawnn

    jawnn New Member

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    I Gave up trying to make a light weight bike, and discovered that I can add old tires into the new ones. I don't know why it took me so many years to think of it.

    Flat tires are a thing of the past, I will never have another puncture.

    more info here: http://funnyfarmart.com/tirelinersexposed.htm
     
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