Avoiding Cujo

Posted: May 8, 2014 in Bike, In Transition
Tags: , , ,

I’ve discussed before some of the hazards of living and training in the country (click HERE) and yesterday during one of my bike rides – while not unique to the country – I discovered another: dogs.

It happens to every cyclist at some time or other.  Dogs are to cyclists what asshole drivers are to runners I expect.  Sooner or later you’re going to encounter them.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve been chased by dogs and it probably won’t be the last either, but it was definitely one of the more, well, memorable…let’s put it that way.

It all happened innocently enough.

Sometimes when I’m out riding I like to explore a bit.  Lord knows there’s lots of room to roam out here with vast stretches of country roads, rural access routes, and hidden fire lanes; endless miles of them to be exact.  Each season I discover all new roads and even entire subdivisions that I never knew existed previously, and yesterday was one of these easy exploration rides where I don’t really have a predetermined route and I simply let the wind take me wherever it wants.

So at one point in my ride I decide to turn left onto a paved fire lane that runs along the lake and, hopefully, over to the next major road that runs parallel to the one I was currently riding (more on that in a moment).  Lots of these fire lanes have lots of really cool and beautiful cottages that I like to lust after so I really enjoy when I find new ones that are safe to take my road bike on. Lots are unpaved unfortunately, so for the time being they remain a mystery.

8n9reExcept two seconds after turning onto the lane, I am blindsided by Cujo who races up on my left from behind a bush and attempts to take a huge chunk out of my calf.

I’m sure every cyclist knows that instant rush of adrenaline when they realize that they are under attack and that ‘fight or flight’ impulse kicks in.  It plays out in our heads something like this:


So pedal I did…fast.

Except that another three seconds into the getaway and – BAM! – I was blindsided on the right side by Bride of Cujo who suddenly appeared from behind a parked car in the driveway of a house.

Now, remember that these rural fire lanes are very narrow – two cars can hardly pass one another – and here I am smack dab in the middle of a canine ambush; the filling in a ‘FML’ sandwich.

There was no time to douse either of them with my water bottle either as they were already on me and trying to chomp down on my furiously working legs – on either side mind you – so I simply did the only thing I could…I pedaled my ass off!   Eventually, I out-sprinted both curs but not until I had pretty much tapped into my top speed.  Good for me.  Only one problem…the fire lane was a dead end.  It did not connect up to the next major road like I had hoped.

Oh shit.

Fortunately, the dogs had given up the chase and returned to their original ambush positions.  So here’s where it get interesting.

I turned around and pedaled slowly and cautiously up the road looking for any sign of my aggressors. Thankfully, their owner had come out of the house and were standing in the front yard, apparently to see what all the commotion had been about.  Thank Christ.  So I called out to him:

“Hey, can you hold your dog’s so I can pass by?”

Simple request, right?   Surely they’d have no objection, right?  Wrong.  Think again.  The response stunned me.

“Oh, don’t worry. They’re friendly.”

Surely he jests.  Both mutts had just been snarling bloody murder and attempted to devour my legs and I’m supposed to believe they’re friendly?  I know how close I came to being the evening meal, thank you very much.  Ever seen the zombies eat the guts out of a fresh corpse on ‘The Walking Dead‘?

Yeah, that was almost me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the owner was probably right and I don’t think the dogs were outright vicious.  Except when a dog sees a cyclists’ legs a-spinning away they think: “Oh boy! Get it!”  It’s a game.  It’s ingrained in their DNA.  I understand that. That’s why dogs chase cars.  I get it.  Having said that, I wasn’t about to tempt fate with another pass either, especially with both dogs now standing on guard in the front yard staring me down at full attention.

“I’d rather you held them please”, I hollered back.

Again…fair request, right?  Wrong.

“I said they’re fine. They won’t bite you”  was the response.

I was flabbergasted.

“They sure just tried their best mister”, I responded. “Please, just hold them for me will ya?” 

I was basically pleading by this point.

“Well it was your fault for going too fast. You scared them when you speed up. You were going too fast.”

Surely this fuckstick was joking.

He wasn’t of course.

“I sped up because they were trying to bite me”, I answered back.

What was this guys’ issue with holding his dogs anyway?  Who does that?  I’m being nice here, aren’t I? So here I am trapped in a dead end lane being held hostage by Captain Numbnuts and his Hounds from Hell.


Again the dipshit countered with the incredulous reply: “I said they’re friendly.”

Now, just because you say they’re friendly doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so and the chances are that he just missed seeing his pooches trying to make short work of my legs altogether, so I’m not at all confident about my chances of riding past them again safely.  So by now I’m pissed and feeling pretty threatened.

“Clearly you missed them chasing and nipping at me.  Look, hold your damn dogs…please!”

I admit it…I was losing my cool and just wanted this standoff to finish so I could go on my way.

“Remember, you’re a guest here”, he said.

Is he fucking kidding me?  This is fucking ridiculous.  Since when am I a “guest” simply by riding down a road?  Public roads are public thoroughfares…for everybody…I don’t have to be fucking invited.  I might have pointed out that if I was in fact a ‘guest’, then holding me hostage at the end of the road surely wasn’t going to win him any hospitality awards but I thought better of it.  I doubt he would have saw the irony in it anyway.

Anyway, by this time, seeing as how this exchange was happening some 100m  apart, his wife had now appeared on the scene and decided to join the verbal foray.

“They just don’t know you. You should have stopped to get to know them”, she quipped angrily.

Oh.  My.  Fucking.  God.

And when was this exchange of pleasantries supposed to occur, before or after they had feasted on me?  Likewise, by that same logic, if I stopped at every house on my runs and rides on the off chance they had a dog I should first make friends with so that I could pass safely then I’d never get any freakin’ where.  My brain was starting to spiral out of control.

“Look, are you going to hold you dogs or not?”, I asked.

“I said before, they’re friendly. I don’t need to”.

So what choice did I have?  I figured I had to call his bluff, except, I had literally clipped in and took two slow pedal strokes carefully in their direction when Cujo bolted back out into the road to block my path once again growling menacingly.  Clearly he was not done with this game yet.  I stopped.  What had we had now was a classic Mexican standoff in the middle of nowhere.  Of all the times not  to have a cell phone.

“Look, if you don’t control your dog I’m calling the Humane Society.  Whether you like it or not I am allowed to ride on this road, your dogs, however, are not allowed to roam free off leash and chase people.  It’s your choice!”

I was bluffing of course as I don’t carry a cell.

It’s not what I wanted to say, of course, but I also didn’t want to end up as the pu pu platter for his pooches either.  I would have rather told him what a vapid idiot I thought he was and proceed to dropkick him in the nut sack, but being out here in God knows where, well, I also don’t want my genitals to end up as a wind chime on his front porch either.

Thankfully, he idiot grabbed his mutt just before it decided to lunge at me again and his wife followed suite with the other dog.  I took the opportunity to sprint past, but not without seeing the dog practically drag its owner down the street after me.  But at least I was free.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not anti-dog, like, at all.  Dogs will be dogs.  What I am, however, is anti-asshole dog owner.  And these two fucktards just made the shortlist.

So I guess I can cross off that particular fire lane for future riding.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s