General chatter - You might get a laugh out of this. Maybe not.

08-20-2007, 01:34 AM
I've been bicycling in the evenings. I've got a lights. I come home long after dark.

I was finishing up a two hour ride tonight and I was on a quiet residential circle with very little traffic. It's a dead end in a way. Out from a house comes a person with three dogs, one on a leash. The two loose ones are pretty big labs or golden retrievers or something. The whole party walks right out into my path. The person makes little effort to control the dogs. The one dog comes around from the left side, in front of my bike to my right side where I'm now standing and he growls and gets his face right up against my right calf. I didn't know if I was going to get bitten or not. I could scarcely believe it was happening. I said, "Get your f'ing dog off me!"

This set off the lady/dog owner. She get very pissed off and told me not to call her that in "her house". "Not in my house" she said. "I'm a grandmother."

I pointed out that we were in the middle of a public street, not her house and she went on ranting and calling me a *******. It was comical in a way because she really was this portly grandma, about 60 years old. I figured I'd sting her again and said, "You better get your f'ing dogs off me now, b****. There's a leash law." and she went on and on and got slightly behind me and to my side. She intructed her dog to "Bite me." but he didn't do anything except bark and growl. I thought she might take a swing! I was still clipped in and on one foot. It was very bizarre.

I made some mental notes of her house and resisted the urge to get physical and then I left and eventually called the cops who had to be coaxed to do anything. Because they hadn't seen the loose dogs, I'd have to fill out a statement and it would be given to a judge and he'd decide what to do with the dogs. Pfffft... I had no interest in getting the dogs in trouble. I wanted this woman corrected and disciplined for bothering someone who just riding down the road. I wanted her to at least apologize for trying to get her dog to bite me. That was way over the top.

The cop finally talked to her. "What do you want me to do?" is pretty much what he said to me. That's what they always say unless you have a gunshot wound or knife stuck in your forehead. They always wait til it's too late. He went in and talked. I had to stay outside. He said she was very apologetic and had no problem with me and the dogs seemed kind of old. I'm kind of old too. The dogs could have caused me to fall over and break a hip or something and certainly they can still bite pretty hard. I was just standing there, surrounded. She did nothing to fix this and spent all her efforts on making things worse.

Another thing, the cop after listening to just my story thought we were both disorderly, I guess because I said "f" at one point. I've seen people get all worked up over swearing all my life. They like to use it as an excuse to get violent just like this lady attempted to do by getting her dogs to bite me. I saw myself as a person minding his own business and using a public road for what public roads are made for. I was interrupted, acosted and threatened. I don't see where I was disorderly at all. Very restrained if anything.

This is just one of the things that makes cycling miserable. You're always so very vulnerable. In a car you can get away, you're protected. On a bike, even a grandma thinks she can push you around. Because I never got off and had one foot strapped in, she could have easily pushed me over and done serious damage. Her attitude was that I was in her territory making trouble for her??? Unbelievable! Even if I was in her yard her actions were unacceptable. On a public road where anyone has the right to be, she was criminally interfering with me and creating a hazard and trying to goad her dogs to attack me. All because I said the f word.

Things like this would never happen if I was in a car.

08-20-2007, 02:34 AM
No, it wouldn't have happened to you if you'd been in a car. It also wouldn't have happened this way if the first words out of your mouth hadn't started with an F.

You surprised an old lady in the dark and called the cops. Well done.

Might I suggest in future saying "Sorry, didn't mean to surprise you. A lot of dogs are scared of bikes; could you grab him while I get by?"

I ride and I have dogs and it usually pays to be the bigger person.

08-20-2007, 02:52 AM
First I have to say a 2 hour bike ride is awesome! But I do have to agree with Robin41 though that she probably wouldn't have reacted that way if you hadn't started yelling the f word at her.
My issue is when I am out with my young son going for a walk and we run into a dog. I really think that the best way to handle things like this is to stay calm.

08-20-2007, 03:29 AM
It was dark and I had a light on, five led's actually. It's bright. There's no way she could have missed me as she came at me perpendicularly. I didn't yell at her. I stopped rather than running into one of her spread out party and I didn't say anything until the big dog was on my leg. Sheesh! She ought to know better than to let her dogs get right on people with no control that close to what they consider their territory in a place with leash laws.

It was common years ago to have dogs chase you, but not anymore with all the invisible fences. I still remember the time 20 years ago when a doberman came charging out of his yard into the road and my girlfriend crashed into me in the ensuing panic. I'm sure we're going to be very careful with our words when some crazy dog's teeth are snapping inches away. That lady wasn't the least bit sorry either even though we weren't in her yard and my girlfriend got some road burns.

The lady tonight never acted surprised. She was belligerent, like she'd often been accused of being really slow.

08-20-2007, 04:25 AM
I sympathize with you because I just can not stand stupid pet owners. I can't believe people when they think "my dog doesn't bite!" Well yeah, maybe they don't bite people they know, but how about strangers? Especially if you were apprehensive, the dogs can sense it, making them more prone to aggression. I can not believe this woman told her dogs to bite you either :rolleyes:, what's up with that? I can see where the others are coming from though, especially if there was swearing involved, but i think if I were in your position, I would've reacted the same way.

There was an incident once when I was walking my dogs, and this idiot guy blamed us for his chihuahua falling off his 2nd story balcony and injuring it's leg--all because we walked past his house everyday. He told me that he wouldn't be responsible if his two other dogs, specifically mentioning "pit bulls" in the backyard got loose and charged us one day. He was basically annoyed that whenever we walked by, the neighboring dogs would go into a neurotic frenzy of barking, and then his dog fell out of the railing. Well, I basically took his remarks about the pit bulls as a threat and called the cops. Then I called the humane society and reported that he had an injured dog which he did not seek treatment for. Got him into trouble on that account too.

Sorry to ramble, that woman was wrong for not controlling her dogs in a public place. You could've chosen your words better, but I totally understand why you did what you did.

08-20-2007, 05:22 AM
So you are a guy, on a bike, in the dark(ish) and an old lady with some dogs bother you and you swear at her!

Who was more afraid, who was more shocked, who was more belligerant!

Sorry Greens - but perhaps if your first words hadn't been so aggressive she would have responded a bit better!

And was it YOUR quiet residential street? Or was she really in her own home -her street, with you intruding?

Not saying she was in anyway justified in not controlling her dogs, or reacting as she did - but honestly? YOU were the aggressor, and I am not suprised the police did nothing!

Take a breath and write it off to a nasty experience - but learn from it - or you will be doomed to meeting batty old ladies with (almost) vicious dogs!

08-20-2007, 12:01 PM
I could understand her being furious if I started yelling at her or I struck her and specifically addressed her with my use of the f word, but that's not what happened. My use of that word was in the way of an exclamation of shock than anything else. Her behavior throughout was not that of a timid, fragile "old lady". She was stocky and her attitude was indifference as her dogs blocked me off, stopped me and closed in. Believe it or not, the public has a right to use the public roads without being harassed even if it's in front of your house. It's public. Bicycles are traffic.

When I said the word, and it's a perfectly legal and commonly used word, she used that to become belligerent and in her attempt to assault me. Not only did she think she owned the road because it was in front of her house, she thought it was okay to get her dogs to attack me because she was offended at my irritation and shock at being detained and intimidated by her unleashed pets. In most states, if you give your dog a command to attack, that's some sort of assault and it's probably a felony. The only thing that saved her from this was the fact that her dogs were more civilized and restrained than she was.

Do you people think you can legally set your dogs on people because they used the f word? Apparantly some of you do. If that was the case in real life, people would be getting assaulted and maimed by dogs all the time. The word is pretty common except among certain people who think the use of the word is some sort of assault even when it's used as an exclamation.

The whole incident points up just what's wrong with exercise and living in the modern world. People are on edge. Even grandma's act like gangsters. Take a bike out and see what it's like. Ride around for a summer. You'll run into incidents like this. People throw things at you from cars. People yell from cars. Dogs harass and dog owners will sometimes be worse than their dogs. The cops are far more interested in giving out speeding tickets than they are in correcting people who harass and intimidate pedestrians and cyclists. Unless it's the cop himself who gets the dogs set on him. I'm sure if that happened, this lady would be in handcuffs and her dogs in the pound.

08-20-2007, 12:22 PM
First of all, what does her weight have to do with whether she was timid? So she was stocky, what does that have to do with being timid or what does it have to do with the story at all? Why are you bestowing character traits on her based on her size? Would you want somebody doing that to you?

Secondly, while the F word may be common in your circle of acquaintances, I can assure you that most of the world doesn't go around using it and certainly not to old ladies. We also don't call them B****es.

An altercation is what is wrong with exercise and living in the modern world? Have you ever noticed that you have a gift for overstatement? I don't like to break this to you but the world really isn't out to get you.

After reading a lot of your posts, you seem to be a fairly glass half-empty individual although I admit that my view of you was formed by your "Ode to Futility" post that introduced you to the board. I'm sorry that you had an unfortunate run-in; it is one of the risks of living. To turn it into an indictment of humanity borders on the unhealthy.

08-20-2007, 12:26 PM
Greens, I would have responded much in the same way you did, and I don't believe you're in the wrong for acting how you did.

I have little experience with large dogs, and I *have* been bitten by a large dog once. If a dog got that close to me and its human counterpart didn't intervene, I'd have quite a bit of adrenaline pumping and that would likely cause me to swear, too.

The woman was in the wrong. A large dog is as intimidating to me as any other weapon.

I understand what you mean about there being a fair amount of inappropriate behavior (often in the form of hostility) directed towards cyclists. My son opts to cycle rather than drive most places, and he experiences negativity way more often than necessary.

08-20-2007, 01:35 PM
Phantastica, that's correct. Visit cycling forums and you'll read a lot of stories about random attacks by motorists and dogs on cyclists. It's not just my problem. It's a common problem.

Robin, her stockiness is in contrast to what most people think of as a frail, wispy old woman teetering along on the edge of falling over. Weight in case you didn't know, can be used as force once it's in motion. I wispy old woman wouldn't have much effect pushing me. A stocky woman could easily knock me over when I'm standing on one leg with a bicycle between my legs. You seem to want to turn this into some kind of prejudice of heavy women. I'm just giving you a description of what she was and what her abilities were. She wasn't tiny and she wasn't much more than ten years older than me and I was at the end of a 2 hour workout.

As for people being upset about the f word when used in such stressful situations - how do you cope with HBO and movies? You must have smashed dozens of tv sets with all the swearing going on. Maybe you get so mad you go to the cable office with your aggressive dogs or assault the tv salesman at Walmart. You really sound like the type that likes to use foul language as an excuse to fly off the handle.

When I'm on my bike I just have to take it from people. Even if I have pepper spray, I have to worry that an enraged person might come after me using a car as a weapon if I spray their dogs or them when they're calling me a "*******" on a public street. A nasty person could wait weeks before attacking me with a car. They might well get away with it. Even if caught they don't serve much more than five years for killing cyclists. A prosecutor would have to prove their intent and they've got so much easier stuff to do. Bicycles are just a nuisance to the cops too.

Do you jog or bicycle on the streets, Robin?

08-20-2007, 01:44 PM
I wonder how places like Amsterdam (very bicycle-friendly city) handle dogs and cycling. I assume the car issue is minimal as bikes outnumber cars.

08-20-2007, 02:00 PM
Wow, I don't agree with some of the posters. I totally think you were in the right. Had she done something with her dogs 'before' they were on you, you wouldn't have said what you said. I've seen this too many times, people not controlling their dogs. I am an animal lover but my biggest pet peeve, no pun intended is with pet owners. I think you did the right thing in calling the police and now I would file a complaint with the SPCA, ugh, can't remember what it is, lol...basically the dog pound. It will be on record that this woman lets her dogs run loose and they may possibly ticket her. My question is why did she have one on a leash and not the others?

My dog does not like people and I would never walk him and let him get close to anyone. He's never bitten anyone but whose to say he won't. It's a chance I don't want to take. I am a responsible pet owner unlike a lot of people.

08-20-2007, 02:30 PM
As for people being upset about the f word when used in such stressful situations - how do you cope with HBO and movies? You must have smashed dozens of tv sets with all the swearing going on. Maybe you get so mad you go to the cable office with your aggressive dogs or assault the tv salesman at Walmart. You really sound like the type that likes to use foul language as an excuse to fly off the handle.

When I'm on my bike I just have to take it from people. Even if I have pepper spray, I have to worry that an enraged person might come after me using a car as a weapon if I spray their dogs or them when they're calling me a "*******" on a public street. A nasty person could wait weeks before attacking me with a car. They might well get away with it. Even if caught they don't serve much more than five years for killing cyclists. A prosecutor would have to prove their intent and they've got so much easier stuff to do. Bicycles are just a nuisance to the cops too.

Do you jog or bicycle on the streets, Robin?

Do you actually equate using foul language to somebody's face to something you hear on television? The comparison is ridiculous.

I do not have aggressive dogs. But I have 4 large dogs that get very excited when they see bicycles going down the road. I realize this and also act accordingly when I am out on my own bike. Yes, I ride on the public road.

A nasty person could wait weeks before attacking you with their car? Do you really believe that people are giving you that much thought? Do you really believe that there is a rash of intentional cyclist killings and prosecutors are complicit in it? Do you realize that this line of thought is bordering on irrational?

For the record, I don't go off on people in Walmart or anywhere else. I prefer to think that most people are doing the best they can in life and act accordingly. It's amazing what treating people with respect, saying please and thank you, can do. Certainly works better than calling them F'in B*****s.

08-20-2007, 02:36 PM
I've never been there so I don't know but there's this.

It is a well-known fact that if a car hits a cyclist, it is ALWAYS the drivers fault, according to Amsterdam law.

Amsterdam has 550,000 bicycles and this is an ideal way to get around, although you need to get used to the idea of having your bike stolen.

The Netherlands is flat, the roads narrow and ancient. The USA is big, the roads are wide and distances extreme. Everything here is designed for quick moving large vehicles carrying lots of packaging. Walking is done by a few oddballs for exercise. Bicycling is for the suicidal. Everybody is fat.

Things might change though. Electric bicycles are available. They can take you up hills with less effort and get the equivalent of more than 300 mpg and still offer a lot of exercise. When we see a hill in our cars we don't see it as much of an obstacle if it's got a plowed road going up it. We just have to give it a little more gas. And we're used to loading our vehicles with kids and a dozen packages. Everything is all spread out.

A00071: Proposed Bill to Allow Use of Electric Bicycles in New York
(please note, this bill has NOT YET been passed into law!)

New York is one of the few states where it's illegal to ride an electric bicycle even if it's top speed is less than 20mph.

08-20-2007, 02:44 PM
"Walking is done by a few oddballs for exercise. Bicycling is for the suicidal. Everybody is fat."

Okay, now this I take offense, and to think, I took up for you, lol.

First off, I am NOT an oddball and I DO walk for exercise. And thank you for calling me fat.

My DD just said that the dogs probably sniffed out that you were an a$$. I'm beginning to think so to. And I think you've gotten enough attention here.

08-20-2007, 02:49 PM
Frou Frou, I don't want to do anything that will get her dogs put down and I don't think this is a bad lady even though her actions were appalling. This is what people would be like if every auto conflict resulted in face to face contact. With me on the bike and her on foot, we were both just trapped there. Had we been in cars, we both would have soon been miles apart and of course dogs would have been irrelevant.

Have you ever heard of Tonya Harding, Robin? My whole way of thinking changed after hearing about her scheming. Previous to that I would have thought that an olympic skater was above criminal activity. Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart were also revelations into the lying, scheming and immorality of respected people. It's not so much that I had respected them, but a lot of people did. Then there's all the true crime stories my gf watches. It makes you a little paranoid, but with cause.

08-20-2007, 02:56 PM
Frou Frou, I suppose if I said, "Americans are fat!" you would take that as directed specifically at you. It's not. You know it isn't.


In Massachusettes pedestrians always have the right of way. People on foot can walk right in front of cars and the cars are supposed to stop. If you hit a pedestrian with your car, the motorist is always wrong. I spent a few days out there ten years ago. Don't know their attitude towards bicycles.

08-20-2007, 03:21 PM
I jsut have this to say and I'm not for or against Greens. ALL dogs that are not in their own home, should be either on a leash or in a fenced-in yard. Period. Anyone who says, "My dog is the sweetest thing and would never hurt anyone" is an ignorant dog owner. I have an Old English of the largest breeds known...and sweetest, by the way. I walk him pretty regularly and NEVER off his leash. He's an animal and not capable of reasoning and if he's out with me in teh dark and a man on a bike and I cross paths, he MAY try to defend me and attack the man on the bike. He's an animal. There are leash laws for a reason. Maybe your words were harsh for some, but I am petrified of strange, big dogs (except my own...which is why I walk with him so he can protect me from other big dogs and/or men on bikes in the dark), especially a pack of them and would have probably responded with fear the way you did. But maybe not with profanity the way you did.

Moral of the story...ALL dogs belong on leashes...period. And, Greens, you may need to learn to choose your words a little more wisely, I guess. :)

Now....lets stop being mad and get back to being slim, sexy Americans!!! :woohoo: Unless, of course, you're a grumpy bicyclist living in a windmill... :o Sorry...couldn't resist... :lol:

08-20-2007, 03:49 PM
That's nice for people and dog haters, but for dogs it's a life sentence. Dogs move faster and are interested in other things. They also need to meet and greet other dogs in their own way. They've been living with humans for 100 thousand years or more with very few incidents of them killing humans. I believe it's mostly dogs who are trained to fight and kill and starving dogs who actually kill. To condemn all of them to the leash is cruel and unnecessary.

They do learn to get along with humans. I've worked in sales visiting farm houses and so on. Even the biggest dogs don't bite. They'll put up a terrifying threat display and they'll bark to notify their people and chase me away, but they don't bite if you're careful not to surprise them and careful to treat them with some respect. If you see a dog is on the verge of losing his mind, you'd be wise to show him you just want to leave.

There are some people who will tell a dog that they work for the post office and they a right to be there - a dog just isn't going to understand that. The dog's masters are probably the most important part of the equation. A lot of people go looking for the nastiest dog they can find because they're lunatics and incompetents and they want the dog to inflict harm on "intruders". Fortunately lawsuits discourage this type of person. Dogs like that are rare.

Dogs should have places to run in the woods. They won't be feeling territorial in a community area. They're great hiking companions. There are very few incidents of real fighting. I've never seen or heard of a dog on a hiking trail biting a human in my life.

08-20-2007, 04:22 PM
Dogs should have places to run in the woods.

We have that here...they're called coyotes and we shoot them on a regular basis.

I'm starting to root for the dogs that tried to bite you...or is it that dogs don't bite? Or is it only bicyclists? Only in the Netherlands? I'm confused.

I hope Suzanne closes this soon...I'm terribly sorry I got involved.

08-20-2007, 04:33 PM
pssst have to try and pick a side. Otherwise all us fat, lazy Americans get confused.