It could be worse.

Dogs I Have Known

Dogs I Have Known

by / / 162 posts

Flies and dogs, two things that we don’t need on a climb.

I had descended down this street many times, but I had never before ridden up it. I even said hello to the two excited pitbulls on the other side of the driveway gate. I like dogs. I like them until one of them squeezes under the gate and I’m going uphill slowly. Pitbulls aren’t the fastest breed out there but they can haul ass when they have incentive. He was under the fence and closing the distance to me in seconds. Yelling and sprinting uphill; this could be a new speciality in the sport of cycling. I can shout curses, commands and climb at the same time, a skill the professionals never show off. He was right next to my rear wheel yet I escaped. The damage to my heart and nerves may last forever.

There was an older pitbull on our Sunday ride route. It always added a frisson as we approached the slight uphill bend. Sometime he was waiting for us, sometimes not. Luckily by the time I joined the rides he was a little more bark than bite and a watery blast from a bidon backed him off. Then he was down to three legs. Last time I saw him he was relaxing on the side of the road, he picked up his head and watched us ride by, and put his head down again. Score one for the cyclists.

It’s always a climb when some dog needs to chase me.

In New Mexico, on a rural highway, two dogs saw me from a house above the road. The dogs flew down into a deep gulch between the road and the house. I shifted up and started Hornering (must add to lexicon) my ass up the long hill, hoping they couldn’t get through the gulch. Please baby jesus don’t let them get through that gulch. They must have had a well worn path through that gulch as they were quickly coming up my side with only a guardrail between them and me. Again, I had just enough time to get body and bike flying before they got under the guardrail. Fuckers.

The bidon squirting is a good method; it surprises dogs completely. But it’s hard to do when gripping the bars tightly and crushing the pedals whilst cursing at beast. Pulling a bidon out and spraying a dog in the face requires one let a dog get his face in spraying distance and I’m not that guy if I can help it.

Having your legs spinning in a blurred motion might be a deterrent for the close-in dog. It’s harder to bite a blur.

Stopping? Who dares to stop and put the bike between shaved leg and dog? No, I’m not that guy either. If there is nothing to chase, they won’t bother you. Really, what single breed of dog is that? Most nasty dogs can’t believe their luck that you stopped; it nearly takes the fun out of it for them. What, I can just bite you now?  So you stop and do not get bitten, dog just sits there and dares you to ride off. It is a standoff, hoping the owner eventually comes out to see why his dog is barking? The owner is at work, he should be home by 5:30pm.

I’m a bad sprinter and a bad climber but when chased I can do both at the same time. Maybe I just need a canine coach. It would produce my best hour record on the track; a slavering German Shepard who can run 40 km/hr for an hour. In some damaged atavistic part of my brain I actually appreciate this seemingly life or death sprint. I don’t enjoy it but I appreciate it. In cave days we had a rock or spear to make sure we made it through the day. Now we have a big chainring and ergo-shifters to assure our survival.

// Nostalgia

  1. @Gianni For every fox hunter there is someone like that famous newt-fancier, Augustus Fink-Nottle.

  2. wtf? Here is my argument…

  3. @Gianni

  4. @Gianni @Nate

    I apologise for how random this is but….In the UK fox preservation is old hat. Its all about the badgers at the moment that are under threat from a cull to curb bovine TB. The main celebrity fighting this cull is Brian May.

    I go to the local supermarket everyday from work to buy lunch. A few weeks ago Brian May was stood in the carpark.

    Me ‘Hello Brian, what are you doing here’

    Brian May ‘I’m here on Badger Business’

    Me ‘Cool, Can I get a photo? I love Queen’

    Bryan May ‘oh, ok then’

    I’m stood right. Brian May is the don.

  5. @norm At this point I don’t think there is much need to apologize for being random.  I daresay we have already blazed that path.

  6. @norm

    Fuckin’ badgers…

    Outstanding photo by the way. That story is quite insane and perfect.

  7. @Buck Rogers

    @Gianni

    I agree about geese, they suck. A samurai sword is all they understand. I carry a sword over my back like Toshiro Mifune in The Seven Samurai

    Quick point of correction, though: Kikuchiyo’s sword in the Seven Samurai was too long to be worn over his back. Strictly a side carry sword right there.

    Buck not to quibble, but…. I’d argue that given Kikuchiyo’s youth and untrained status that he lacked the disapline to properly carry that sword. Ironic when you fast forward to Toshiro Mifune’s portrayal of the Eddy Merckx of 17th c. Japan, Musashi and his epic duel with Sasaki Kojirō, who as you know carried his famous “Clothes Hanger” impeccably!

    I have never had the luck to live near to a good Iaido dojo but did fulfill a life ambition to practice Kendo. Sadly I was to old to even begin to work with the kind of speed needed so I will stick to bikes where the lack of finesse can be faked by old dog trickyness.

    If one was to pick one of the “7” in Seven Samurai as a role model for training/living bike riding/racing? Perhaps as I get older I realize that the stages of my life reflect the different characters and sadly the one I keep being drawn toward, no mater how old is Kikuchiyo’s!

  8. @Rob

    @Buck Rogers

    @Gianni

    I agree about geese, they suck. A samurai sword is all they understand. I carry a sword over my back like Toshiro Mifune in The Seven Samurai

    Quick point of correction, though: Kikuchiyo’s sword in the Seven Samurai was too long to be worn over his back. Strictly a side carry sword right there.

    Buck not to quibble, but…. I’d argue that given Kikuchiyo’s youth and untrained status that he lacked the disapline to properly carry that sword. Ironic when you fast forward to Toshiro Mifune’s portrayal of the Eddy Merckx of 17th c. Japan, Musashi and his epic duel with Sasaki Kojirō, who as you know carried his famous “Clothes Hanger” impeccably!

    I have never had the luck to live near to a good Iaido dojo but did fulfill a life ambition to practice Kendo. Sadly I was to old to even begin to work with the kind of speed needed so I will stick to bikes where the lack of finesse can be faked by old dog trickyness.

    If one was to pick one of the “7″ in Seven Samurai as a role model for training/living bike riding/racing? Perhaps as I get older I realize that the stages of my life reflect the different characters and sadly the one I keep being drawn toward, no mater how old is Kikuchiyo’s!

    Brilliant!  Man, you will be MISSED in one month from today at the Cogal!

    Yes, I fear that I am moving on from Kikuchiyo but I am not much wiser, just older and slower so not sure which of the “7” I am most like.  Probably more like one of the Bandits though I aspire to be like Kambei (though not even close!).

    And yes, I also own the Criterion Collection “Samurai Trilogy” by Inagaki.  Just brilliant stuff.  Time for the oldest three kiddos to watch it.  My 8, 10 and 12 year old just LOVED Seven Samurai, even subtitled.

    Have you read “Musashi” by Eiji Yoshikawa?  It is amazing.  Written in serial form in Japan in the early 1900’s.  Somewhat considered the “Gone with the Wind” of Japan.  Soooo worth the read.

    Coincidently, I just picked up his “Taiko” novel three nights ago and started it.  So far just very much excellent.

    Really going to miss your mushrooms, man.

  9. @Gianni

    @Nate

    @Gianni. Fox hunt, what ho!

    Right then, I forgot about fox hunting. Fuck the British. Bollocks, here is my final argument on whatever we are arguing about. As usual, it makes no sense but makes me laugh.

    A Merckx!

  10. @Xyverz

    @gregorio

    We need a video, or it didn’t happen. ;-) Actually, I think I would have loved to have seen this.

    Truth is stranger than fiction!

  11. @Buck Rogers thanks, but the MISS is all at my end!

    I can not even imagine how my world would have turned out if my father had shown me Seven Samurai when I was 10!!! Does “Dr. Zhivago” count?

    and yes I did read “Musashi” but after I had seen the badly named but wicked good “Samurai Trilogy”, which is the movie version.

    But all Velominati should go to the source and read the words of the great man, it has been too long and I need to go back for a refresher.

    • The Book of Five Rings is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645. Wikipedia
      Published: 1645

      and saying this is a book about martial arts is like saying The Rules are just about rules. 
      I really am only a dilettante when it comes to swords, who among us can live and die by the sword today but every time I ride a bike it has the same magic and sangfroid (pun intended) as when I hold a sword ( and there is only one kind of sword). As the loss of Itburns tells us riding a bike should be approached with the same commitment to life and living well as following the path of the warrior.
       
      Obviously, you are the last person on this site who needs this pointed out but when I watch Seven Samurai (perhaps THE greatest movie) and I try to watch it every few years, and yes did show it to my teenage son, it never ceases to amaze me at the depth and emotion of life it evinces with such economy and beauty!

  12. @piwakawaka

    WTF? @Marcus is scared of a bird that little kids tease for fun, @roger’s gonna have nightmares and someone is calling off a cogal cos it’s gonna rain? Did I miss something or is this now Velomiwussie?

    FFS.

    i have no shame in admitting i hate insects. that thing above doesnt qualify as insect.  it’s half snake, half centipede, half scorpion.  there’s just no need for a concoction like that.  the only redeeming quality is that the size prevents it from slipping in through a screen window/door and crawling into your mouth at night while you’re asleep

  13. @Buck Rogers,@Rob

    fuck mifune and kurosawa made some great films.

  14. @Nate Respect for the P.G. Wodehouse reference!  I can’t think of an occasion when Bertie or any of the Drones hunted foxes, or badgers for that matter.

  15. @JCM right, Bertie could never have filled Aunt Dahlia’s legacy in such pursuits.

  16. @Nate ++1!

  17. @Rob I was all into some internet research on this last night, and reminded of Throne of Blood, which I haven’t seen in ages.  Unreal.

  18. @Nate

    @Buck Rogers,@Rob

    fuck mifune and kurosawa made some great films.

    Yes.  Unbelievable stuff.  Mifune was the Lawrence Olivier of Japan and Kurarsawa just the best director ever.  His influence is huge.  All of the Spaghetti Westerns are remakes of his movies.  The Magnificent  Seven, remake of his.  Star Wars, Lucus said that he took it straight from Hidden Fortress. His vast scale movies like Ran just reset movie making.  So love Kurasawa.  And Mufune is great in all the films, samurai or not (see High and Low), Kurasawa or not.

  19. Hmm… maybe I haven’t read through as thoroughly as I should have, but I’m amazed that I haven’t seen a reference to Kevin Costner’s favorite training buddy ‘Eddy’ in American Flyers yet.  Maybe it just seemed to easy. In any case, this is the bit in question:

    http://youtu.be/p8uP-dxllKQ

  20. Canine Interval Training.

    Wild bedouin watchdogs around here can give chase at 40km/h – great training, indeed. Last week, 170km into the ride when a dog started barking and running alongside the opposite highway fence. I felt quite safe until the fucker jumped over the metre-high fence and gave chase…

  21. The only dogs I’ve had trouble with have been collie’s and black labs, last year I was riding a quiet country road when I approached two ladies walking a collie off the leash. As soon as it spotted me the fucker went into attack mode. It crouched down on the grass verge and leapt out at me as I passed, both the lady and I shouted at it and instead of going for me it decided to take a bite of my back wheel. I didn’t stick around to see what damage my bladed spokes made to its muzzle but I’m sure it was not pretty.

  22. @Chris Some time ago I got attacked by a couple of raven diving from a phone-line. Scary!

  23. Flies, wasps, dogs – nothing! You should try pheasants. Especially baby pheasants. Do you know when they hit you, they can kind of… explode?

  24. I was intrigued by the reports here of magpie attacks, and now I have video, from Australia.

    Do all of you scream like that?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfZzE9kBGTA

  25. @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy

    @piwakawaka

    WTF? @Marcus is scared of a bird that little kids tease for fun, @roger’s gonna have nightmares and someone is calling off a cogal cos it’s gonna rain? Did I miss something or is this now Velomiwussie?

    FFS.

    yeah I’m pretty sure we’ve found this year’s Anti-V moment, it’s this thread (funny as it is).

    What about when you posted a photo of your horrendous bike setup?

    only just saw this, funny cunty.

    As an aside, you taken the tritard armrests of your bike yet?

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