Thursday, May 15, 2008

Off-path cycling

I fell off my bike.

There's nothing like falling off your bike to make you feel undignified.

In this case, it was the fault of a woman who let her dog run down a laneway off the leash. Her 'sweet' blue heeler lunged and barked angrily at Bumblebee as he rode around the corner into the laneway, I braked hard (to jump off and defend him) and my bike slipped on autumn leaves and I went arse over tit face down on the ground.

Lovely autumn leaves and grass broke my fall, thank goddess, but it didn't help my recovering neck, and my hands feel a bit tender. And my arse was high in the air, sprawled over the bike, which is not a good look really.

Snaps to the nice young man who stopped and made sure I was alright.

As I fell I screeched angrily at the woman, who was trying to grab her dog (leash in hand), and as we rode off again I couldn't help snapping at her that it would be helpful if she could keep her dog on leash until she got to a park. She looked as shocked as I felt, but I thought that might be a good thing.

I'm sorry, dog-lovers, I have little tolerance for unleashed dogs on shared paths. Once I came off my bike because someone was walking their three little fluffy things and had let them loose, but still tied them together, and they lurched across the path like some zany cartoon trap. As I was dusting myself off, the owner laughed as if it were a huge joke and I gave him a very big piece of my mind in return.

Best Beloved has been grabbed by dogs as he's ridden along, and he has no problems kicking at them in return.

I like dogs generally; I think it's irresponsible owners I have a problem with.

And, in case you hate cyclers on shared paths, I do try my best to be considerate when I ride past walkers. I ding my smiley bell, and I slow down around blind corners.

Anyway. I'm going to bed early to give my hands quality time to heal.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I feel your pain after having been knocked off by a vicious WHIPPET.

Dangerous dogs.

That dog owner just disappeared and I never saw him/her. How rude!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

dog owner, dog lover, am willing to be at fault if the dog is off the leash - and can't stand those who aren't.

Drewzel said...

Poor you!
As a dog owner, I get very cross at people who can't discipline or control their dogs, thus giving all of us a bad name. Especially a Heeler, they're very easy to train. Grr.

lucy tartan said...

Oh no - after the elbow treatment, coming off the bike can't be good. Hope your hands are OK - can you work with them all right?

Ampersand Duck said...

Thank you, the hands are much improved after a night's rest. My knee is scraped and my neck is a bit stiff, but all in all it was a remarkable smooth fall, for which I'm very grateful.

Mummy/Crit said...

Bugger. I don't like irresponsible dog owners either, and i'm trying hard not to be one. It's annoying when people are also defensive about their dog's bad behaviour, it's not the dog's fault.

M-H said...

I live in a street that has a leash-free park at the end of it. You would not believe the number of people who unleash their dogs as they enter the street, or don't bother to leash them when they leave the park. I've had to keep my elderly cat inside for the last couple of years, despite his love of sleeping in the sun in the front in the afternoon, because the dogs jump my gate (or scuttle under it) and he has no protection and nowhere to go. When I politely ask the owners to leash their dogs unless they are in the park they either laugh, ignore me, or swear at me.

My neighbour has an old camera that she keeps just inside the front door. If she talks to people with unleashed dogs and they ignore her polite request she picks up the camera and points it at them (and the numberplate of their car, if they've just left it). This usually gets the leashes out damn quick!

Ampersand Duck said...

Poor kitty.

We've been know to point our phone camera at speeders and sundry other dickheads in our time. It's a great thing to do.

Cozalcoatl said...

Ouch...ill mannered pups and people are never a great mix.

We walk,jog and mountain bike our dog Darwin, (Cattle dog and some other stuff) off leash all the time. But we live right next to a big open forest so she can run like crazy. We have had problems with her chasing after other joggers and bikes, nothing aggressive, just high spirits and that herding instinct. So we have tried our best to make her sit down off the trail when we see them. Last week there were joggers and people on bikes all round (it was a beautiful afternoon) and she sat down as they passed, all by herself without us prompting. We were very proud and relieved because I'd hate for her to hurt someone or get hurt.
She isn't perfect (close though ;) but she is learning and doing a good job at it.

Now only I could train her to wake up Rob, and not me, to be let out into the backyard for wees and ball games at 6am.

Anonymous said...

I have tiny wimpy dogs, and I hate the people who let their big crazy dogs off lead too.