Friday, August 26, 2011

The Running of the Bulls

The Gully

With every visit to Terwilligar Park, I look for a steep gully that if you choose to, you can ride down it at breakneck speed only to be jerked into an almost straight up and down position moments later and then fly through the air and land on a patch of turf no bigger than your average throw rug.  The last time I rode throught the park I had no trouble finding it but today, perhaps because of the thick vegetation, it was hidden from me.  When I find it again, I'm sure that I will carreen down its steep bank and shoot up the other side many, many times.  I have yet to tire from the thrill of flying throught the air with the greatest of ease.

It was on my way out of the park as I cruised along some smooth, dry double track that I spied two dogs coming around a slight bend in the trail.  A medium sized pit bull and following on its tail a huge brown and black bulldog.  With one glance at me, they charged at full tilt and crossed the 20 meters separating us in seconds flat.  In my panicked state, I was lucky to remember some advice from Coreen F., a fellow blogger and devoted bike mechanic who told me of a similar situation where you want to get off the bike and put it between you and the dog(s).  Normally I dismount on the non-drive side of the bike but this time, given the dog's speed and their direction, I got off on the drive side and got ready to fend off the mangy curs.

Lunge after lunge I twarted as their foaming mouths snapped inches away from my legs.  Their loud barks and glistening white fangs did nothing to alleviate my mood of desperate terror.  I had my left hand on my seat and the right on my handlebars which allowed me to use the bike like a matador's cape and dodge each ferocious charge. 

The medium sized dog soon gave up the fight to go sniff some dog poo in the bushes lining the trail and it took two more florishes with the "cape" to convince the bulldog that he wasn't going to enjoy one of my body parts on this particular day.  The owner (I would have said master except this person had no mastery of the two mangy mongrels) passed by without so much as an apology and when I suggested that she needed to control her dogs, she acted as though I was some disease ridden character who had crawled out from under a nearby rock.  I could only shake my head at this reminder that dogs and bikes don't always mix.


  1. Yikes, I am impressed by your quick response. I am often frustrated by animal owners who simply have animals for protection yet do not protect the innocent. I am glad you are okay Adrian!

  2. I'm glad you walked away without requiring stitches, these situations are far too common. I share your frustrations with irresponsible/negligent dog owners.

    Thanks for the tip about placing the bike between rider and attacking animal, that is something I never considered as an alternative to "ride hard and hope for the best".