Doggone

OK Northern Ireland, I love your scenery, I love your friendly people who are the nicest in the world except when they’re trying to kill each other (and that even includes the man who greeted me with a cheery ‘keep going girl’ from the footpath as I slogged up a hill into the wind on the Brompton), I even love your weather which, for someone who is used to South West Scotland, counts almost as semi-arid although I could do without your omni-directional headwinds – but what is it with your dogs? Twice in the last two days I have had a loose dog chase after me on the bike, snapping and snarling, something I’ve rarely had to worry about anywhere else.

Yesterday we were heading down the coast road when two dogs emerged from a driveway and one shot across the road (my heart was in my mouth because it’s a fast road) to sprint along beside me barking in fury. And then this afternoon, returning from the supermarket, a Jack Russell (regular readers will remember I’ve had issues with them before) was instantly transformed from mild-mannered family pet to a one-dog wolf pack, albeit quite a small one, snarling at my wheels and looking ready to keep chasing me across side streets regardless of any traffic. Both times the dogs had let the other half go by and only took issue with me. I’m not sure if it’s because one bike might be just about allowed to pass but TWO is beyond provocation – or if it’s something about the Brompton that sets them off. Come to think of it, I’ve passed grown men on bikes that have reacted in similar ways …

Either way, I haven’t really felt in any danger. In fact – and I think this a far more effective Britishness test than which cricket team I support – both times I was more worried for the dog’s safety than my own. I did wonder whether I ought to have stopped rather than risk having them hit by a car but I wasn’t really sure whether I was going to be able to get across the finer points of the green cross code to an enraged canine, so I took the coward’s way out and kept going until they gave up. I suppose it’s good to know I can outride a mutt, even on a Brompton, uphill, and into the wind.

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One Response to Doggone

  1. [...] up bicycling. Photos of eyes over bike racks cut theft rates. Town Mouse is more concerned with the safety of the dog chasing her. The director of a Dutch — yes, Dutch — road safety institute calls for a mandatory helmet [...]

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