05 March 2017

How I've Stayed Ahead Of Them

After my family moved to New Jersey, I started delivering The Asbury Park Press on my bicycle.  Every once in a while, I'd be chased by a dog.  But none ever caught me.  

Years later, I realized it had been a long time since I'd been been the object of a canine pursuit.  Even when I rode through the countrysides of France, Italy, Vermont, Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, upstate New York, California and Nevada--all places where various shepherds and terriers and such roam free--I didn't have to outrun anyone's pooch.  

"Well, that's because they've given up on you.  You're too fast."  That, from Greg, an old riding partner, is one of the best compliments I ever received, even if it was, shall we say, somewhat exaggerated.

Now I realize why I haven't been pursued:  

Now you know what is meant by "a dog's life":  one without a bicycle!


  1. This has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Something has changed, and I can't put my finger on it. Being chased by a dog was a constant worry for a cyclist in the US in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. Then I moved to Europe and in over 40 years I have never been chased by a European dog. (Are they somehow more civilized?) But then in the 80's and later, visiting and cycling in the US, I was never chased by dogs any more. What happened? Less dogs? Leash laws? People schooling dogs better?


  2. I can't remember the last time that a dog chased me while I was out riding, and I think I'd remember if I saw one riding a bike. But there are a couple places on my routes where dogs will rush a chain-link fence and yap as I ride by. It never fails to freak me out.

  3. Leo--I wouldn't be surprised if dogs in Europe are better-schooled than the ones in the US. After all, the people are, too--in part because they have people like you teaching them!

    Seriously, though, I think laws about keeping dogs leashed and fenced are more strictly enforced here in the US than they were in the '60's and '70's. Or, at least, people are more worried about being sued if their dogs attack people.

    MT--I think I, too, would remember if I saw a dog riding a bike. And I don't recall seeing one. ;-) Still, like you, I get freaked out when I see a dog rush a chain-link fence.