Dogs

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
hamish
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 11:29pm

Dogs

Postby hamish » 9 Jan 2020, 10:03pm

Now, I like dogs. I don't want one but I like them. But...

I commute about 20 miles each day by bike. Much of it is on shared use cycle paths. There is a bit of argy bargy between slow cyclists and fast cyclists and cyclists and walkers, but on the whole things seem to work fine. But dogs... Nearly every time there is a near miss, or harsh words, or angry stares its with a dog walker. They look impatient while they hold their dogs in an arm lock as you pass, extended leads get tangled between mudguard and wheel, deaf lunatic hounds run across your path, armies of small yappers run unpredictably towards you and veer of at last minute and today a bloke with three dogs on leads blocked the whole path while the owner spoke on the phone and then another guy threw a stick in front of me which was seized upon by a dog that I had to swerve to avoid.

I am happy to agree that pedestrians have right of way but should we see the dog/human as a unit and make special allowance for them?

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Cugel
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Re: Dogs

Postby Cugel » 9 Jan 2020, 10:16pm

hamish wrote:Now, I like dogs. I don't want one but I like them. But...

I commute about 20 miles each day by bike. Much of it is on shared use cycle paths. There is a bit of argy bargy between slow cyclists and fast cyclists and cyclists and walkers, but on the whole things seem to work fine. But dogs... Nearly every time there is a near miss, or harsh words, or angry stares its with a dog walker. They look impatient while they hold their dogs in an arm lock as you pass, extended leads get tangled between mudguard and wheel, deaf lunatic hounds run across your path, armies of small yappers run unpredictably towards you and veer of at last minute and today a bloke with three dogs on leads blocked the whole path while the owner spoke on the phone and then another guy threw a stick in front of me which was seized upon by a dog that I had to swerve to avoid.

I am happy to agree that pedestrians have right of way but should we see the dog/human as a unit and make special allowance for them?


Shared paths don't work well when the various users have very different modes of perambulation. Dogs are rarely a problem for other pedestrians, since they too walk about in lines not straight, stop for a chat and (especially if they're children) run about playing. But bikes with a bloke balancing badly, especially the faster ones who don't know how to brake, are a bit of a nuisance, eh?

Put them striving cyclists with the cars, I say .... although the impatient drivers will often have no tolerance for a cyclist who wobbles or doesn't keep going straight through the pothole but instead moves a few inches into the path of the car, which mustn't be held up or otherwise inconvenienced (rather like the cyclists not wanting to tolerate dogs and their natural behaviours on a footpath).

Perhaps the road-going cyclist not going in a very straight line through the potholes should all be kept on a lead by someone? :-)

Cugel

Tangled Metal
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Re: Dogs

Postby Tangled Metal » 9 Jan 2020, 10:47pm

Good post Cugel.

Not much to add but suggest the op looks at all the other "dogs bad because they hold us cyclists up" threads. I really do mean ALL those posts. There's really a few on here as it only comes back again every so often.

Boring and repetitive discussions where people really can't agree that mixed use paths are a place justifiably open to mixed users from slow/ fast cyclists, dogs, pedestrians, runners and kids playing. It sometimes makes me think that the posters really want mixed use paths to be cycle paths only. Perhaps unfair but it's not really right to keep repeating posts about other user types on cycling websites when this topic has been argued to death so many times.

Let me save time. Dogs, dog owners and leads are a pain, they get in the way. Dogs don't think of cyclists. Pedestrians don't look where they are going or have headphones on and weave into the cyclists path without warning. Runners don't look behind them and run into cyclists paths often with headphones on. Inconsiderate b'stards the lot of them!

Otoh cyclists ride too quickly, don't ring their bell to let you know they're behind you if they even have a bell and hurl abuse at anyone who doesn't do what they do in their way.

Of course the reality is mixed users don't mix well. So is the solution moan on a forum, just grin and bear it or find other routes? I've never read an alternative solution that's fair to all users.

hamish
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 11:29pm

Re: Dogs

Postby hamish » 9 Jan 2020, 11:55pm

I still feel the question is valid. It's not just a moan; it's a question.

I guess I want to work out if my (and my fellow commuters) feelings that dogs are something of a problem is reasonable. If it's not I guess I have to go away and think a bit more. Any resultant thoughts will inform our ongoing negotiations with our local authority on cycling provision. I thought that asking the question is in itself reasonable!? I do apologise if it is irksome to the regulars here.

I think that if cycling is going to be a viable form of transport for commuters it has to be efficient and safe. I think, on reflection, that we will need cycle paths rather than mixed use paths if we are going to get people to commute to work in the fastest and most efficient way. I ride a bike for fun too... But if you are commuting you do need to go fairly fast. But we haven't got dedicated cycle paths. We have to put up with mixed use and ride as considerately as the conditions dictate.

I could ride to work on a busy dual carriageway and accept the risk and abuse that it would entail. Or I can ride on the shared use path. Or I can give up and drive to work. The shared use path is pretty good in the morning apart from the dogs. The dual carriageway is awful. The number of dogs has increased markedly over the last 20 years of commuting on that route. Hence my initial question.

peetee
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Dogs

Postby peetee » 10 Jan 2020, 1:29am

I like dogs. In fact I would go so far as to say I like them more than their owners. Generally speaking, of course. To my mind they are more predictable. You know a dog will get in the way when you cycle past, even if it has been stationary for the entire time you approached it. Owners on the other hand can be polite and considerate, abusive and aggressive (and expecting the same from their muts) or anything in between. As a former dog walker I met more unpleasant owners than dogs.
Sometimes I wonder if cyclist were put on this earth to create problems for others. We cry out for better road facilities but nothing is done unless we are a problem for motorists. They put us on pavements that are barely wide enough for pedestrians and they have a moan. So they build cycle paths in parks and every dog owner migrates to them so they don't have to get their wellies dirty. Ho hum. It's all so tribal, isn't it?
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kwackers
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Location: Warrington

Re: Dogs

Postby kwackers » 10 Jan 2020, 9:14am

I have 4 dog stories.

First a guy steps out from behind a van into my path without even trying to look, I shift over and am about to shout "are you blind?" when I spot a very surprised looking guide dog nearly lose it's nose.

Second was at dusk, I was cycling along a path in the park, a woman was stood off to my left on the grass so I moved right towards the bushes.
At the very last second I saw the lead strung out across the path (the woman had been watching me coming towards her for some time). I slammed on but still caught the lead and yanked out a little "rat dog" from under the bushes.
She didn't half give me a dirty look.

Third I was in the same park cycling across a narrow bridge. There's a woman yapping to another with a jack russell on a lead, I dinged my bell but she ignored it so I stopped short and said "excuse me", the dog spun round and ran into my front wheel (which unfortunately had winter spikes on) letting out a loud yelp as it pinged it's nose.
Again another dirty look.

Fourth, same park cycling along the path when this great dane came running up and started leaping up and snapping at my face. I slammed on, jumped off the bike and used the bike to fend the animal off. In the distance a bloke was running towards me shouting "it's OK mate, he just doesn't like cyclists" - which obviously would have made the loss of my mush bearable.

Then there are the "have you not got a bell?" types, to which the reply is usually "yes, I rang it twice but you were too busy on your phone to notice".

As a runner dog owners expect you to have to hurdle the stupidly long leads - I've lost count of the number of them over the years.

I quite like dogs, it's their owners I have problems with.

pwa
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Re: Dogs

Postby pwa » 10 Jan 2020, 9:26am

Shared use paths work best when everyone is trying to take account of other users. And a dog walker not recognising that they should be keeping their dogs in line is a failing to do their bit. So too is a cyclist who expects to be able to speed past pedestrians as if it were a road. A shared use path is an oasis from traffic for many people, including those with children, somewhere that they can relax and not worry too much. So users of such paths should expect children to be wandering around, for walkers to be drifting off line, and for lots of other things that require a touch on the brakes and occasionally a foot on the ground. But yes, a dog walker who shows no inclination to get their act together can be a pain.

Without wanting to excuse the behaviour of others, these numpties will always be out there on shared use paths and for our own sanity we have to have mental tools to deal with situations, so that minor issues don't spoil our day.

hamish
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 11:29pm

Re: Dogs

Postby hamish » 10 Jan 2020, 9:59am

I understand the whole shared use path thing. I do think that until we get cycle paths designed for transport purposes rather than recreation, we will never maximise the potential of cycling as a mode of transport; but I use them and am careful about how I use them.

I guess what I find it difficult about the dog thing is that dogs are kind of afforded equivalence with children, etc, except that they are inherently more tricky; and they are out in large numbers when children aren't. The dog and its human are also kind of a unit, a class of being on its own. A kind of colony like a Portuguese man of war I guess. Lone dogs with no human are rarely a problem (except at farm gates) and nobody would critise you as a cyclist if you shouted at a lone dog. Humans are rarely a problem walking on their own, but a dog/human unit is another matter.

It's probably me and my own predjudice; I can't imagine getting frustrated by lots of children all over the path...

pwa
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Re: Dogs

Postby pwa » 10 Jan 2020, 10:21am

hamish wrote:I understand the whole shared use path thing. I do think that until we get cycle paths designed for transport purposes rather than recreation, we will never maximise the potential of cycling as a mode of transport; but I use them and am careful about how I use them.

I guess what I find it difficult about the dog thing is that dogs are kind of afforded equivalence with children, etc, except that they are inherently more tricky; and they are out in large numbers when children aren't. The dog and its human are also kind of a unit, a class of being on its own. A kind of colony like a Portuguese man of war I guess. Lone dogs with no human are rarely a problem (except at farm gates) and nobody would critise you as a cyclist if you shouted at a lone dog. Humans are rarely a problem walking on their own, but a dog/human unit is another matter.

It's probably me and my own prejudice; I can't imagine getting frustrated by lots of children all over the path...

I have no doubt that you are a sound, patient shared path user. I got that from your tone.

The human love of dogs thing is something I am afflicted with myself, and it isn't going to go away. Nor, I suspect, is the phenomenon of the chaotic dog handler. You and I have to treat the dog / human unit with suspicion, rather like I do with sheep when I find them on the roads here in Wales. We know the things they get up to, we know they don't have the mental capacity or will to correct their behaviour, so we act as the "responsible adult" in the situation and manage things as best we can. That, after all, is the only part of this that we have any real control over.

whoof
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Re: Dogs

Postby whoof » 10 Jan 2020, 11:17am

I do 17 miles a day on shared cycle/footpaths.
These are some of the 'rules'/ code of conduct according to the path booklet.

Cyclist- Please travel at speed that are safe and considerate of other path users.
Cyclists - please pass pedestrians and disabled people slowly and carefully, and warn them by bell or voice if they haven't seen you.
For safety, please ensure that young children are supervised and dogs are kept under control.
Everyone should use lights and light coloured clothing to be visible at night.
Lookout and be considerate for others
Everyone has equal priority.

IMO in a similar way to the Highway Code I would advise people to first consider their own conduct and then look to others.

Darkman
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Re: Dogs

Postby Darkman » 10 Jan 2020, 11:31am

DELETED. I'LL BE SURE TO RUN MY THOUGHTS PAST THE FORUM TROLLS IN FUTURE BEFORE POSTING. :?
Last edited by Darkman on 12 Jan 2020, 8:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
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Re: Dogs

Postby pwa » 10 Jan 2020, 11:44am

Darkman wrote:Years back I was riding along and saw a woman with a dog on the right-hand side of the road, and a man on the left hand side.

As I got closer, the woman deliberately sent the dog across the road to the man, right in front of me. :?

I dropped the anchors, performing a 'stoppie'.

At this point I should probably mention that I was doing 60mph on my motorbike.

I went through my entire repertoire of swear words at the pair of them.

It is funny how one's vocabulary changes when the adrenaline kicks in. :lol:

Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Dogs

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jan 2020, 11:55am

@Hamish
Sorry about my first reply. Not a nice reply so please accept my apology. It was a bit intemperate and obviously not addressing your question. Sorry!

That said I do maintain that all your answers such as there can be any have been posted on past threads about dogs and cyclists and runners and kids and pedestrians. Namely mixed use paths are a compromise. They do not suit any user but they're what non-motorists have. It's about all parties cooperating which has no sign of being universal so far. Majority of users I think you'll find, across the country too, are reasonable. You still have to cope with the outliers who aren't being cooperative and reasonable.

So what can be done? I believe this is the same no matter which user type you are. That is you can only change your behaviour so make sure you are using the mixed use path in a responsible way. In the heat of conflict it's hard to educate others but I think that could be something else responsible users could try too.

Dog walkers should have the dog under control. This does not mean always on the lead neither but depends on the dog. Our dog often runs alongside our bikes and it grew up learning how to avoid bikes. Better at avoiding our young son than I am considering that she's never hit him but I've ridden over his bike, nearly over his leg once.

However as a regular mixed use path dog walker I know cyclists act like maniacs at time. There's more than one cyclist I encounter who rides straight at dogs, pedestrians, kids and runners at speed too. One guy in the dark as well. There's a runner who practically barges past anyone on a narrow stretch of a mixed use canal towpath too.

There's dog owners I know which other dog owners have problems with too. It's a very social thing owning and walking dogs. People talk and it often goes round to the guy who runs with two black labs but doesn't keep an eye on them or pick up the poop. There's several dog owners who have given him help over dog poop (one made him pick it up by bare hand and put it in the bin). Others have picked him up about controlling the labs too since they ran freely and out of control.

I've heard cyclists reprimand other cyclists for bad behaviour. But nobody tackles the hoody riding the wrong way across a busy junction in heavy traffic causing cars to swerve out of the way. He's obviously out of it bag head.

Anyway, the op opened up another chance for people to post negatively about other path users and you got dog owners /dogs criticised early on. Then I basically criticised all users in counter. This is going to go the same way as all the others I bet. Perhaps read a few to see how things can go with these types of threads.

As to your discussions with authorities over cycle provision. Good luck but the only way to get what you want is with dedicated paths. But they'll get used by others who find the good provision for cyclists suits their needs too. Isn't that what has happened with pedestrian routes used by pedestrians and dog walkers for years before councils renamed them mixed use paths letting cyclists legitimately use them?

brynpoeth
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Re: Dogs

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Jan 2020, 12:02pm

Are there too many dogs? I have no family but I do not want a pet, it makes lots of work and most dogs need more excersize than their keepers arrange
Did occasionally walk neighbours dogs

There is a fenced-off bit of woods near me where dogs may run off lead
Actually it is a 'dogs only' monopoly area, used to cycle through there, cannot do that anymore

Are there too many dogs?
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Vorpal
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Re: Dogs

Postby Vorpal » 10 Jan 2020, 12:15pm

hamish wrote:
I am happy to agree that pedestrians have right of way but should we see the dog/human as a unit and make special allowance for them?

Basically, yes.

If I see a dog, or a person who looks like a dog walker, I slow down so that I can stop, if necessary. Dogs, like small children, sometimes do unpredictable things.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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