I ride a lot on NCN paths, often see dogwalkers. I've cycled for 35+ years, and had a couple of dogs.
My view is that all dogs should be on a lead on multi-use paths, mine always were, and the dogs were as they had grown up that way
99% of dog walkers I encounter are absolutely fine, but you do come across idiots.
4 excitable dogs off leads on a path is at best inconsiderate and I'd suggest uncontrollable. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect any court would take a dim view of that. Paths on sustrans land have signs about keeping dogs on lead. But basically you would not walk down a road with a pack of dogs off a lead.
The owners defensive aggressiveness suggests she knew she was wrong.
Hitting a dog whilst cycling is quite dangerous and could easily make the cyclist crash very heavily. Even a slow speed topple could break something.
As for legality, if you were injured then you could take the person to court via any insurance, or legal support. cyclists have successfully sued dog walkers for being brought down by extending leads.
Killing the dog is probably an unlikely outcome , but had you seriously injured it then owner could potentially pursue for vets bills which can be expensive. If you don;t have liability insurance, then get some. There is a outfit called Laka that actually do it for free.
In an incident like that I would treat like a road collision, ask for their name and address and that may hopefully scare them off anyway. The other course of action is once, down stay down and request police and ambulance
Since the recent court case involving the pedestrian who stepped out into path of a cyclist and then sued I'm considering putting cameras back on.
rob_wales wrote:Cycling this morning near my house. An off-road purpose built shared use path of tarmac and grit. Approaching a visitor centre I slowed down as I know there are often distracted people about. Went to make a left turn at about 8mph to leave the path and skirt around the centre when I saw a group of four dogs off-lead with the owner behind with a further dog on a lead. The dogs were excited and frisky but stayed together. So I slowed even more, applying the brakes. As I did so one of the dogs darted across my path and I had to do an emergency stop. I was almost at a stop when I made contact with the still moving dog. Caught it on the rear quarter and it gave out a great yelp and ran off. I started to fall having lost my balance and nearly came off.
The owner immediately started screaming at me and these are some of the things she said
"Didn't you see my dog, what if it had been a child?"
"you shouldn't be wearing sunglasses"
"This is not a cycle path" (It is and there are lots of signs for bikes and pedestrians)
The woman just ranted and ranted then marched off.
Had I killed the dog, who would have been to blame in law?
Had I been injured, as I nearly was, what redress would I have had?
It was impossible to talk to her as she just ranted, so I kept quiet. As far as I know there are no by-laws that require a lead on the path, but there might be. Assume there isn't.
I am always extremely careful when kids and dogs, and horses are on a path/road, and I am very safety conscious. I'm 66 years old.