I ride my mountain bike on our street several days a week for exercise. There are three good hills that provide some aerobic exercise. If I ride the length of the street twice it is four miles total. Not a lot of exercise but better than nothing. I also get to see what is happening in the neighborhood. I like to count the number of rabbits that are visible.
One of my neighboors has a Yorkie terrier and a minature Schnauzer that like to chase me when I go by their house. They are small and don't concern me. Recently a pit bull puppy was added to the pack. He has learned to chase me from running with his pack. At first he just ran beside my front tire — his endurance was impressive. A few days later he started running beside my rotating foot. Last week he decided that biting my foot would be fun.
He's too small and young to deliver a bad bite, but when he grows up a bite could be serious. I decided it would be best to "nip it in the bud". So I started researching how to discourage an aggressive dog from a bike. Thoughtful friend David W. suggestion an ultrasonic dog repeller (a gadget producing a piercing ultrasonic tone that humans can’t detect but will discourage a dog from approaching). I ordered one from Amazon.
For several days after it arrived, the dogs weren't out. But on Thursday of last week, they were in the front yard as I rolled down the hill in front of their house. They set the ambush for my return. As I approached, the Yorkie ran out and I pointed the ultrasonic gadget at him and pushed the button as I rode by. He stopped and never came into the street (which could save his life, because the dogs don't look to see if a car is coming). The pit bull puppy didn't slow down when I pointed it at him. As I pumped up the hill, he moved in to bite my left foot. I pointed the gadget at him from two feet (I was pumping up the hill at the time). He backed off and ran around behind my bike to come up on the right side. I switched the gadget to my right hand and pointed it at him point blank.
He kept moving in and then pulled up and stopped. I rode on up the street, unchased, thinking about whether the gadget had worked. About 200 yards up the street, I noticed that the plastic slider that holds the battery in was missing. I checked my pocket and it was there. I pulled it out and started putting the rectangular piece back in place, without stopping.
As I was working with the gadget, my bike dipped to the right and I wasn't prepared to correct. I went down — hit the street hard. I had that sudden shock of realization that I had made a stupid move and was paying for it. I'd forgotten how hard pavement is. As I got up, I was grateful that nothing was broken. My right knee made first contact and I had a big patch of road rash on it. My elbow and hand hit next — I like to think that Aikido training in the distant past had kicked in and helped me deflect some of the energy of the fall with a curved arm. More road rash…. Looking back, I was lucky I wasn't hurt badly. Now, a week later, the road rash has almost healed and the soreness is gone.
I'll continue to experiment with ultrasonic animal training and post more findings in the future. I'll also be more careful about paying attention to gadgets when I'm riding a bike or driving. Accidents happen quickly! Stupidity has a price.