Today’s QT comes to us from Premium Member (and a regular correspondent of mine) Greg Titus, an Iowa roadie who admittedly has more dog issues than most roadies based on where he rides. But he’s developed what he believes to be the absolute best deterrent to any feisty, nuisance or attacking dog. He’s also graciously agreed to share with fellow RBR readers his 12-page article with step-by-step instructions on how to make his “dog poppers.”
Note: the article includes a list of other “solutions” Greg’s heard of over the years. He recites them only to shoot them down; please do not take his mentioning of some of the more “noxious” of these as any sort of endorsement. Greg rightly points out that loose dogs are not at fault; their human owners are the real problem. So the dogs do not deserve to be done any real harm unless they are doing real harm to the cyclist. —John Marsh
This is probably not a problem for most roadies out there, but for some of us in rural areas it is: dogs.
A dog coming out onto the road (for any reason) is a real safety hazard for a cyclist. (I had one take me down, causing a fractured collarbone.) I’ve come up with a way to effectively deter dogs that I want to share.
Last night on a group ride I used my technique and one of the guys asked me how to make the “dog poppers.” I had previously prepared a guide for doing just that (a lot of it tongue-in-cheek), so when I emailed it to the group, one of them (an RBR Member) told me to send it in.
Attached is The Dog Popper Guide (about 12 pages). Easy reading, if you have the time.
Here’s the Quick Tip submission:
This is a very effective way to keep dogs away from you when cycling: carry a type of firecracker that detonates when it hits a hard surface. They’re small, light, cheap, and easy to carry in a jersey pocket (search for “adult snap pops” online).
When a dog comes out on the road as you ride by, throw down a “dog popper” and BANG! – it stops him dead in his tracks. He’ll run back to his yard and almost never chases again.
You can glue 2 or more together to make a louder noise. Coat them in beeswax (works better than paraffin) to make them more durable and waterproof. I’ve “trained” approximately 80 dogs this wayover the last few years, and it’s worked better than anything else I’ve tried.
If you have an idea for a QT, fire away. We’re always looking for good info we can share with fellow roadies. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have. Contact us by clicking Quick Tips Ideas.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team