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Why Leash Laws are Important

As I’m coming out of the mountains through Kentucky, the biggest issue I’ve been unfortunately faced with hasn’t been the inclines so much as the dogs–specifically yesterday. To any one considering traveling the Trans-American cycling route: don’t leave without an anti-dog pepper spray.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to use this stuff so far (either I’ve been able to outrun the dogs or they chased me at a far enough distance that I felt safe), but yesterday I had to spray at least a dozen dogs; Red Lick Road was the worst! You know that dog from The Sandlot? That was the first dog I had to spray. I was also chased by a German Shepard. At one point, someone had 5 vicious dogs in their yard (not one chained or fenced) and they simultaneously all chased me; I had to spray all of them.

…and we’re not exactly talking about a light spray. I got a small amount of this stuff on my lip and it *burned* until I was able to wash it with soap and water. I can’t imagine how badly those dogs are burning–especially those who got the blast to their eyes; they might never see again. I don’t like doing it, but when a dog is chasing you down at full speed, and it’s right next to your ankle ready to bite (which is more or less ambiguous to a rider–but too big of a chance to risk), we have no choice.

I don’t know if the leash laws here are non-existent or unenforced, but there’s a serious issue when dozens of massive, vicious dogs are let loose on a trail which dozens of cyclists pass by every week during the summer.

People: lock up your fucking dogs! (for both our sakes)

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