Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My cycling in Singapore experiences - dog chase

This is quite uncommon to me. Most of the time I ride on main roads that have regular traffic and not too quiet.

The only time I was madly chased by dogs was along Woodlands Road towards Causeway. Once I was going to Johor Bahru late night by bicycle. There are industrial buildings besides Woodlands Road. These places are ... dark and quiet at night, and the there usually equip with fierce strong large dogs to guard the facilities. It was the first, and could be the only time I rode on this road at night. In fact, it was close to midnight.

With no other cars on the road, dim street light, and I was enjoying the down slope, suddenly I heard barking of dogs. I turned and saw at least 3 to 4 huge black dogs sprinting towards me. Although the common knowledge is not to run when there are dogs around, but I was already traveling at a speed faster than running, should I stop? I decided that I should be able to out run these dogs, and sped forward.

Lucky for me, but sorry for the fastest dog that catch up and touch my bike or rear wheel, I just managed to escape safely. My heart was beating very fast. Later when I thought about the encounter, I don't think I rode faster than the dogs. I think what happened should be that either I managed to ride out of their territory before they reached me, or the first dog was injured when it attacked my fast spinning wheel.

I also have ridden around some estates in Johor late at night. My personal experience regarding dogs is not to ride into their territory quietly, but create some noise in advance. It seems to me having lights and sounds, and non-accelerating speed help. My reasoning is that given advance notice and sufficient time for the dogs to assess the situation and recognize what is approaching, they will not find it necessary to be aggressive and chase me. I imagine that when a dog suddenly realize something is moving very near to its territory, it doesn't have time to think, and will instinctively turn aggressive and attack the assumed aggressor.

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