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What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 7th 17, 03:16 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

I just wanted to toss this question out there, and see what you guys think.

There have been several news reports about the pit bull attacks.

People are getting to be too afraid to ride their bikes on the bike trail.

Every once in awhile the Sacramento County Sheriff will roust the homeless people, and they will move up hwy. 50 to somewhere near Placerville. Then after awhile the El Dorado County Sheriff will roust them again, and they go back to the bike trail area.

How can cyclists protect themselves from such attacks? All thoughts on this issue will be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old August 7th 17, 06:15 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Stephen Harding[_3_]
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Posts: 6
Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

On 08/07/2017 10:16 AM, wrote:
I just wanted to toss this question out there, and see what you guys think.

There have been several news reports about the pit bull attacks.

People are getting to be too afraid to ride their bikes on the bike trail.

Every once in awhile the Sacramento County Sheriff will roust the homeless people, and they will move up hwy. 50 to somewhere near Placerville. Then after awhile the El Dorado County Sheriff will roust them again, and they go back to the bike trail area.

How can cyclists protect themselves from such attacks? All thoughts on this issue will be appreciated.


Pepper spray?

I suppose if really desperate, there's always the handgun solution, but that would
depend on your local tolerances to gunfire as well as legal permitting and use laws.

While I personally have a license to carry, I live in a very politically liberal area
of Western Massachusetts and I would guess if I shot even an attacking [even rabid]
dog, I'd be in big legal trouble and the focus of a lot of community outrage.

Furthermore, I really wouldn't want to shoot any sort of critter unless that creature
was *really* threatening me. I've been bit before!


SMH


  #4  
Old August 8th 17, 03:23 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

On 8/7/2017 10:16 AM, wrote:
I just wanted to toss this question out there, and see what you guys think.

There have been several news reports about the pit bull attacks.

People are getting to be too afraid to ride their bikes on the bike trail.

Every once in awhile the Sacramento County Sheriff will roust the homeless people, and they will move up hwy. 50 to somewhere near Placerville. Then after awhile the El Dorado County Sheriff will roust them again, and they go back to the bike trail area.

How can cyclists protect themselves from such attacks? All thoughts on this issue will be appreciated.


We started avid cycling while living in a small redneck town in a
southern U.S. state. Loose dogs were very common, and we were chased
almost every ride. A certain percentage of owners were offended that we
defended ourselves. But defend ourselves we did.

I tried many techniques, but what worked best for me was carrying a few
rocks in a handlebar bag. I preferred round-ish rocks about 1.5"
diameter. I got quite good at throwing hard while riding. Many dogs
would stop their charge as soon as my hand went up. I think they had
experience getting hit by thrown rocks, but the knowledge may be in
their genes. If they didn't stop, they soon got experience getting hit.

The main advantage was range. "Halt" pepper spray has a maximum range
of about 10 feet, and it's only reliable at half that distance. A
well-thrown rock could hit at double that range. (The main disadvantage
was having to carry rocks!)

Since moving to a much more civilized area, my dog problem has vanished.
I now carry "Halt" and leave the rocks where they are, unless a very
aggressive dog demands training. Then I pick up the rocks and do return
visits to train him. It's a service I provide for free.

Even the "Halt" is used very, very rarely, perhaps once per year. But
since my wife is afraid of getting bitten (due to our southern
experience) I have the stuff available on both of my most-used bikes.
Most dogs give enough warning that I can have it ready.

Oh, and I find that simply having it ready seems to dissuade most dogs.
I think they can sense confidence as well as fear. In fact, if a dog
looks like he may want to give chase, I glare at him immediately. Many
turn their heads and deliberately look elsewhere.


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #5  
Old August 13th 17, 06:49 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
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Posts: 2,914
Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along the Folsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

On Mon, 7 Aug 2017 22:23:24 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 8/7/2017 10:16 AM, wrote:
I just wanted to toss this question out there, and see what you guys think.

There have been several news reports about the pit bull attacks.

People are getting to be too afraid to ride their bikes on the bike trail.

Every once in awhile the Sacramento County Sheriff will roust the homeless people, and they will move up hwy. 50 to somewhere near Placerville. Then after awhile the El Dorado County Sheriff will roust them again, and they go back to the bike trail area.

How can cyclists protect themselves from such attacks? All thoughts on this issue will be appreciated.


We started avid cycling while living in a small redneck town in a
southern U.S. state. Loose dogs were very common, and we were chased
almost every ride. A certain percentage of owners were offended that we
defended ourselves. But defend ourselves we did.

I tried many techniques, but what worked best for me was carrying a few
rocks in a handlebar bag. I preferred round-ish rocks about 1.5"
diameter. I got quite good at throwing hard while riding. Many dogs
would stop their charge as soon as my hand went up. I think they had
experience getting hit by thrown rocks, but the knowledge may be in
their genes. If they didn't stop, they soon got experience getting hit.

The main advantage was range. "Halt" pepper spray has a maximum range
of about 10 feet, and it's only reliable at half that distance. A
well-thrown rock could hit at double that range. (The main disadvantage
was having to carry rocks!)

Since moving to a much more civilized area, my dog problem has vanished.
I now carry "Halt" and leave the rocks where they are, unless a very
aggressive dog demands training. Then I pick up the rocks and do return
visits to train him. It's a service I provide for free.

Even the "Halt" is used very, very rarely, perhaps once per year. But
since my wife is afraid of getting bitten (due to our southern
experience) I have the stuff available on both of my most-used bikes.
Most dogs give enough warning that I can have it ready.

Oh, and I find that simply having it ready seems to dissuade most dogs.
I think they can sense confidence as well as fear. In fact, if a dog
looks like he may want to give chase, I glare at him immediately. Many
turn their heads and deliberately look elsewhere.


Over here, and that seems to cover Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand,
dogs ether instinctively or perhaps from experience seem to know that
if someone bends over, as to pick up a stone and raises their arm as
to throw it, that they are in trouble and will usually turn and run.
This doesn't, to my experience, seem to work quite as well on a
bicycle. They can't se you pickup the stone, I imagine :-)

There was a pack of dogs that seemed to patrol an area in front of a
hardware store about 10 km from the village I live in, in Phuket, and
apparently resented anything that enter "their" territory.
Unfortunately, 50 yards of so before the store there was a stop light
and if you caught it red by the time the light changed there was a
whole bunch of dogs waiting for you with the Alpha Dog at the head of
the pack.

One day I stopped at the light and there was a woman on a small motor
bike there also. When the light turned green off we went with her in
the lead and, of course, out came the dogs. Instead of running for it,
as I had been doing the woman stopped the motor bike and (it was one
of those step through Honda's) stood up and shouted at the dogs (in a
commanding voice) to "Get out of here!". "Get gone you mutts!". "Now,
Get!".The dogs stopped so short that they almost skidded and turned
tail and ran.

I never had the nerve to do that (we do have rabies here) but I've
always wished I dared. After all I was a Master Sergeant in the Air
Force and my "command voice" *should* be as powerful as that of a Thai
Farm Wife.... shouldn't it?
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #6  
Old August 14th 17, 06:38 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Posts: 4,962
Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

On 8/13/2017 1:49 AM, John B. wrote:

One day I stopped at the light and there was a woman on a small motor
bike there also. When the light turned green off we went with her in
the lead and, of course, out came the dogs. Instead of running for it,
as I had been doing the woman stopped the motor bike and (it was one
of those step through Honda's) stood up and shouted at the dogs (in a
commanding voice) to "Get out of here!". "Get gone you mutts!". "Now,
Get!".The dogs stopped so short that they almost skidded and turned
tail and ran.

I never had the nerve to do that (we do have rabies here) but I've
always wished I dared. After all I was a Master Sergeant in the Air
Force and my "command voice" *should* be as powerful as that of a Thai
Farm Wife.... shouldn't it?


Decades ago, while still down south, my wife and I were on a country
ride when we passed though a sort of trashy area with a bunch of
delapidated houses and house trailers. We'd been chased before by dogs
in that area, but for some reason I didn't have the rocks ready. Maybe
it was before I worked out the rock technique.

This time a pack of about ten or twelve came running out after us. The
lead dogs were soon just a meter or so from our right feet, with the
others close behind.

Instead of yelling, I _barked_ at them, just one loud, deep, mean
"RROWFF" bark, like an angry Alsatian.

The lead dog tried to skid to a stop. The next couple dogs ran over him,
and one thought he was being attacked. We heard snarling and growling
and rode on as the dogs either fought among themselves or stopped to, I
suppose, cheer their favorite on.

It was very satisfying.

--
- Frank Krygowski
  #7  
Old August 15th 17, 08:17 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
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Posts: 2,914
Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along the Folsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

On Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:38:22 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 8/13/2017 1:49 AM, John B. wrote:

One day I stopped at the light and there was a woman on a small motor
bike there also. When the light turned green off we went with her in
the lead and, of course, out came the dogs. Instead of running for it,
as I had been doing the woman stopped the motor bike and (it was one
of those step through Honda's) stood up and shouted at the dogs (in a
commanding voice) to "Get out of here!". "Get gone you mutts!". "Now,
Get!".The dogs stopped so short that they almost skidded and turned
tail and ran.

I never had the nerve to do that (we do have rabies here) but I've
always wished I dared. After all I was a Master Sergeant in the Air
Force and my "command voice" *should* be as powerful as that of a Thai
Farm Wife.... shouldn't it?


Decades ago, while still down south, my wife and I were on a country
ride when we passed though a sort of trashy area with a bunch of
delapidated houses and house trailers. We'd been chased before by dogs
in that area, but for some reason I didn't have the rocks ready. Maybe
it was before I worked out the rock technique.

This time a pack of about ten or twelve came running out after us. The
lead dogs were soon just a meter or so from our right feet, with the
others close behind.


Are you sure that it was "our" right feet?

Early in our married life we lived a bit out of town where the
quickest way to the village was by walking down a dike between two
rice paddies. One day we were walking down the dike to town and a
water buffalo came running down the dike toward us. He was probably a
hundred, or maybe more, meters from us when we saw him and we sort of
huddled there, I was wondering whether to jump in the paddy when the
buffalo turned onto an intersecting dike and disappeared in the
distance.

I turned to my wife who was still sort of crouched behind me and said
something like, "Here! Why are you behind me?" She replied, "You are
my husband and you are supposed to take care of me."

--
Cheers,

John B.

  #8  
Old August 16th 17, 06:26 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
NFN Smith[_2_]
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Posts: 18
Default What to do about pit bulls belonging to homeless people along theFolsom-Sacramento, CA bike trail?

There's several different things happening in this, including stuff
specifically relating to cycling, the Sacramento area, pit bulls, and
social trends. I have a little bit of experience with Sacramento,
although I've never been on the American River Trail.

wrote:
I just wanted to toss this question out there, and see what you guys
think.

There have been several news reports about the pit bull attacks.

People are getting to be too afraid to ride their bikes on the bike
trail.


I think that there's a lot that's related to the condition of homeless
in the area, and right now, homeless issues are prominent in Sacramento.
The downtown area has always been something of a magnet for homeless,
and I think it's probably worse in more recent years with the big
shelter on 12th street.

The thing with shelters is that there are people who either cannot or
will not stay there, but end up being in proximity. Some of those people
are ones that have animals with them, and many shelters won't allow the
animals. Thus, some of those people are likely to end up in the
Discovery Park area.

With pit bulls, the attraction is often that they're perceived as
"tough", and it wouldn't surprise me that some of the people who are
more chronically homeless may be attracted to them, partially because
they're often affectionate and good companions, and also that they're
perceived as good protection.

I don't claim to know much about pit bulls, and there's some amounts of
debate, but with any dog, they can attack if they feel that "their"
space is being encroached upon. With pit bulls, if that attack happens,
it's likely to be more ferocious.



Every once in awhile the Sacramento County Sheriff will roust the
homeless people, and they will move up hwy. 50 to somewhere near
Placerville. Then after awhile the El Dorado County Sheriff will
roust them again, and they go back to the bike trail area.

How can cyclists protect themselves from such attacks? All thoughts
on this issue will be appreciated.


As noted, I think the key issue is a matter of when the dog feels
threatened on space it considers its own. And as noted, it's not limited
to pit bulls, but other breeds, as well. Also, it's a probable that a
dog belonging to a homeless person is probably not well-trained,
especially in how to get along with humans.

Unfortunately, in such circumstances, there's no easy way of pushing
back, to make the dog understand that the space at issue does not belong
to the dog. And to clear the space, about the only thing you can do is
to complain to local law enforcement. And even then, they may not have
a lot of ability to do anything, unless there are demonstrable problems
with the presence of the homeless person.

As for a bicyclist, it's important to avoid provoking the dog,
especially making eye contact that would cause the dog to feel
challenged. But some dogs may be provoked by your presence in "their"
space. If a dog charges you, then there's ways of fighting back -- as
noted elsewhere in this thread, throwing rocks, or using something like
pepper spray may help. Actually, one thing that I learned in this
newsgroup years ago is that your water bottle can be a useful defensive
tool, and a dog that gets an unexpected burst of cold water in the face
may pull up, because of the shock of the unexpected. However, that's
probably more useful against dog that's simply barking, rather than one
that's intent on attack.

However, one point of caution, especially in a situation where you may
find repeated encounters with the same dog -- defending with something
like pepper spray may be something that extracts you from that
situation, but it may be only one-time help. Some dogs may remember that
and learn, and if you (or another cyclist) have a subsequent encounter
with the same dog, that may actually make the dog more aggressive, and
possibly more dangerous. Thus, if you've pepper-sprayed a dog, and you
you come back days (or even weeks or months) later, and the dog
recognizes you, it may be spoiling for a fight.

If it comes to fighting back against a dog, better with low-tech
solutions (water or rocks) that try to establish the space as yours,
rather than something that causes sufficient discomfort to the dog that
will make it more easily provoked in the future.

Smith


 




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