December 6, 2016 – Cloudy, 55 degrees
Miles Today: 38
Miles to Date: 19,945
States to Date: 47
In the lexicon of touring cyclists, Alabama = dogs. Today, after a lovely morning ride through Hale County farmland and an invigorating visit to Auburn Rural Studio, I headed east on County Road 20 and turned north on Highway 23.
There they were, commanding the top of a rise like a posse out of the old west: a line of dogs. What could I do but approach, cautiously; glad for the warning their elevation afforded me.
Three…four… a truck came along and scattered them before I got a full count … at least four. I descended a swale in full view. They caught my scent and came on, six in all, frisky and still growing, happy and playful as Spanky and Our Gang. I had nothing to fear, and neither did they. I turned east at their intersection, but they didn’t follow. They stayed in their pack at their corner, the rural equivalent of a street gang.
Further on, a trio of dogs came on me from the left. Later, a quartet. All sharp barkers with no bite. Thank goodness for that.
I find dogs, animals that I adore, cause the most fear for me when cycling. It is impossible to ascertain their intent when approaching. I always have a pit in my stomach, wishing for an uneventful passage. Glad that was your experience.
Thankfully, so far all dogs’ barks have been worse than their bite.