Series: Things I Wish I Knew as a New Triathlete.
In the 1986 movie Stand by Me, a kid named Gordie gets caught taking a shortcut through a junkyard. Milo, the junkyard owner, demands answers and Gordie runs. Milo calls to his dog, "Chopper, sic'em, Boy!" But Gordie hears, "Chopper, sic balls!"
The chase begins.
I'm a dog person. I grew up with dogs as pets. Our family has a Lab named Sherpa . But, as a triathlete, spending miles on the bike and run, I hate dogs. They stalk, chase and terrify me.
The Choppers I've met on the road aren't sweet-hearted Retrievers like in Stand by Me. Instead, my Choppers are nasty, aggressive biters and like Gordie, I run and scream.
- outrunning/outriding the dog(s),
- screaming like a crazy person,
- pretending I'm not actually scared (we know from Jerry McGuire that dogs and bees can smell fear), and
- sacrificing my husband (Ken), making him ride past first.
Ken's not scared. He barks back and thinks that's funny (though he did get bit by a Golden Retriever!). Other triathletes say squirt loose dogs with water.
Read these suggestions & then tell me how you handle a Chopper:
- Stay calm, don't smile & don't run. If Chopper gets you, curl into a fetal position, stay still and don't scream. More tips here.
- No eye contact! What if the dog jumps? Tips here.
- Don't pet the dog.
- BeginnerTriathlete discusses dogs.
- Even Chihuahuas give a good chase.
- An old but good discussion thread from bikeforums.com.
- Dog vs Bike in the Tour de France here and here.
Tell me, what works for you? Anyone try Crocodile Dundee's custom move? (2nd half of the clip)In Stand By Me four kids setoff on a journey hoping to find the dead body of a missing boy. The film's trailer says, "For some, it's the last real taste of innocence. And the first real taste of life. But for everyone it's the time that memories are made of."
Like Stand By Me, triathlon is an adventure, filled with memory-making moments. While my bike and run miles may not be Chopper-free, I hope to deny Chopper his first real taste of me.
Bite me Chopper.
Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities. 2009 is your year to taste triathlon. As a triathlete, you'll surprise yourself as you face fears and set personal bests. You'll be more confident, have more energy and smile more often. People will be drawn to that difference. Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities, wearing underwear is optional. Sleestak sightings rare. Dogs, many.
Check out Why You Can series:Common excuses:
1-I have no time. 2-I can't afford it. 3-I'm too old. 4-I'm afraid. 5-I'm not an athlete.
Also see Series: Things I Wish I Knew As a New Triathlete:
#1 My swimsuit was see-through.
#2 Go Commando: Things I Wish I Knew
#3 Land of the Lost Training
And visit me in active.com's triathlon community. Come say hello, I'm a volunteer moderator!