Beware: Dogs Bark And Bite In The Bible Belt
Updated: Apr 15
Beware that dogs bark and bite in the Bible Belt. Many have heard of the Bible Belt. A few, mainly Trans America pedaling on purpose cyclists like the TA2020 Team, now realize there is also a Bark Belt within that Bible Belt. A former held view of this cyclist that two types of dogs existed, chasers or barkers, has now expanded. There are at least eight different types of cyclist-harassing dogs that the TA Team faced in western Missouri, throughout Kentucky, and into the western part of Virginia. One: sneaky dog. Sneaky dog doesn’t bark and doesn’t chase the prey until the last minute. He seemingly likes to scare and alarm the person and may not even bark running along side, but is growling and baring teeth. Two: merry-go-round dog. Circles the bike running in front of it to supposedly intimidate, but never intends to bite. Merry-go-round dog has no common sense in that running in front of the bike may have serious consequences. Three: dead dog. A tragic version of the merry-go-round dog that chased cars too. Biting the tire led to “biting the dust.” Four: big dawg or gang-leader dog. Leader of another or pack of dogs. The alpha or big-dawg leads the pack, but keeps looking back at all the other dogs to join in and get closer to intimidate the cyclist. Rarely is big-dawg successful because the other dogs just want to bark. Five: crazy canine. Crazy canine barks feverishly and runs back-and-forth on property usually inside a fence, but never comes out to encounter the cyclist. Really, this dog has nothing better to do. Six: lazy dog. Lazy dog lets out a couple of yelps and barks but is too old and / or tired to make any more effort. Seven: play-dog. Play-dog barks with tail wagging incessantly. A nice dog that doesn’t need yelled at, squirted with water, or out-raced and just wants to play.
Eight: Kamikazee dog. Ben Ewig (Jack’s son) labeled this one from years ago on a cross country trip. The initial pursuit is much like sneaky dog, but something else clicks like a switch in its head that says, “let’s dive-bomb my noggin into that spinning wheel”, sending said rider over the handle bars and leaving K-dog with a mangled nose.
Unlisted is a nineth type, barking and biting dog. The reason is, none of the TA Team got bit. Slowing down to the point of even walking the bike seems to be the best solution. Once Bark Belt dogs feel no threat or “thrill of the hunt”, the game is over. Plenty of challenges ensued on the Trans America Adventure, getting bit was not one and that’s just fine with the TA Team! Leave comments and tell what kind of dog you have or have encountered in cycling, walking, and jogging ventures.