Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sweet Home Alabama, Where the dogs run loose

Dogs. Alabama dog owners do not keep the dogs controlled. My new song...Sweet home Alabama, where the dogs run loose!. I'll have to come up with more lyrics.

Today was another tough day. It started well enough. Guy and Pam had given us some good ideas for routes and the first part of the ride was lovely. We did have a lot of dog encounters. We were forewarned about two, but we found many more as the day rolled on.

May had gone forward to do some recon on the roads and found another closed road. Upon further investigation she found the road was open but it turned into the most horrendous chipseal known to man. And it went all the way to Greenville, our destination 9 or more miles down the road. It was misery!

Along with the chipseal, we are now dealing with more hills, and the heat seems to getting worse. We stopped at one house to ask for refills, graciously granted by the family living there. There were also no food stops along this route. We carried PBJ sandwiches and various other munchies to get us through the day.

Dogs. Ace thought we encountered at least 20 dogs.

  • A german shepherd, we were warned about. He is familiar with halt spray, and is somewhat leary of cyclists, but will give chase. We passed him slowly with Roger talking nicely to him.
  • A dog at a store that gave chase until Jo Squirted it with water. 
  • A cute Boxer pup that I managed to give a little kick in the nose - I didn't expect that to happen, but a kick in the nose is better than being run over. Maybe he will think twice before chasing the next cyclist.
  • A crazy pack of 5-6 little dogs that burst forth from a house off the road. 
  • A few others that considered giving chase, but followed commands to stay.
  • One pitbull, fortunately tied in it's front yard that was very aggressive. The woman came out yelling and beating on the dog, but it didn't have much effect.
Fun times.

We finally arrived in Greenville where Roger and I took the lead through town. Our motel was out on the interstate a few miles further. Jo and Ace fell behind and became separated from us. They eventually stopped as they felt the should turn at one intersection, where we had gone straight. Roger and I continued toward the interstate, stopped once for confirmation that we were heading the right way, topped one more hill and found the interstate ... at the wrong exit. We were a good two miles south of where we should be. We called Jo and told her to use google maps to find the motel. Roger and I would take the frontage road to the correct exit.

Except it wasn't a frontage road. It was the on ramp. We rode two miles up interstate 65 with 70 mph (posted and most likely exceeded) speed limits. Frankly, the shoulders were wide and pretty clean. The grades were gentle, and their was a rumble strip between us and traffic, so we would be able to hear any traffic coming onto the shoulder just before they squashed us like the local armadillos. It really felt safer than some of the narrow roads we have traversed. In fact it worked so well that tomorrow we shall ride back to that exit in the southbound lane as it is the connector to our road out of town.
Horses along the route
Jo and Ace

Some rolling hills along the good portions of the route

Cute little cabin
53 miles
1900 ft gain
1788 ft loss
No wind and HOT!


  1. Nice shot of the rolling hills. I had forgotten about dog encounters while on a bicycle (until now). I used my pump more than once...

    1. You probably had one of those long frame pumps. Mine is a little short thing. :)

  2. Sounds like it is getting tougher and those dogs don't help. Much worse on a bike than a motorcycle where you can outrun them quicker.

    Wow, riding on the side of the interstate, you are brave!

  3. Today was much better. We had quiet roads (Sunday). We left earlier than usual, and only two dog encounters. One chaser who almost got hit by a pickup, but stopped in time. Another sweet dog who came to bark at us when we stopped near his home, but we were snacking and soon made friends. I'll post a pic when I have internet again. The interstate isn't as bad as you think, mostly noisy. It's less busy than I-5, or at least, that was the case while we rode it.