When cycling, there’s many things that I enjoy.
There are many things that I enjoy about cycling, as well as what I get to experience when I am indeed cycling.
I like the feeling of motion, I like the wind, I like the ease of access to things, I like almost getting into a collision with someone’s pet…
I really don’t like almost getting into a collision with someone’s pet.
People walk their animals. That’s absolutely fine. I would never suggest that it was a bad thing to walk one’s pet as pets need exercise and you’re not going to stick them on a treadmill unless you’re too lazy to walk your pet, in which case you probably shouldn’t have one as you don’t just have a pet; you have a family member that needs to be looked after and taken care of, so if you think that it is perfectly acceptable to have your dog run on a treadmill to get its exercise instead of actually taking it out to walk it which would mean you need to get off your ass on a regular basis, then you’re a jerk.
Too often I get to see someone walking their animal (or animals in some instances) without a lead in an area that directly says not to have your pet off a lead and too often does it lead to some close calls.
A few months ago, whilst I was heading home at night I was heading onto a shared path. Two people were walking their dog which just so happened to be fairly big. It was not on its lead, running about wherever it felt like.
I couldn’t tell as to which was it was going to head and for a moment I could not see the dog. It came out from behind a tree right near me. My bike almost hit the dog. I was not going as fast as I could have been going, but I was still going at a fast pace.
Thankfully there was no accident, but it would not have been good if there was and I doubt that the dog would have survived without at least some issues down the track.
One of the owners expressed some sort of panic just before the accident didn’t happen. As I was going past I just said “lead” to them because I didn’t feel like getting off my bike and telling them as to why they failed as people with a pet.
That might seem a bit aggressive, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to have someone have a really harsh go at you if you’re going to let a pet wander around without a lead in an area that requires you to have pets on a lead as it’s a shared zone with vehicles.
If you think that it is perfectly okay to have your animal companion run around freely in an area where it is at risk if not on a lead, then you deserve to be called an idiot in as many words as whatever arbitrary requirement of words used needs to be met at the time.
A few years ago I was living in Forest Lodge. I was cycling home when I saw a cat on the ground behind car stopped on the side of the road. I went past slightly, then turned around. The cat ran onto the road whilst the car was coming along and the driver did not have enough time to stop.
Whilst it wasn’t what one would call a mess, it was pretty upsetting to see.
The people who were driving spoke to the owner and took the cat to the vet.
This was a car accident. A bike is far less likely to cause as much damage, but an impact from a bike can still be quite severe and not just for the owner of a pet.
When people are letting their animal companion run around a lead-required area free of a lead, they are essentially trusting cyclists to be able to react as fast as they expect cyclists (and other vehicle-users as well as other pedestrians) to be able to react.
The thing is that it is highly unlikely that anyone will be able to react as quickly as you think that they should be able to, especially when it is dark when a moving object could appear very suddenly in front of you. People can only react as quickly as they are able to in any given situation.
The thing is that people don’t seem to consider that it’s not just the life of their pet that they’re risking. They seem to think that because it is only their pet, a creature that you’d hope they love dearly that they are risking, that it won’t affect anyone else. They know their pet and they know that no trouble will come from letting it roam free in an area where it is at risk when roaming free. Besides which, it’s a bit cruel to not let the animal stretch its legs every now and then and have a bit of a roam.
A real shame that there’s dedicated areas just for free-roaming activity for animals that can be found in many places that are easy to access.
It is not just your animal that you are risking. You are putting other people at risk.
It doesn’t matter if your animal has never done that before.
This kind of attitude is almost as idiotic as, when someone who was caught speeding and put on probation is getting chewed out about their shitty behaviour, tell the person chewing them out that because they haven’t been driving for twenty years they don’t understand, then try to defend the speeding by saying that they haven’t hit anyone.
I understand that not everyone thinks like this, but they are not excused from increasing the risk of an accident.
No one wants to see that situation become a reality.
The time it took to write one thousand words: 20:00:73
This was another one that ended up spilling over five-hundred words.
I think I got my point across.
Written at work.