When I turn my bike from East Mission Road here in Fallbrook, onto Live Oak Road, I’m like a kid. Know that I get to glide downhill for the next for the next 3-miles. Just three or four kicks after I make that turn, and I can let the gravy and good wheels do the work.
Live Oak Road is a meandering descent along the eastern edge of Fallbrook. As the name indicates, it’s lined with dozens of old oaks, a handful of which form tree tunnels along way. Riding this road can be transcendent, depending on my mood, and is often the cherry on top of my day.
Live Oak comes to an end when it reaches Reche Road — another beautiful 2-lane road, with more oaks and some beautiful homes as well. As I transitioned from Live Oak to Reche one evening last week, and as I passed one of those beautiful homes, I was startled when I heard several dogs barking. I’ve turned that corner hundreds of times and never heard dogs there before.
I looked over my right shoulder and saw three unleashed dogs, all stocky and looking to be (approximately) in the 60-pound range. They were different colors, appeared to be mixed breeds, and certainly had some fighting dog in them — because they were charging me at full speed. It took only a moment to realize they were running faster than I was pedaling.
The dog closest to me, a tan big-head, was running faster than I could ride. He looked hungry, and I have a lot of leg meat. Fortunately the gradient of the road increased, and going downhill allowed me to stay ahead of him. As I created some distance between me and the big-head, he slowed and turned back toward his two companions. At his closest, he was within 5 or 6 feet of me.
Once clear of any danger, I stopped, drank some water, and took in what had just happened. Experience has taught me that some dogs can run upwards of 25 to 30 mph. If I’m riding on a flat road, the fastest I can ride is roughly 25 mph. That is, if that road hadn’t turned downhill when the dogs began chasing me, they probably would’ve caught me.
That was the only time I can remember seeing dogs off-leash while I was riding, that I didn’t stop to try and find their homes. It was a busy road, they appeared aggressive, and I felt vulnerable. When I got home, I checked a couple of ‘lost pet’ pages for this area on social media, but found nothing similar. I’m hopeful they were local dogs whose steward left them unattended or left a gate open.
For the rest of the ride though, I kept imagining what would’ve happened if big-head dog had caught me. The last thing I’d ever want is to have to defend myself from a dog that’s the product of poor stewardship. I drove by that area later that day to see if I could find the owner or which yard the dogs came from. No luck.
I’ll still ride by that street in the future, but a lot faster, and without looking back.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 6
Mph Avg: 15.0
Seat Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from Oasis. Enjoy…!