My DDD – Dog Deterrent Device.
Here one element of bicycle safety that you may not have considered: dealing with dogs during your ride. I ride on country roads in North Carolina where there are a lot of dogs running free. They can be a serious problem; outrunning them is not the answer as they run in packs and are excellent at running across the tobacco fields to cut you off.
We’ve tried a bunch of things, including stern commands and stopping the bike so you look less like fleeing prey and more like a bigger, tougher adversary. That works pretty well, but it takes a lot of time.
Thinking about the problem, I remembered that dogs have excellent hearing as well as other senses and are quite sensitive to noise. A horn wouldn’t be loud enough. But… a compressed air boat horn might be! I bought one and went for a test ride past the worst dog area I know.
It stopped them cold in their tracks and they turned and ran. Somewhere there may be dogs that will come on anyway, but we have yet to meet them.
Just to be clear, this is a very small horn available at boat stores or WalMart. In boat stores they sell compressed air refills; in WalMart they sell only the whole horn with tank. But they sell it for about $7 and it can last a year.
The assembled horn is 5 ½” long, the radius of the tank cylinder is just under
1 ½ “ and the whole thing weighs just 3 oz.
WARNING; IT IS EXCEPTIONALLY LOUD. Never point it at anyone or yourself and never use it inside a building. I suspect you could damage your hearing if you used it near your ears. If you use it in your home, you’ll never see your cats again. Humm!
I mounted it to my bike by using a 2” long piece of PVC plumbing pipe –The pipe has a 2” outside diameter and a 1 5/8” inside diameter.
I tie wrapped it to the bike stem that comes out of the headset, then taped it vertically with duct tape so the tie wraps couldn’t slide off. It isn’t pretty, but it works.
I use it on every ride and feel a great deal safer and no longer like prey. Neat gizmos like this won’t physically hurt dogs, but it will help improve bicycle safety while keeping them away.
Give it a try and let us hear from you!!