Author Topic: Biking in the desert  (Read 2507 times)

anotherone

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Biking in the desert
« on: July 05, 2017, 02:54:32 AM »
I need advice of a strange variety.

I live in a tiny, remote city ('city' being a generous term) in Jordan which is just a small blip on a two lane highway in the middle of the desert. Said highway is straight, flat and ideal for a road bike, so a couple of days ago I threw a used road bike I purchased in Amman into the back of my truck and hauled it out to where I'm living. Two 30-minute rides this week have both gone well in terms of exercise (I'm a runner but have been suffering from recurring injuries so I'm using this as a way to stay in shape).

I have to bike early in the morning for several reasons:

1) It's too damn hot to wait until long after the sun comes up.
2) It's too damn hot to go after work.
3) Waiting until it gets dark and cools down in the evening won't work because there is no proper lighting in the area (and people aren't used to seeing bikes so I'm not sure lighting myself up like a Christmas tree would help keep me from getting run over).

I'm okay with biking in the morning since I'm an early riser anyway, there is just one major issue: At dawn and the early hours of the morning (any time before 7:30), the outskirts of town are run by packs of angry, wild dogs.

In two days I've had four epic sprints to outrun them - each successful - but I'm not here to get rabies (I have my shots, so that's good at least). There are only two routes which I can take to get out of town (one in either direction) and both feature packs of dogs.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can avoid any major confrontations with wild dogs while on my bike?

oblivo

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 03:42:15 AM »
Seems like having your own pack of dogs could help

anotherone

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 04:47:06 AM »
Seems like having your own pack of dogs could help

This would be the cutest option, until it turned into a dog battle to the death...

Linea_Norway

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 04:54:10 AM »
I think lighting up your bicycle like a christmas tree would have with the lighting issue. Make sure you have reflectors on the back, on your pedals ideally and between your wheels. And otherwise active lights in front and back. You need to have a strong light to light up the street.

About annoying dogs: is it an option for you to park your car outside your town and cycle from there? Would a box of pepper spray be legal where you live?

anotherone

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 05:09:58 AM »
I think lighting up your bicycle like a christmas tree would have with the lighting issue. Make sure you have reflectors on the back, on your pedals ideally and between your wheels. And otherwise active lights in front and back. You need to have a strong light to light up the street.

About annoying dogs: is it an option for you to park your car outside your town and cycle from there? Would a box of pepper spray be legal where you live?

Driving out of town and starting from there isn't a bad idea! I am wary, however, about just leaving my car on the side of the road for a few reasons though:
a) It's not MY car, it is my organization's
b) There is nowhere proper to park it
c) It is an area with a large military presence and I wouldn't want to cause a security incident if people were freaked out by an abandoned car

Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend anyway.

Re: pepper spray
a) I am almost 100% certain it is illegal to carry here
b) It is a type of weapon, which I am not permitted to carry

Linea_Norway

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 05:27:15 AM »
I think lighting up your bicycle like a christmas tree would have with the lighting issue. Make sure you have reflectors on the back, on your pedals ideally and between your wheels. And otherwise active lights in front and back. You need to have a strong light to light up the street.

About annoying dogs: is it an option for you to park your car outside your town and cycle from there? Would a box of pepper spray be legal where you live?

Driving out of town and starting from there isn't a bad idea! I am wary, however, about just leaving my car on the side of the road for a few reasons though:
a) It's not MY car, it is my organization's
b) There is nowhere proper to park it
c) It is an area with a large military presence and I wouldn't want to cause a security incident if people were freaked out by an abandoned car

Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend anyway.

Re: pepper spray
a) I am almost 100% certain it is illegal to carry here
b) It is a type of weapon, which I am not permitted to carry

About your car, leave a note under the window explaining why you parked it and your phone number. Just in case someone freaks out.

shawndoggy

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 06:40:05 AM »
I have many of the same issues riding in the desert in the states.  I was nodding right along with you with the early morning being by far the best time to ride... right up until the pack of wild dogs part!

So the joke among cyclists would be to bring a slower friend with you because you don't really have to be faster than the dogs, just faster than the slowest person in your group.

What about something like a can of wasp spray, which will usually spray straight for 20 feet or so?  Still, that (or pepper spray) would be a last resort IMHO because you're not going to be able to get to top speed with a can in one hand.  Really, aside from avoiding the dogs (as has already been suggested), I'm not sure there's much you can do that you aren't doing already.... namely seeing this as a highly motivating way to work on your sprint.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 10:27:39 AM by shawndoggy »

honeybbq

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 10:10:50 AM »
Are you opposed to cycling indoors? You could get a bike trainer if you are doing it purely for exercise.

spokey doke

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 09:37:00 AM »
That is a really tough one...while I'm a die hard cyclist, real packs of wild dogs would put me right off the sport if I didn't have some serious deterrents available like pepper spray (and even then, why deal with that on a regular basis?).

A long bike pump can be a weapon too, but if it is more than one dog, that is no good, and you want both hands on the bars to crank up the speed.

If you can't get to a place that is safe to bike, then it is not safe to bike.  A trainer/rollers takes care of both the heat and dog problems (even though it is pretty lame compared to the real thing).

Good luck...

Inaya

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 11:14:50 AM »

shawndoggy

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 11:41:33 AM »
great idea inaya!

Dave1442397

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 12:29:09 PM »
Would something like this work? https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Dazer-II-Ultrasonic-Deterrent/dp/B000IBRI2Y

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. This might be better than pepper spray, and it doesn't hurt the dogs.

acroy

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 12:58:54 PM »
Daym. I have no advice for you, OP you badass you.

In for pics!!

Aggie1999

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 01:24:46 PM »
No actual advice from me but this is one of the best post I have seen on these forums since I joined 6 months ago. I can just imagine Mad Max in my head while reading the original post.

anotherone

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Re: Biking in the desert
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 12:46:27 AM »
So the joke among cyclists would be to bring a slower friend with you because you don't really have to be faster than the dogs, just faster than the slowest person in your group.

There'd have to be more than one person with a bicycle in this town for that to work :P

Are you opposed to cycling indoors? You could get a bike trainer if you are doing it purely for exercise.

I am doing it purely for exercise, as an alternative to running (I find the heat a bit easier to deal with on the bike compared to on my feet), but I'm not a huge fan of trainers and the whole idea is to get outside and away from the constant stream of AC I live in (regular daytime temperatures here are in the 45-50 degree Celcius range - 110-120 Fahrenheit for my American friends).

Would something like this work? https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Dazer-II-Ultrasonic-Deterrent/dp/B000IBRI2Y

If only I could get Amazon deliveries here haha.

I have hooked up a super obnoxious horn on my bike now though (very siren-like actually), so I'll see if that has any impact (as long as I remember to push the button while I'm working on my sprint).

Daym. I have no advice for you, OP you badass you.

In for pics!!

I'll wear my GoPro one day maybe, though have to be careful with it due to military presence everywhere and they don't love cameras.

No actual advice from me but this is one of the best post I have seen on these forums since I joined 6 months ago. I can just imagine Mad Max in my head while reading the original post.

Thanks for the workout music inspiration!