This entry was posted on Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 12:44 pm and is filed under Funny stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
An engineering teacher in Texas emails his announcement that he’s designing a dog scarer for cyclists. In some parts of the world this is a big issue. When global touring, for instance, you don’t want to be bitten by a dog. It could have rabies.
The sound of a bicycle humming along certainly seems to annoy many dogs. Richard Ballantine, author of the 1970s million-copy classic Richard’s Bicycle Book, loves dogs but his sage advice on how to kill one should it attack you is still sound: in short, ram your arm down its throat.
Should you treasure your arm flesh, he advised using a bicycle pump, but this was in the days when pumps were a great deal longer than today. One would assume only the smallest breeds of dog can be effectively seen off with a micro-pump or a CO2 cartridge.
Anyway, here’s the email, touted with the subject line ‘Bicycle Collisions with Canines’:
I am a high school engineering teacher working on a summer training project concerning dogs chasing cyclists. With a fellow teacher we are attempting to come up with a device that can be mounted on bikes and provide a sound deterrent to dogs that come at riders. We are trying to execute a one year course in 8.5 days and would appreciate any inputs such as: have you attempted to use any existing products (pepper spray, whistles, etc) to ward off dogs? If so what type of success or lack of did you obtain?
We are proceeding with a design and have come up with the following as criteria for evaluating existing solutions to the problem of keeping dogs away from
1. Maintain a ten (10) foot horizontal dog exclusion zone around bike.
2. Package size small enough not to effect safe operation of the bicycle.
3. Package size light enough not to effect safe operation of the bicycle.
4. Capable of sustaining a four (4) hour duty cycle.
5. Creates no environmental hazards.
6. Creates no permanent negative pathology for canines.
7. Creates no permanent negative pathology for bicyclist.
The thing that worries me about such a device is the lack of an overhead deterrent. A “horizontal dog exclusion zone” presumes you won’t be attacked by a crafty dog leaping from a tree.