Bicyclists and dogs are sworn enemies. Even our dog Rosco chases bikes. Most touring cyclists come home with a story or two about dog encounters. Sometimes we tell of how we outran them going uphill even though we were exhausted after a long day. Other times we tell how we shouted them down with exclamations like "Stay!" or "No!" or even "Get off the couch!" Some tell of squirting dogs with water bottles or pepper spray to discourage their pursuit. But I've never read a cyclist-dog story quite like the one I experienced five years ago today.
I've been resisting the urge to nostalgically relive my coast-to-coast tour day by day during this fifth anniversary, but today was special: Black Dog Monday. This wasn't a chase so much as a race. My canine companion didn't want to nip my heels; he was content running on the opposite shoulder of the road. I can still picture his lean, muscular body in full stride, having a great time racing me down US 80.