Cyclists at risk from dog attacks
A KEEN Bundaberg cyclist says roaming dogs are a bigger threat than swooping magpies.
Louise Rose was reacting to a story in Wednesday's NewsMail about a magpie that swooped on a nine-year-old girl in Bargara at the weekend and inflicted a cut near her eye.
Ms Rose, who rides regularly on Sundays with a cycling group and a couple of times during the week, said cyclists were particularly vulnerable to dogs.
She said serious cyclists rode with their feet in cleats, so they could not disengage a foot quickly to support themselves.
“I've ridden on the new criterium track near Lake Ellen and we've even had dog problems there,” she said.
Ms Rose said there were two issues with roaming dogs.
“Dogs are very territorial, and they can become very aggressive,” she said.
Ms Rose said she knew of a cycling club member who had been bitten.
“A dog chased her and she stopped to be safe and the dog bit her,” she said.
Ms Rose said she had been chased by a “very large” roaming dog twice during a ride on Sunday.
“Part of it is because we ride on back roads to get away from traffic and, if there are acreage blocks, often people don't fence in their dogs,” she said.
Ms Rose said the other issue was if dogs ran in front of the bicycle and got tangled up in the wheel the rider could crash.
Bundaberg Regional Council health and environmental services portfolio spokeswoman Mary Wilkinson said the bottom line was people had to keep control of their pets.
“If they're not behind a fence on a property, they have to be on a lead,” she said.
Cr Wilkinson said if a dog charged a cyclist, they could swerve into traffic to get away or fall off.
“If council gets a complaint, the dog will be impounded and owners can be fined,” she said.