Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Cycling in the Kentucky Sun
Meeting West-bounders coming out of Kentucky we were warned over and over about being chased by dogs in Eastern Kentucky.
As it turns out, the stifling heatwave proved more troublesome to our progress.
Temperatures were well in to three Fahrenheit figures most of the time and the humidity made even the most basic climbs end in a massive sweaty mess. Our only tool to deal with this was to try and get out as early as possible. On the road as soon as possible after sunrise at 6am to get at least a couple of hours in relative cool before the heat hits around 10am, then reduce the daily mileage to try and get finished for around 2pm. Our only other tool against the heat was the terrific Peace Iced Teas.
We were told the worst of the dogs are around the town of Lookout in Eastern Kentucky. Suggestions for dealing with the dogs were several:
- Squirt with water bottle
- Shout at them
- Slow down and stop the chase
- Pepper spray
- Baseball bat
As it turned out my pepper spray made it out of the state unused. We had a couple of little sausage dogs and terriers run out and chase a little, but I didn’t have the heart to mace them and they gave up after a few strong words. I’m not sure if we were just fortunate but we thought Kentucky was an interesting state with pretty scenery, friendly locals and some nice historic towns.