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To answer your question title in very short: You don't have to fear them but some healthy portion of respect won't be wrong. The longer version: normally cow herds aren't really aggressive so it is quite safe to just go around the herd (if it blocks the trail) or pass them if they're close to the trail. Going right through the herd isn't a good idea in any ...


When I read your question I had a vague recollection of reading something not so long ago about this. Have a look at this article from a UK newspaper (check out also the related articles on the page): Cow Attacks So you are absolutely right to be cautious - people have been killed by cows. Personally, I live in a rural area (the New Forest in southern UK ...


Something that has not been mentioned so far. Be aware of the herding dog. In the area where I bike (South Italy), herds are usually left with a couple of herding dogs by the shepherd. The only bad experience I had with a herd was not with cows itself, but with a dog. Since then, I pass through if there is no dog, or I wait/turn around if there is a herding ...


As a horse owner I can answer this from experience. If approaching the horse from behind it is important to slow down, as you approach the horse shout 'bike' or make some noise - bikes are very quiet and if you suddenly 'appear' in the horses line of vision and it didn't hear you approach you'll spook it. Pass wide and slow. If approaching from the front, ...


The water-bottle squirt works well. Also, dogs are easily distracted. Throw something down. Dogs will often stop to investigate. So if you have a snack in your back pockets, throw it out there. Please don't whack a dog with a frame pump.


In the worst case, there's the advice from Richard Ballantine's "Richard's Bicycle Book". Note that Richard was a dog-lover himself, and this was a last resort if an attacking dog is seriously endangering you. "If the dog attacks: one defense is aerosol pepper sprays made for this purpose. They have a range of about ten feet and are light enough to clip to ...


First, don't panic. Try to act normally and stay calm. Give an order to the dog in a firm voice such as "go home" or give the dog something like a water bottle to chew and play.

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