Day 26 – Livingston to Greenville

Day 26 is a full day in Alabama. A total of 128 miles across the state from Livingston to Greenville. This is a fairly short post as the weather was poor yet again and although it did not rain all day, it was miserable.

Day 26 - 1st SAG stop

Day 26 - 1st SAG stop

Just before lunch we crossed the Alabama River which is part of a reservoir/lake. The whole area looked to be both picturesque in good weather,  a draw for locals to come fishing / boating etc.

One of our biggest problems today , and indeed for most of the recent days is the number of dogs whoose  sole purpose in life appears to be to chase and harrass (whilst attempting to take a bite out of) cyclists. Over an average day we would expect anywhere from five to ten dog chases of varying degrees of viciousness. The type of dogs who gave chase can be summed up as follows:-

  1. The No Hoper. This dog is either old, fat or has short legs. It knows it has no real chance of chatching you but it has a go and makes a lot of noise whilst doing so. Form a cyclists point of view these are fun as you can tease them. Go just fast enough that they cannot catch you and then start egging them on!
  2. The Athlete. This dog is bad. It is a young fit and invariably fast dog. Because of its youth however, it makes a lot of noise whilst chasing (showing off to its friends) and thus telegraphs its intentions to the cyclist giving plenty of time to change into sprint gears and up the speed. Some of these are however very fast and survival is difficult!
  3. The Stealth Dog. This dog is the worst. It is mad, bad and dangerous. This dog is a bit older but still young enough to be fit. It knows that you have a head start on it so neutralises this by starting the chase silently – in this way it can get very close to you before you even know its there. Your margin for escape is slim as it will be at attack pace before you. Your sprint has to be top notch to survive!.

I myself had several close encounters with “stealth” dogs including one very fast hound who actually hid in a bush waiting to ambush me. When it launched its attack I nearly had a heart attack!

Dog chases are however great for interval training as at times they were coming thick and fast.

Stats for the day:-

Distance: 127 miles

Climbing: 3100ft

Temp: Low 80’s and lots of rain.

Dog chases: Worst day – 9 or 10.


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