A couple of weeks ago, I found a hill in a neighboring county that I like to ride up. Yesterday, when I reached the top of the hill, I was charged and bitten on the lower calf by a 50-lb shepherd mix. Normally, I can outrun dogs, or, they just want to chase or race me; not bite. This time, the dog was vicious, and was bent on sinking his teeth into me. I was unable to get away from the dog, because I had just reached the top of a large hill, and was too tired to outrun him. The owner heard me yelling at the dog and came outside. I heard him yell at the dog, and I turned around and went back to have a word with him. He did not know I'd been bitten, and thought I had come back to yell at him for the dog chasing me, so he hollered "Y'all ought not to come up here and bother us. That's why we live up here - we don't want to be bothered." I responded that I had every right to ride on the road, as it's a public road. I then told him that the dog had bitten me, and showed him my leg. I also suggested that he keep the dog inside or tied up. He apologized, and grabbed the dog by the collar to drag him inside. At that point, one of his other dogs started attacking the dog that bit me. At this point I was thinking that this guy has probably trained these dogs to be aggressive and vicious. He went inside and got some peroxide and a bandage for me, and came back out and apologized and gave me his information. I called the county this morning, and the dog last had a rabies shot last month, so, probably OK there. I also had my GP call in a script for antibiotics. The wound is not that severe; worst part is a puncture to my calf about 1/4" deep from one of the dog's canines. Not a good situation; the guy has a 4-yr-old granddaughter who witnessed the aftermath of the attack. Hate that she now has that memory. But I would really hate for her to be hurt by the dog. If I had a dog that attacked someone like that, I'd get rid of the dog, one way or another. A dog can't un-learn that kind of behavior. But, I know the guy won't get rid of the dog, won't tie it up, and won't keep it in the house all the time. Therefore, somebody else (probably another cyclist) is going to get bitten. My worst fear is that a dog could cause me to crash at high speed (that's how I learned to endo my motorcycle, lol). If you've ever ridden a road bicycle, you know it's hard, if not impossible, to get one stopped quickly from speed (not much rubber on the road). I plan to start carrying a pistol with me on my bike rides. I ride in some deserted, rural areas, and I don't want to take the chance of running into a pack of vicious dogs and being defenseless. Unfortunately, the story of the dog on the hill who bit me is probably not going to end well. I like the hill, and plan to continue riding up it. Next time I ride up that hill, I will have my Model 36 Glock .45 with me, and will use it to defend myself if necessary. I'd hate to do that, as I grew up with dogs, like them, and would never take the killing of an animal lightly. But, sometimes, with a vicious animal, there is no other choice. I can only hope that the owner will learn from the experience and at least start tying the dog up. From his initial reaction and words, I can only assume that this was not their first encounter with a cyclist on that road. Unfortunately, my suspicion is that nothing will change, and someone else will be bitten. It won't be me, though.