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Rover is instinctively territorial; he gives chase to protect his yard. Rover is instinctively a hunter; he gives chase to hamstring his prey's rapidly moving feet from behind. Rover is also easily startled; he may give chase to protect himself. When you are on a bike, Rover does not see you as a kind, domineering human like his master; he sees you, your bike, and your spinning feet, as a startling, invading, vehicular prey. You can avert most of Rover's chases by avoiding his startle reflex, by coasting or pedaling slowly, and by identifying yourself as human. To this end, get in the habit of seeing Rover before he sees you. Gently inform him of your presence by speaking to him in a kind and friendly manner before you reach his territory ("Hey, nice puppyàWhat a good dog!"). Listen for the reassuring sound of a chain securing Rover to his post. If he's unfettered, read his body language. If his ears go down and his tail starts to wag, the chase is off. If his ears go up and his body tightens ready to spring, it's time for you to act more authoritatively, as his master. Point a finger straight at him and sternly yell, "NO!" These behaviors ward off most chases. If Rover persists, decide whether you should stop or whether you should outsprint him to the end of his property.
Rover's danger is not as much in his teeth (it's hard for him to bite your spinning feet) as it is in your cycling behavior when you are frightened by his pursuit. The danger comes from swerving into traffic or off the road, as you try to outmaneuver him. The danger comes from running into Rover himself and losing control of your bike. Remember to bike a straight and predictable line. Make no sideways movement without first glancing behind. Avoid colliding with Rover's body. If necessary, dismount and use your bike as a physical shield between you and the dog, as you walk to the end of his property. If it's safe to do so, consider moving to the other side of the road; Rover has probably been taught not to go there, and he probably does not consider it part of his domain. Show no fear. Offer him some food (some cyclists routinely carry dog biscuits for this purpose). If necessary, wield your pump, and squirt your water bottle as weapons. Some cyclists carry irritant sprays such as HALT! as an additional deterrent.
Baseball Hall of Fame: Wherever you travel in the USA, if you say, "Cooperstown", someone will say, "Hall of Fame." The Baseball Hall of Fame, on Main Street in Cooperstown, is very simply "àthe best known sports shrine in the world." This is baseball Mecca. This is a baseball fan's "Field of Dreams" - the bastion of individual athletic honor and achievement. Thousands flock to Cooperstown, on the last Monday in July (or on the first Monday in August), for the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Exhibition Game played on Doubleday Field. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held on the Sunday before the Game. Since the Induction Ceremony is held on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center, where all Cooperstown bicycling tours start, and since the usually tranquil roadways are flooded with avid baseball fans, Hall of Fame Weekend is not the time to plan your Cooperstown bicycling trip. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week, year round except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. The hours of operation are from 9am-9pm from May 1 through April 30. Admission: adults $9.50, seniors $8.00, children $4.00. www.baseballhalloffame.org. 607-547-7200. TOURS