Geez, Frazer...sounds like you live in hell, and Cerberus has had pups.
But seriously, dogs chasing bikers is NOT normal, and should not be tolerated. I don't need to even mention actual attacks. Keep on clubbing. And that's coming from a dog lover.
The more this thread has grown, the more in full support I am of the idea that dogs should be on lead most/all of the time. A great idea that goes along logically with this would be to charge owners to certify that a particular dog is safe off lead...a sort of special 'off lead' license.
This could potentially result in many good things...like more dogs on the line, a legal basis for collecting damages, more revenue for the local budget, AND a genuine advantage for folks like me, that have spent time and energy to train our dogs to come when called, to fetch rather than kill, and lick rather than bite.
I am long beyond done with the idea of blaming the dogs, no matter what experience anyone has had. However, I endorse the clubbing because it works (maybe you could use a length of garden hose rather than a metal pump, though). Pain discourages, and fun encourages. Most of all, you can get really hurt falling from a cycle, so you need to defend yourself.
(I have to put a -1 on the Jack Russell comment. Yes, they are a hardcore dogs requiring loads of consistently rigid training. But, they are great intelligent dogs that with the right training, can be insanely rewarding. A thinking dog is not dangerous unless it thinks more actively than it's owner...which is what this thread is all about. Small dogs feel threatened more easily, and feel they need to keep reminding others they are there and important. Good owners can easily use this to their advantage, resulting in a very attentive, loyal, and obedient little shit.
Going to A&E for a bite from a JR is a precaution...but from a Rottweiler, it's necessary. So, yeah, they might be responsible for more bites, but on the damage scale, a JR could never kill a child, not even in the worst case psycho-animal...that cannot be said for many/most other breeds. A JR is never going to wreck Frazer on the bike either.)
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci