Both the route map and several westbound cyclists have warned that dogs in Kentucky are especially aggressive. There are few fences for some reason, so farm dogs just wander around unsupervised. I've been chased a few times but either outran them or scared them off by shouting "No!"
A pitbull came racing out at me from a house at the bottom of a steep hill. There was no way to outrun or avoid it. I shouted, "No!" and "Bad dog!" but it didn't hesitate. It came up fast, snarling and biting as soon as it reached me.
I usually carry pepper spray but, in one of those terrible bike tour coincidences, only 3 hours earlier I'd noticed that the canister looked like it was about fall off, but got distracted before I could secure it. So it fell off somewhere, leaving me defenseless.
When the pitbull reached me, it bit first into my wheel, which is covered by a steel fender, and not very bite-able. It let go, and I lifted my leg, to keep away from the dogs mouth, and to kick it in its fucking head. It bit next onto my rear pannier, but the waterproof fabric is tough and the surface rounded, so it couldn't get a good hold. It kept snarling and biting down, but couldn't get a grip.
Meanwhile, I'm still pedalling forward up the hill, but also turning, keeping the rear of the bike between me and the dog. It wasn't close enough to kick, my bags were between it and my legs, so I kept turning the bike to keep it that way.
The dog was biting everything near its mouth, too stupid to focus on me. It bit my wheel again and again, and chewed on the panniers some more, but I kept turning the bike, avoiding its jaws, still climbing the hill, and eventually it gave up.