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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-30-07, 09:42 AM   #1
Banzai
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Almost hit a deer!

That was a first on a bicycle. I wasn't going all to fast, just getting started at 0500 and pedaling easy at about 16 mph. I suppose it's a tribute to how quiet I've tuned my bike, because they looked VERY startled when I cruised up the road so close to them.

4 deer looked around in panic my SuperSpot illuminated them from less than 20 feet away grazing the side of the road. Then they bolted. Two off into the field, and two across the road that I was travelling.

I actually had to apply brakes to avoid hitting one! I could hear his hooves clipping the pavement just feet in front of me, and got a close up look with my LED.

That's all to the story really...just never thought I'd almost hit a deer on my bike.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:08 PM   #2
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Gotta be careful of things like that.

Just recently I hit a dog at night; by the time I saw him it was too late and I SMACKed right into him; he'd run right in front of my headlight, and looked at it head-on (why, I'll never know). He wasn't badly injured, but my chain did get out of position. I was surprised that my front wheel stayed perfectly true.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:22 PM   #3
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That's too funny......it gives a new image to "deer in the headlights".

So, I wonder what YOUR face looked like?
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Old 06-30-07, 03:41 PM   #4
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Wow that's pretty strange. I've snuck up on lots of deer but never came close to hitting any of em'. You must've really been moving.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:11 PM   #5
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Almost ran a few over tonight. Caught a group 1/2 of them across and a couple about to cross. Made me cautious on the big downhill!
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Old 06-30-07, 08:20 PM   #6
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I had a deer run across the road close in front of me once. Wasn't really a close call, but startled me.

Edit: Oh and once I did actually hit a deer. Road kill lying by the road. Guess I was daydreaming.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:04 PM   #7
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Never hit one but I passed (on a bike) within 5 feet of a fresh-kill carcass a couple of minutes after it was hit. The offenders had parked their car and were standing over it - not sure what their plan was since it's chest cavity was hanging open. Never smelled anything like that before and would prefer not to again.

As for close calls, I startled the same deer (I think) twice in a half hour on my last run. He probably thought I was stalking him.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:30 PM   #8
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I had a similar experience one morning coming home from work. It was pitch black outside and my headlight was a little weak. I was passing by the golf course and one jumped out no more than 10 feet in front of me. Two thoughts went through my head. 1) I can't believe I might hit a deer and 2) they usually travel in pairs and the second one will probably hit me. As luck would have it neither happened. It really gets your attention though.

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Old 06-30-07, 10:37 PM   #9
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Has anyone here actually been hit by a deer? I'd like to know what the effects are. There are quite a few of them at work and just last week one dashed across the road about 20 feet in front of me. It was at night (I work rotating shifts) and I didn't see it coming at all. The streets are well-lit but the land outside them is not.

It's not uncommon to see as many as 10 of them at a time there. Last year (while driving) I saw two of them, so slowed down. A third was further down the road but standing still. I was driving slowly, but at the last minute it decided to take off and it ran right into my front-right corner. It was hauling ass. It flipped up onto the windshield and rolled off. I got out to try to find it, but didn't see it anywhere. Then I spotted it hopping away out of the corner of my eye! Unbelievable. I was expecting it to be dead. It put a dent in the panel above the wheel-well (don't know thew technical term for the panel), and a smaller dent on the door. I still don't think I will have it repaired ($700-900). More and more I don't care for putting money into a car.

I can only imagine that getting hit by one would definitely result in a quick flooring of your ass. Hopefully it wouldn't trample you afterwards. I doesn't seem unreasonable to think it could be fatal. This thread has made me think... maybe I should wear some more protection than my helmet, and possibly even look into some type of deterrent. My boss said that he uses his (car) horn to drive them away so something similar for a bike may help, but it definitely warrants more study.

The only sure advice I can offer now is that they often travel in packs, but you probably already knew that...
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Old 06-30-07, 11:21 PM   #10
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I too ran across deer today. It came out onto a MUP I had to come to a complete stop maybe 20ish feet away and then it ducked back into the trees. I sprinted away to avoid any further incident. I tried to alert oncoming riders, but alas they had their headphones in and just thought I was insane.
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Old 07-01-07, 03:52 AM   #11
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Something else about deer, if you're looking at 1 or 2 on one side of the road, the one to watch out for is on the other side of the road. Especially at night.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:45 AM   #12
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i ran over a possum a few months ago - first test ride with my new cree headlight blinded the thing, it froze then darted the wrong way the the last moment. ba-boom both wheels over the little fella who ran off intothe bushes afterwards.
not quite a deer though, i guess.

one of my friends got side swiped by a grey kangaroo once. buckled his front wheel bad!

cheers
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Old 07-01-07, 08:48 AM   #13
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Wow, good stories.

At the time of that "close call" the image that flashed through my mind of the nasty spill that would result from being taken down by a deer (or multiple) was enough to make me think; "later on I'll need to post this on Bike Forums..."

When I started bike commuting I lived in the Salt Lake area, and never had an encounter with large wildlife. Now I'm in rural (very rural) Texas, where evidentally large wildlife is more prevalent. That, and all the cagers suck.
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Old 07-01-07, 02:39 PM   #14
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I looked into one of these in the past. http://www.sav-a-life.com/Deeralert_brch.htm but you have to be going at least 30 mph for it to work. I only hit that speed on a downhill. If it is dark and I am in the area where I see the most deer I will start whistling and snorting like them. It may sound funny, but I haven't had anymore close encounters with them.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:43 AM   #15
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I used to bark like a big dog and that worked for a while. Now they know it's me and that doesn't work anymore. They're so used to me at this point I can pass withing 10 feet of them and they just look at me. This is only in the summer, in the winter with all my lights, they still run about 20-30 feet away. I really don't want to hit one of these guys.
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