I've been cut off by animals who were on foot twice in the last week.
On the commute home last night, I almost ran down a stupid kid who was jaywalking.
I was on a back road in a pretty rural part of town that doesn't get alot of traffic, is fairly flat with a few rolling hills, and has nice wide lanes. In the lane I was riding in there were no cars visible in front of me, no cars visible behind me. There was a car coming towards me in the other lane, maybe a 1/4 mile down the road, with no other cars visible behind that car. There was also a group of four kids around the age of 12 walking down the side of the road in the other lane about 30 feet from me. I put my head down for a second to shake off a bead of sweat that had formed on my eyebrow and I didn't want to drip into my eye. When I looked back up, maybe another twenty feet down the road, those four kids were sprinting across the road right in front of me and the car.
The car was able to stop, since the driver had more lead time, but I was on my road bike which has 1982 era cassette style brakepads, so it takes awhile to stop compared to modern brake designs. At twenty miles an hour there was no way I was completely stopping in time, I did slow down quite a bit though. Luckily the third kid in the line realized he was about to be road kill and stopped, which created just enough of a gap for me to slide through between him and the second kid in the group.
There were no other vehicles on the road, if the kids had waited 5 seconds, they would have had time to crawl across the road if they wanted to. Whatever happened to looking both ways before you cross the street?
The other encounter was last Sunday. I was just coasting across a causeway that cuts through a lake at about 5mph, since there are lots of people fishing off of the causeway there is always foot traffic. All of the sudden about 4 feet in front of me, 2 canadien geese who were leading a gaggle decided to jump the guard rail and cross the road..
The other geese stopped on the other side of the guard rail and waited for me to pass , but I was freaked out for a second. I thought for sure I was going to get bitten for passing too closely to the other two geese. They are fiercely territorial and it hurts to get hit with that beak. Luckily, all I got was a dirty look as a rolled pass, not even a threatening honk.
I froze, didn't even have time to reach for the brakes, since I hadn't seen the geese because of the guard rail blocking them from view and my brain was still processing this turn of events. Usually the geese give the fisherman on the causeway a wide berth, since they don't like getting hooked.