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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 02-20-05, 11:19 PM   #1
explody pup
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So I was riding back from a very nice house-warming party for a couple of friends. A chilly night and I didn't pack my jacket but after 5 minutes I was warmed enough to carry on (only a 4 mile ride, anyway). About 10 minutes into my ride I spotted a fox. It ran across my path, back to the cover of the brush by the river. Holy crap. I've never seen a fox in the wild before. Not that this is wild as it's all been developed, but wild as in not in captivity. Hot damn. It was great. Just the fox and myself for maybe 5 seconds. But, yeah. Damn. Okay, I'm rambling now.



Would have been a perfect night had I not just learned Hunter S. Thompson took his own life. Godspeed.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:15 AM   #2
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I've had deer run(bounce) alongside me in fields before. They can keep 18 mph up for a mile(till the field runs out. Horses do this sometimes to.
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Old 02-21-05, 03:57 AM   #3
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Bikes are great for spotting all kinds of wildlife, much better than being on foot. I have had lots of encounters with fox, badger, owls, weasels, kingfisher as well as the more physical squirrel and rabbit collisions.
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Old 02-21-05, 09:17 AM   #4
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Half way to work I go over a park on an island in the middle of the St Lawrence river. I see ground hogs there all the time and a fox occasionally. I have also seen a beaver in the Lachine canal.
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Old 02-21-05, 11:43 AM   #5
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I see so much wildlife during my commute, especially in the morning. Turtles sunning themselves, deer (at dusk), woodchucks, hawks, rabbits, a long brown snake... and this is on a suburban path with only a hundred yards of green space or woods around it in most places.

Amazing how many more animals you see when the humans are quieter.
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Old 02-21-05, 11:57 AM   #6
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My favorite sighting is when, in a rain storm, a woodchuck SWAM up to the edge of the bike path. Spring to fall, I often have to dodge rabbits. I've even had to navigate around a few large turtles. In the waterways, I've seen hawks and birds I think are cranes (long skinny beaks, backwards knees). No foxes, though.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:07 PM   #7
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I once was riding on a multi-use path and a bobcat bounded across it. I'd never seen one before, they're really cool looking, and much larger than I expected.

What stuck with me though was how close to civilization i was...and how close many walkers and bikers and joggers and roller bladers were nearby. Only myself and 2 others saw the cat, yet there were about 10 people within 50 feet. Makes me wonder how much wildlife is nearby that I don't see. Probably a lot.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:35 PM   #8
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I love it when you see some wildlife in the city. There are actually coyotes around here-which really surprised me. Only saw one once-but it was pretty cool. Tons of rabbits around.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
My favorite sighting is when, in a rain storm, a woodchuck SWAM up to the edge of the bike path. Spring to fall, I often have to dodge rabbits. I've even had to navigate around a few large turtles. In the waterways, I've seen hawks and birds I think are cranes (long skinny beaks, backwards knees). No foxes, though.
Since we ride the same trails, I feel compelled to throw in my .02. I consider myself an amateur ornitholigist and love looking for wildlife too.
While woodchucks probably do swim, chances are you saw a muskrat, who's a pretty close cousin to our friend Woody. They're pretty common:

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/...es/muskrat.htm

And for the cranes, there are a couple species in Ohio but it's unlikely as they're endangered and very rare. More likely a Great Blue Heron, which I see almost daily on the Olentangy or Scioto, except for winter.
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/...tes/pub070.htm

My coolest sighting around here has been a pair of beavers on the Olentangy last summer. I was riding the bike bridge over 315 by Henderson. They were so big I originally thought they were two golden retrievers swimming around. I haven't seen them since, but have seen some chewed-up trees.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:13 PM   #10
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What's fun is riding past a herd of cows, rural Missouri, summer heat, grazing in a meadow. They look up, slowly chewing their cud. I know they are thinking, "What the hell . . . "
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Old 02-21-05, 01:26 PM   #11
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Ivan, thanks for the corrections.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-22-05 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-22-05, 10:19 AM   #12
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My favorite sighting was on campus early spring on a warm sunny day, There in all of their bikini clad glory were several of God’s finer creations… My bliss was harshly stymied when I ran into the curb and endo’d ! (But that’s another thread.)
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Old 02-22-05, 11:33 AM   #13
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There are so many deer around the river trail here, it's actually kind of dangerous. I've taken to sounding my bell from time to time riding in the dark.

A couple months ago, I disturbed a herd that was standing in the trail. As I went through the spot where they were, I could smell them.
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Old 02-22-05, 12:21 PM   #14
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As PainTrain knows, we've got all sorts of wildlife right in the middle of an urban/suburban area.

Last year on the American River Trail my buddy and I came across a young mule deer with velvet on his antlers. He bounded along the bike path for 20 meters or so and then took a quick turn into the brush. That was something.

Another great sight was a heron standing on the edge of the river, eating a small fish or frog.
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Old 02-22-05, 03:32 PM   #15
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horses always look at me like i'm an idiot.........
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Old 02-22-05, 03:50 PM   #16
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I've had a coyote run through the brush next to the road, making all kinds of racket, for about 1/4 mile. Then he burst out of the brush at the country road intersection and ran like he was in a race. He won. I've had him do this same thing two times for sure. Another time he never left the brush. He just stopped. At first, it was real creepy hearing something crash through the brush for so long a distance. He kept right up with me until the intersection then he'd hit the boost button. I look forward to his company on future rides. But its still hit and miss if he'll be there.

Kinda cool.
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Old 02-22-05, 05:04 PM   #17
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Not a real commmuting experience, but nonetheless...

A few years back I was riding my MTB in the flat and long bottom of a ravine All of a sudden, a black bear cub came out of nowhere, then started following me and making all kinds of racket. I looked back and seen ole mama bear about 50-75 yards down and behind me and...on the move. To this day, I do not know how I made it up the steep climb out of the ravine with my chain on the 3rd ring as normally it is almost a granny gear climb out....
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Old 02-22-05, 05:05 PM   #18
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A mama possum and three of her babies crossing the Katy Trail. Numerous deer, including a buck and doe contemplating a conjugal visit until I showed up.
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Old 05-23-06, 05:53 PM   #19
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I once saw a peacock early in one morningwhile riding in the "hood" I wonder how did it get in the inner city?








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Old 05-24-06, 01:02 PM   #20
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Yesterday I passed a train. The path upon which I ride parallels a pair of rails. The train was going 15 or 16 mph the same direction I was going. I rode with it for several minutes before I realized that I was gaining on the locomotive. I eventually passed and never looked back!
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Old 05-29-06, 12:35 PM   #21
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All of you are lucky!!! Riding to work in the middle of the night, the closest I get to wildlife in Chicago is the occasional prostitute, drunks stumbling home and rats!!
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Old 05-30-06, 03:07 PM   #22
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It's cool, isn't it? I think that since bikes are (or can be) so quiet, that you can get close to a fox or a herd of deer without disturbing them too much. That, and the fact that bike paths are often near water or in greenbelts.

Once, when I was doing the angry teenager thing, I took off my my mtb, riding as hard as I could, head-down, when I almost ran into a deer. I stopped and looked around and noticed I was in the middle of a small herd. Close enough to hear them chewing the grass.

I've seem more foxes, raccoons, etc. on a bike than I've ever seen from a car. Last week, I finally spotted one of the skunks that has been stinking up my street, and sometimes my house, for a few years.

Of course, I've also seen some wild "urban outdoorsmen" and felt pretty glad I was moving fast. It's not pretty so see bare feet sticking out from a niche under an overpass.
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Old 05-30-06, 09:50 PM   #23
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One of my best sightings was a pair of tiny burrowing owls along the Santa Ana River Trail that nested in the same spot for several years. Only saw then just before sunrise. Told just the wife as I did not want the birders bothering them.
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Old 06-06-06, 08:37 AM   #24
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I helped some Canadian geese cross a major road (4 lanes!) last week during my morning commute. Amusingly enough, I was assaulted by a mother goose (same species) for riding too close to her goslings at my office's parking lot as I arrived to work. The nerve!
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Old 06-06-06, 09:05 AM   #25
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Even though I live in the 'burbs I'm very close to the cow pastures. I see the usual deers, cows, and an occasional bobcat, etc. but what always brings a good laugh is the flock of wild turkeys. They're so dim-witted that I can't help but laugh when they go into a panic mode. They'll freeze in the middle of the road, holding up traffic. If a car tries to slowly inch through, they run around in a big frenzy! Sometimes they'll run to one side of the road, only to turn around and run back to the other side. Keep in mind we're talking about a dozen or more turkeys holding up traffic, running back and forth across the road cuz they don't know which side of the road they want to be on! Even the cagers who are usually impatient with anything that holds them up will sit and enjoy the comedy.
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