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Old 12-14-05, 08:48 PM   #1
Jim Shapiro
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What animals have you seen while riding?

We have people from all over the world on this forum, so it ought to be interesting to learn what animals others see while riding. Here in Colorado I view Canada geese, red-tailed hawks, and the ubiquitous prairie dogs almost every ride, and mule deer are not uncommon on the trails. My strangest encounter was with a coyote that early one morning dashed out of the brush, ran along the road for maybe 30 meters, then brushed my leg just before heading once again for the safety (his, not mine) of the woods!

I'm sure there are those that see all sorts of animals while riding. Anyone ever see kangaroos, mountain lions (God forbid), polar bears, or other exotic animals?

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Old 12-14-05, 08:59 PM   #2
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Skipper and I have seen red fox, deer, an occasional snake(they like to warm up on the pavement), red-tails, kestrels and other birds and the usual assortment of small animals. Nothing terribly exotic unless you count the llamas that some locals are now keeping, although I'm not quite sure why.
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Old 12-14-05, 09:00 PM   #3
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Moose, bobcat, fox, deer (almost hit one, but that's another story), great blue heron, hawk, porcipines, skunks, fisher cats, turkey, lots of turkey, and black bear, and snowshoe hare, etc., etc. No lack of creatures here in NH.

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Old 12-14-05, 09:34 PM   #4
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All the usual CA foothill wildlife including a topless horseback rider.......and a 6 foot rattler heating himself on a rarely traveled stretch of Old Sonora Rd one evening. (I think he was 5 feet last time I told the story, but snakes are pretty flexible.)
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Old 12-14-05, 09:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Moose, bobcat, fox, deer (almost hit one, but that's another story), great blue heron, hawk, porcipines, skunks, fisher cats, turkey, lots of turkey, and black bear, and snowshoe hare, etc., etc. No lack of creatures here in NH.

I had to look up "fisher cat" -- it's a marten. Never seen one outside a zoo. We get cottontail rabbits here, by the plenty, but thankfully, I think, I've never encountered a moose or bear.
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Old 12-14-05, 10:34 PM   #6
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Okay-I'll list some of the obvious just so we can get them on the list:


and Maybe the not so obvious (we have a farm nearby with some exotic animals wondering around)
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Old 12-14-05, 10:45 PM   #7
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My ride home includes cutting through a park that is adjecent to the rr tracks adjecent to the river. A group of deer were grazing on the well-watered parks-and-rec-maintained lawn one evening a couple of weeks ago. They scuttled off as I approached.
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Old 12-15-05, 02:11 AM   #8
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Today (12-14) I saw the usual hawks and falcons.... Red Tail, Sharp Shinned, Kestrel, Merlin and two Bald Eagles. There are thousands of Canada Geese wintering here and a still few Sandhill Cranes that have not gone south yet. There are always a large number of Great Blue Herons and White Egrets hunting for mice in the pastures and alfalfa fields on my usual 15 mile ride. Also saw some Blacktail Deer through an opening in a cottonwood plantation. I have not yet seen the Black Bear that comes into the edge of town to get on the evening news, even though my route goes through the area where he poses for the cameras. Lately, I also have not seen Freckles.... (Collie mix, 50-75 lbs., vaccination current to 4-7-2006) .... that is another thing that made it a good ride.

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Old 12-15-05, 03:27 AM   #9
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Great Blue Heron
Redtail Hawks
rarely, a California Condor overhead
rattlers, gopher snakes, racers
some sort of vulture
lots of quail
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Old 12-15-05, 07:43 AM   #10
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Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Wabbits, wabbits and more wabbits. Fish, Mule and White Tail Deer, fox, coyote, the usual horses, sheep, goats and cows, beaver, muskrats, squirrels, Canadian Geese, ducks, herons, egrets and other water birds, flocks of other birds, squirrels, prairie "dogs," snakes and more snakes (up to 10 a ride), frogs, lizards, toads. Mountain lions reported but I have never seen one while bicycling, but have seen tracks. During the "Hatch" literally billions of a variety of flying critters, sometimes making it hard to breathe, and sometimes providing additional unneeded protein to my nutrition.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:02 AM   #11
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My wife and I took a bike tour while in Barbados. The group ended up splitting into smaller groups based on speed. My wife left the faster group and coasted along waiting for the second group to catch up. Several iguanas came out on road in front of her and scared her so she hung in with the pack after that.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:21 AM   #12
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good morning
i ride in northern wisconsin during the summer. i have seen many deer, black bear and a pack of wolves cross the road. the wolves were within 30 feet thats the only time i have braked fast and turned the other direction. i'm not a chicken but must say i did get excited.
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Old 12-15-05, 09:04 AM   #13
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One of the great things about living in North Florida is the broad array of wildlife we see on our rides. Deer and wild turkeys are common. I have also come upon alligators, a bobcat, wild hogs, black vultures, wood storks, Mississippi kites, foxes, armadillos (mostly dead but a few live ones), a cottonmouth water moccasin, and a bald eagle carrying a still-wiggling largemouth bass.

Riding right after daylight affords us the best opportunity to see wildlife.
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Old 12-15-05, 09:22 AM   #14
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1) Lots of deer. Some even crashed a paceline I was on the back of.
2) Bobcat stalking a small woman jogger.
3) Coyotes as big and fat as German Shepards.
4) Red Foxes
5) Grey Fox (I was sitting still waiting for the other guys and he came within a foot of me and never knew I was there - or maybe didn't care.)
6) Rattlesnakes. Several. Hard to get people to not kill them. One rattlesnake can destroy over 100 rodents a year.
7) Lots of harmless snakes almost always killed by those environentalist joggers and hikers.
8) Llamas (llama farm) Ostriches (ostrich farm), zebras (zebra farm) - man that guy just won't give up and none of them have proven profitable since it's now horses.
9) Wild pigs - one at least 200 lbs walking up a cliff face just like it was flat ground.
10) All kinds of squirrels, prairey dogs, ground squirrels, chipmonks.
11) Rats.
12) Horses, cow, chickens and Canadian Geese by the hundreds.
13) Raccoons stealing our food.
14) Every imaginable dog, seabird and songbird.
15) Lots of raptors.
16) On a couple of rides a flock of buzzards were circling me.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:21 PM   #15
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All the usual, but the unusual were wild boar. Don't have them in the UK except on farms, but these were a colony running wild. Boy are they big when fully grown. Then staying on the pig side- Saw a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig with the owner chasing it down the trail. Tried to help round it up, but they can run faster than I can cycle, especially uphill.

Edit---- Forgot about these, but In the village I used to live in in my youth, there were wallabies- the small Kangaroo, and this was in England.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:35 PM   #16
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Many have already been named from others here in the Carolinas. We do have a great variety of birds, the basic garden variety as well as many eagles and hawks.
On my little route in town I frequently see both raccoons and oppossums. Last Sunday morning I had a quick fright. It was still dark approx. 6:00am. I was on a dual lane major road just running out on a flat section after a good downhill. To my right is a large wooded area bordered by a 4 - 5' wire fence, then a short 5' or so of grass before the edge of the road.
Suddenly from the grass on my right I hear a big commotion of branches and leaves. Glancing quickly I have a glimpse of the back of an animal running right beside my leg. From height and coloration I first think German Shepard, (I'm in trouble, it's going to take a nice piece out of me). In reality it was a small doe running right beside me looking for a break in the wire fence. After one jump directly into the fence, it did find a way through. It was just so unexpected I almost fell from my bike.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:42 PM   #17
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How come no one's mentioned pedestrians? I see them all the time and many act like animals. Some are blind as a bat, some are fat as a pig, some are cute as a bug, and so on. For the most part, however, I wish they would make like a tree and leave.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:56 PM   #18
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I think that all of the animals I have seen have been mentioned except for seagulls and pigeons.

However, this gives me a chance to mention my favorite. I was in the coastal area of California and was riding up a hill along one side of a canyon with the canyon on my right, and the hill to my left. I was just getting to a point where the road curved left when a beautiful red tailed hawk that must have been patrolling the canyon popped up right in front of me climbing for the sky. He was only about 30 feet away and as I said, beautiful!

It was a sight I will never forget.
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Old 12-15-05, 01:33 PM   #19
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Wow, I thought I had seen a lot of animals, but some of you folks live in areas with a much wider variety than we have here in Boulder, Colorado. And I'm glad most of the "encounters" were of the positive variety. A riding companion was alone on a mountain bike trail when a mountain lion crossed about 20 feet in front of her and stopped momentarily, staring straight at her! That encounter probably lasted only a few seconds, but she said it was terrifying and she couldn't concentrate on anything else all day.

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Old 12-15-05, 11:34 PM   #20
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Not mentioned so far: saw several cariboo on the Alaska Highway, and a whole bunch of "stone sheep".

One of the most unusual was something I didn't see: obviously some large animal was killed and laying on the shoulder of the road, and something had dragged it about 40 feet into the tree line. A little furrow had been gouged all the way (antler prong?) and the grass was all pressed down. Could have been a bear or mountain lion. 'Twas hair-raisin'-time, but then I thought, "They've obviously just gorged, so they won't be interested in a tough ole cyclist."
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Old 12-15-05, 11:42 PM   #21
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Few years back I came around a bend in a dry gulch in Apache Junction AZ. I was on the trails that run behind Gold Fields "Ghost Town" ....well as I came around the turn there was a Mountain Lion sitting across the gulch. I stopped and he just looked at me. Slowly he got up and jumped into the brush.....never saw him again.

Just last week I was on a group ride and looked up and noticed a hawk just gliding above us. From behind another hawk swooped down with his claws extended and nailed the first hawk right in the back. They both tubled end over end in a big ball of feathers. Just a few feet from the ground the the second hawk let the first one go and they flew back up in the sky. The first hawk must have been run out of the group because after the fight ended he flew away solo.
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Old 12-16-05, 03:07 PM   #22
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While riding the Hiawatha Trail last June, I rounded a corner and there was big badger on the trail. He started running in front of me and I followed behind him for about 50 yards, keeping my distance, until he ran off the trail and disappeared. I also saw many deer on the trail and a moose while driving home. Fortunately, did not see a bear inside any of the tunnels!

In case you have not seen this web site, I heartily recommend you check it out. The Hiawatha Trail is the most enjoyable bike ride my wife and I have ever been on . It's worth a journey to experience. It is at:
It's at the Montana/Idaho border an is a 15 miles section of the old Milwaukee Road electric railroad. It descends 1000 feet and includes 9 tunnels, 7 trestles (one is 450 feet long and 230 feet high). The longest tunnel is 1.66 miles long. Fantastic!

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Old 12-16-05, 03:11 PM   #23
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- so far this year:

black (rat/corn) snakes
scarlet snake
king snake
coral snake
many, many, many squirrels
many raptors
seabirds of all descriptions
dogs, of course
cats (fighting, lounging, etc.)
porpoise on Boca Ciega Bay

but the coolest was last month:

big, honking manatees (sea cows) off the pier at Safety Harbor on Tampa Bay...
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Old 12-16-05, 03:40 PM   #24
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Last week a small herd of big horn sheep was grazing right next to the bike path and highway, one big ram was licking something in the roadway and ignored the cars that were passing by. They were of all sizes from this years off spring to full curl adults, about 15 of them in all.
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Old 12-16-05, 04:00 PM   #25
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I used to commute throught the Los Penasquitos Reserve in San Diego. I saw plenty of wildlife from hummingbirds to skunks, mule deer, bobcats, rabbits, coyotes and cows. One coyote and I had a paceline down the main path for a minute or so till he zigged off. I saw the bobcat and a rabbit at the same time, catching the bobcat's attention just long enough for the rabbit to escape.

In L.A mostly it was rats and their feathered cousins the pigeon and the seagull. I don't think dogs and cats count.

In Santa Barbara, prairie dogs and sea gulls.

In Coachella Valley, lizards, kestrels and hawks, jays, mocking birds, geese and ravens. And even a black widow spider who was riding along on my bike for a short while. Insects too, like grasshoppers, cicadas, mosquitos.

In Little Rock, a lizard who lived in a length of PVC and would peak out in the mornings. Flocks of geese migrating overhead at 1am. Bullheads, Catfish, little silver fish that I can't identify, turtles, Marsh Rice Rats, groundhogs, oppossums, racoons, crows, mockingbirds.
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