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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Ever run over a critter while riding

    Been riding on one of the most popular rail trails in the area lately and it's a great ride. Almost every time I ride it I have a close call with a squirrel, chipmunk or bird. Wednesday the wife had a close call with a chipmunk and about a mile later I came within an inch or two of another chipmunk. It's worrisome because I can see my wife diving into a tree to avoid running over any kind of animal. When the one jumped in front of me my first instinct was to hit the brakes, now I was only rolling along about 14 mph so it wasn't a real problem. I was wondering if anyone here ever hit something or crashed trying to avoid wildlife.

  2. #2
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    Yes... a squirrel. He shot out from the side of the path and I had no time to break or swerve. He did not survive. I had no problem maintaining control of the bike - just another bump in the road.

  3. #3
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    I ran over a rabbit in the neighborhood once. No harm other than perhaps to the rabbit, but he wasn't hurt enough he couldn't run off.

    The dog I hit was another story.

  4. #4
    Sausage King
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    One ride I ran over 2 squirrels within a mile of each other. One lay twitching and dying on the trail, the other screamed and ran into some bushes. The noise they make is the worst

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mort Canard's Avatar
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    I have clobbered several squirrels in my cycling career. It's worst in the spring when the young come out and forage along the MUPs. They seem to understand dogs and pedestrians but have no clues about bikes. They go thump-thump and lay there in the path.


    I have also run over several snakes but I think they were all already expired.
    "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles" Butch Cassidy

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Snakes - live and dead. Grasshoppers by the dozens.

    If a squirrel/rabbit gets caught in your spokes, it can be deadly. One VERY quick stop for your bike.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-13-12 at 09:36 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Yes!

  8. #8
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    I can only recall a snake and some close calls with mammals. The worst was a very very close call with a dear at about 20mph.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Almost hit a three ft gopher snake a couple of weeks ago. I slammed the brakes and went for my phone to get a pic, but he slithered away too fast. I've never hit anything live except for flying bugs, and I've eaten a few of those.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  10. #10
    Member papabiker's Avatar
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    While I was cautiously looking left and right while approaching a county road intersection, I failed to see the enormous dead armadillo directly in front of me. I dumped, providing great entertainment for my group.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I had a duck take me down once. I was riding on a path along a lakefront and the bird spooked and flew into my rear wheel. It took me down fast. I had duck feathers all over my derailleurs. My front wheel was so damaged that I straightened it out by banging it on the path. I had to take the front brake off so I could ride the bike home. I lost a lot of skin as well. Never did find the duck though; probably lucky for me since I was hunting out of season . . .

  12. #12
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Mostly bugs, small reptiles. Didn't run over him but I hit a medium sized (35-40lbs)dog once. Most dogs chase you from the side or behind. This one caught up with me and jumped in front of me before I could stop. I don't think he was hurt. At any rate he ran off easily enough.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I ran over a goose once who darted across the MUP heading for a pond. It was amazingly firm. I cleared about 4' horizontally, and 18" vertically, but managed to stay upright on the landing. Last seen, the goose was sitting in the pond squawking his unhappiness.

  14. #14
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    Two weeks ago I almost hit a groundhog while riding on my favorite MUP. He lumbered onto the trail directly in front of me while I was riding very fast on a flat section of the trail. I decided against swerving left because there were two cyclists approaching me riding two abreast. So, I gulped and swerved off the trail into the grass from which the groundhog had just emerged. Fortunately, there was no drop-off at this point, and I just rode 30' or so in the long grass in parallel to the path until I found a spot where I could safely ride back onto the trail. It happened so fast that I barely had time to think. It did raise my heartrate quite a bit. He was so large that I am sure I would have taken quite a spill had I struck him.

    By the way, I saw the same groundhog last week while riding in the same area. He was seated in the shade under a bench in the area. He was chewing on some grass and he seemed to be watching the cyclists as they rode by. I thought to myself, "he probably is wondering what all these idiots are doing, riding in this high heat and humidity."

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Offroad night ride and to save battery- I was on low power except for the downhills. Couldn't see much as I do mean low power. Saw plenty of shadows lurking just outside of the lamp and had several things scuttle off the trail in front of me. No idea what they were but some birds- some foxes and a couple of deer by the sound and rough shape of them. Got used to it but woke up suddenly when a big commotion went on just under my front wheel. A Bird of some decent size and I caught its tail. Lots of wing flapping and squawking and it certainly woke me up.

    Never saw the thing till I caught it's tail and I stopped and it was a cock pheasant. At least I presume it was due to the feathers.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  16. #16
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Two rabbits. Neither survived. Did not make a dent in the population that I can see.

  17. #17
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
    I can only recall a snake and some close calls with mammals. The worst was a very very close call with a dear at about 20mph.
    I have a cousin that used to road race. He was practicing for a race one evening, coming down a steep hill at around 30 mph and hit a deer. Major damage to the bike, lots of road rash and a concussion for him, the deer had to be taken to a vet and if I remember right it had to be euthanized. There's a lot of deer out my way and creaming one of these is something I sure don't want to do.

  18. #18
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    It's probably safer to just hold your line and run over a small swerving critter, instead of losing control or hitting somebody alongside you. I remember Barbara Savage from Santa Barbara, who rode around the world, wrote "Miles from Nowhere" about the trip, and died swerving to avoid a squirrel once back home. This comes to mind because I descend a steep hill on the way to work with no driveways or cross traffic; a couple of weeks ago, I saw a mockingbird (?) flying in a crazy fashion over the road out of the corner of my eye at 39 mph as it pursued some insect--in a heartbeat it swooped down to the road directly under my front tire and I felt a small bump--but I did not move the handlebars at all. I looked in my helmet mirror, but it was already out of sight around the curve. I hope that bump was just its tail feathers. I looked for any sign of the bird that evening going up the hill, but saw nothing. That happened to be the first advanced (vertebrate) varmint that I've hit in many years. (I've murdered snails by the thousands on damp nights on some bike paths)

  19. #19
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    yup, hit deer and ran over it about 6 weeks ago. I posted about it on the forum.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ute?highlight=

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Been lucky so far. Have had a bunch of squirrels playing chicken with my bike(hate squirrels), and a rabbit or two cross my path. I even had a deer cross my path, but so far I have not hit a critter. Now, I did have a disagreement with a car about occupying the same physical space at the same time.

  21. #21
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    A frog. It was sitting on a small log, right in the center, and I ran over it with my front wheel.

    *warning - graphic detail*
    I glanced down right as my wheel was rolling over the middle of the frog and saw it's guts popping out of it's mouth, but then, it's guts slid back in as the wheel rolled off it. I stopped, the bike straddling the log, feeling very sorry that I killed it, but the darn frog jumped away!
    "I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."

  22. #22
    Senior Member trekmogul's Avatar
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    I had my 1st animal strike this am on the bike trail. I was out at about 445am today crusing along when all of a sudden out of nowhere this racoon walks right out in front of me at about 18mph. I held bars tight and hit him directly in the rib cage. He hissed at me as he was thrown to the side of the trail. I was always worred about this and today i found out 1st hand. I am sure i am lucky as i must have hit him just right for it not to cause me to go down. Jerry
    Trek Fuel EX9.0 Trek Fuel EX9.5 Trek Equinox 9.9SSL TTX Trek Madone 6.9 Pro Red Project One, Trek Boone 7, Trek Rumblefish Pro, Trek Remedy 9.9, Trek Carbon District

  23. #23
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Solution?

    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  24. #24
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I've not ever run over a critter but have had a critter almost run over me. If it werent for peripheral vision and good braking, that big whitetail doe would have flat smashed into the side of the bike and me.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Nearly had two encounters this morning! Each animal zipped across so fast I'm unsure what the h*** either one was. One of the times I swear the animal zipped between my front and rear tire under the crank.

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