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Old 09-13-02, 06:49 AM   #1
Brian_T
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Squirrels

I had my first run-in (quite literally) with a squirrel yesterday while doing a little training around the neighborhood and I don't think he was very happy about it.

I was drafting about a car-length behind one of the local PD SUVs and we were doing a pretty good tempo when a squirrel darted out from the side of the road and, of course, slammed on his brakes DIRECTLY in front of me (apparently to enjoy the scenery from the right lane.) I swerved to avoid him and, like squirrels will do, he moved very quickly in the same direction. Uh-oh was about the only thought that had time to zip through my brain as I barrelled down on potential road-kill. I pulled pretty hard back to the left and managed to avoid hitting the squirrel's body but caught the tail right up near his little butt.

I didn't know that squirrels could scream.

I know I didn't kill him because he was gone when I came around for the next lap.

Did I do the right thing? Should I have smashed his little acorn-eating butt into the pavement? Should I have stopped to make sure he was alright and administered squirrel first-aid if he wasn't? Any other advice?
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Old 09-13-02, 07:16 AM   #2
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aww man! I was thinking about this yesterday on my ride. What would happen if you hit a squirrel spot on? Would it be really, really gross - guts spraying into your face - that was the first image I had. The second was of me eating pavement.

Has anyone ever hit an animal?
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Old 09-13-02, 07:29 AM   #3
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Have never hit one; have never come close to hitting one; but I ride so slow that neither one of us would be in any kind of danger if one of them should stop in the road in front of me.

However, if one of them did stop in front of me and demanded its share of the road, I'd probably just run over it. There are too many of them in my neighborhood anyway.
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Old 09-13-02, 08:24 AM   #4
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Avoid hitting squirrels, either dead or alive. My idea of bike maintenance does not involve picking blood, guts and ass out of the spokes, chain, gears etc.

Plus, I like squirrels. They're cute!
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Old 09-13-02, 08:31 AM   #5
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I didn't hit any, but I did have to dodge a half dozen or so baby racoons on my ride thru the park last night. Talk about cute! Too bad they grow up to be kings of the garbage heap.
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Old 09-13-02, 08:35 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Bumbaclat

Plus, I like squirrels. They're cute!
Me too. Saw one hit by a Volvo the other day(he didn't try to brake). It snapped it's spine and the squirrel crawled off shook a bit and died just as I got to it.

I know they can be problematical but hey, a life is a life.
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Old 09-13-02, 08:51 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Brian_T
I pulled pretty hard back to the left and managed to avoid hitting the squirrel's body but caught the tail right up near his little butt.
You must live in my neighbourhood Brian because I saw your squirrell yesterday! We have tons of squirrells here (they drive the dogs nuts ) so I usually don't pay any attention to them, but the one that caught my eye did not have a tail! Goofy looking little guy.
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Old 09-13-02, 08:59 AM   #8
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My brother-in-law's story about cycling in Zimbabwe . . .

They're zooming along in the sticks on MTBs, along dirt roads, and they ride thru a village.

A pile of chikens take fright and run across the road. Manky, skrawny inbred things (the chickens, not my brother-in-law) with no feathers on their necks. My B.I.L. gets a chicken straight thru the spokes of each wheel.

Completely shredded the birds.

I must ask if they offered any compensation to the owners of the birds. It would have been two dinners down the tubes after all.

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Old 09-13-02, 09:28 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Bumbaclat
My idea of bike maintenance does not involve picking blood, guts and ass out of the spokes, chain, gears etc.
On a recent training ride we were in a tight group heading up a long hill and then around the bend. I was concentrating on the guy in front of me and we usually call out obstacles on the road. Well this time the guy in front missed the call and I ran over a raccoon dead-on (sorry for the pun). Thump-thump I went. Thankfully he was very crispy and had been pancaked onto the road surface. Nothing liquid got me, but I still cleaned off the bike frame as soon as I got home from the ride just to be safe. Yuck!

Now whenever I ride with the same group and we see road-kill everybody makes a point to tell me it's there so as to avoid potential messes. Thanks guys
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Old 09-13-02, 09:41 AM   #10
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Thanks to cycling I am an expert in road-kill. I can identify them even when there is nothing left but the pelt of smashed fur. I saw several dead birds recently, a possum, a racoon and the tail of a squirrel. I wonder if this is the missing tail? Tell your squirrel I have his tail.
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Old 09-13-02, 09:57 AM   #11
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You should try to miss the squirrel, but if you can't...ah well. What are you gonna do, ya tried.

Now my wife will drive the car off the road to avoid a squirrel or other animal, my thinking is: try if I can to avoid, if it is either me or the squirrel and my life/health is in danger, the squrrel gets it.

Anyone who purposly tries to hit an animal is disturbed and an a--hole.

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Old 09-13-02, 10:44 AM   #12
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Uhm....folks....there IS a reason that they call them squirrels and that the term "squirrel" has come to mean what it does....

Clocked a groundhog in the head with my pedal once at the bottom of my spin. The guys behind me said the critter was standing on his back legs and spinning in circles when they passed him a couple moments later
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Old 09-13-02, 11:02 AM   #13
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We have more of a problem here with rabbits and deer. Right now the hunters are driving the deer into the valley and they are jumpy - I would be as well. The rabbits, though, have this weird habit of running in an arc. They'll take off, run beside you for a moment then curve right in to you. They are just to big and cute to hit.
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Old 09-13-02, 11:33 AM   #14
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I hit a squirrel once. Once.

I was cruising down the campus walk no-handed. I spotted the furry rat along the side of walk, he was watching me approach. Now I know squirrels were stuck in the back of the line when God handed brains out to rodents, so I expected him to dart out at the worst possible time. I dared him. Sure enough he lunged out right as I passed - thumpx2 - then he runs away. Personally I think he planned the whole thing.

So do I win some kind of prize for running over a squirrel no-handed?

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Old 09-13-02, 11:42 AM   #15
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You win a Squirrel Lovers Figurine.
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Last edited by Rotifer; 09-13-02 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-13-02, 12:20 PM   #16
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At least Squirrels don't stink.

On a ride on Martha's Vineyard my Dad ran over a recently deceased :angel: skunk with his new Softride. My parents were staying in a hotel room, so my Mother bought a couple of gallons of tomato juice and they washed down the bike in the bathtub of the hotel room.

I'm not sure who got it worse, my Dad, my Mom, or the poor cleaning lady who had to wash the tub.
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Old 09-13-02, 12:59 PM   #17
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Don't have much run ins with squirrels,
however we do have a problem with snakes and
tarantulas. Rattlesnakes are not happy campers when
approached by a bicycle, best to avoid them.
A squirrel is a rat in fancy clothing.

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Old 09-13-02, 02:28 PM   #18
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Waaaa! How can you say that! You Killer!



I hate seeing squished squirrels in the road. I just hate to think of them getting all squished. I saw one yesterday that had just been hit by a car, not squished. It was still alive but died right after, because it was dead when I saw it on the way back. Poor thing! It probably got flattened by all the traffic later. I hate to think of it. But I know it happens. A few times I've nearly wiped out trying to avoid squirrels or chipmunks. But it hasn't happened yet nor have I ever run over one.

Not long ago, I did see a squished skunk. Phew! I smelled it before I saw it. I'm surprised I don't see more since skunks are nocturnal and would be hard for drivers to see, but then I guess there are less cars on the road at night. Either way, yecch.
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Old 09-13-02, 02:42 PM   #19
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Squirrels are viscous little creatures. Did you know they eat nestlings? Here is a picture of one mowing on a dead woodpecker.
Oh and here is a picture of one of the little monsters eating a baby bird. I don't like to see anything suffer but squirrels deserve little sympathy - they aren't even native to the West. I was surprised when I heard they eat birds, local Audubon folks made a big deal out of it when it was found the squirrels were wiping out the birds in a local park.
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Old 09-13-02, 03:58 PM   #20
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Would it be really, really gross - guts spraying into your face
I do not believe this would happen. But you might get a pissed off squirrel tossed onto your leg.
I usualy just hop over them, even on my road bike.
The biggest problem we have out here are rattle snakes. On a good day I will have to swerve or hop over at least 3 or 4 during the course of a ride. Now that it is cooling down they should not be around so much.
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Old 09-13-02, 04:05 PM   #21
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You win a Squiirrel Lovers Figurine.
Squirrels getting it on - whoohoo!
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Old 09-13-02, 04:06 PM   #22
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You win a Squiirrel Lovers Figurine.
Oh how cute--one squirrel is giving mouth-to-mouth to the victim of a bicycle hit-n-run accident.
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Old 09-13-02, 04:15 PM   #23
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You two are sick, did you buy them all?
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Old 09-13-02, 04:17 PM   #24
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[QUOTE]I hate seeing squished squirrels in the road. I just hate to think of them getting all squished.

Wabbit your just a big softy

I should know. i love to see the squirrels around my garden , ever since they found out we have hazel trees. Drives my cat nuts. he'll sit out there motionless for hours trying to catch one but they are just too quick.
Plus as he is apricot and white his camoflage sucks.

I found out that the guy next door was trapping them in a cage and disposing of them a few months back and had a few choice words with him about it. A few weeks later he fell down the stairs and died. I felt a bit guilty about that. ..........

A couple of years ago I was out walking the wife and her dog( they both needed exercise) and there was a thud on the path behind us. We looked round and there was a squirrel lying on the path with its feet in the air. It had fallen out of the tree...
We all just stood there with our jaws drooped and after a few moments he got up and limped off at the speed of light.

No you have got to do whatever it takes to avoid running over the little critters I guess.
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Old 09-13-02, 04:35 PM   #25
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Hey, I likesquirrels!

They're animals and they do what animals do to survive, so I don't hold that against them. They're cheerful and fun to watch as they play in my backyard. They're the closest thing I have to pets.

I also like chipmunks, Groundhogs, otter and beavers... and all the other animals I see on my rides...
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