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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-21-07, 07:21 AM   #1
merlinman
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wierdest near miss ever...

usually I worry about cars, peds and newbie cyclists. Yesterday I was off on a 3 hour 56 mile ride (with a couple of killer hills, including Cougar Mountain a 2.5 mile, 1000 foot climb). But before I got to the hills I was rolling along the flats on a bike/ped trail adjacdent to a small stream, which runs for 15 miles or so. Out of nowhere 3 GEESE (seriously large birds) emerged in flight formation coming up out of the river and proceeded to cut across the path at an altitude of about 5 feet. I only had time to duck my head in the aero position and luckily only received a thwack on the helmet from the last goose's wing as they pulled up.

so what's your strangest near miss?
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Old 04-21-07, 07:46 AM   #2
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Not as strange, but: last week on the Eau de Hell 300K I made close eye contact with a deer who decided to join his buddy on the other side of the road. He underestimated my speed and just missed me. That ride, I had 3 near misses with deer. Not so strange, since I was up in Vancouver Island and up there the deer don't see enough cyclists to know the road etiquette.
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Old 04-21-07, 09:56 AM   #3
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Riding by some vultures eating roadkill. Last minute they decide to fly across my path. Vulture wing hit me in the head- thats the real reason you need a helmet.
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Old 04-21-07, 12:14 PM   #4
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A badger missed my front wheel by a couple of feet in the early hours of a British 300 in 2003.

Last year, three kangaroos crossing the road resulted in emergency braking west of Brisbane around midnight. Marsupials have negative road sense, just count the road kill.

A red squirrel ran between my wife's front and rear wheels a couple of years back. That was fun to watch, I was on her wheel.
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Old 04-21-07, 03:01 PM   #5
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I ride in a rural area so I see a lot of wildlife. I've had a couple of near misses:

One day, while riding along a major highway (US30), I was going down a long hill. It was a sunny day in late spring and I was urging my 30 pound Schwinn along at about 28 mph, according to the Cateye. Off to my right was a steep, grassy bank that sloped down to the road at about 45. I heard something rustling in the grass and looked over to see a fawn heading my way, ears laid back, legs stretched out and moving faster than me... we were on a collision course. I started yelling at the deer and waving one hand. A passing truck saw what was happening and blew his air horn; startled me but had no effect on the deer. As we approached convergence, there was nothing to do but hang on and steer toward the deer since, by now, the truck had drawn alongside and moving to the left was not an option. At the last possible moment, the fawn made a sharp right and ran back up the hill. I missed it by no more than 3 inches. Whew!

There are several Red Tail Hawk nests near one of my usual rides. When they have eggs or chicks in the nest, they will sometimes dive at me as I ride by. They will mostly come from behind and a bird with a 4 foot wingspan passing within inches gets your attention.
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Old 04-21-07, 04:28 PM   #6
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I almost stomped on a pigeon that flew through the main triangle of my bike. That was weird.
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Old 04-21-07, 08:50 PM   #7
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Riding along one of our local river bottom bike paths, I was clipping along at a good pace. Suddenly a skunk emerged from under a bush near the paths edge.

It was probably going down to the river to drink. I was going too fast to brake and only swerved to miss it. It froze in place and I missed running it over by only two or three inches. Strangly, it never sprayed me. I don't think it had time to realize it was in danger other than the automatic response to freeze. Also I wasn't making much of any noise.
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Old 04-21-07, 09:04 PM   #8
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So you got goosed! (Sorry, couldn't help it). I've had a couple of too close calls with deer over the years and a close encounter with a a small bear...but the weirdest was a songbird. Not sure what, but about the size of a robin. I was riding on the road at about 25 mph when it shot across the road, dove down, and crossed my path under my chain ring. You could hear the thing scratch across the blacktop under my chain ring and continue his flight once clear of the bike.
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Old 04-21-07, 09:20 PM   #9
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Riding into work on my folder one early foggy morning I was flying down a steep hill at about 30 mph when a squirrel, which was being pursued by a cat, ran between two parked cars heading for me as if he were going to run right up my leg. I freaked and threw my legs out and the startled squirrel made the deadly decision to jump through my tiny front wheel. The startled commuters waiting for the bus with their Starbuck coffees in hand looked aghast as I came out of the fog and flew by them still holding both legs out and screaming as squirrel guts and fur thwackata, thwacata, thwacata'd all the way down the hill. edit- doesn't really qualify as a near miss does it?

I've had several other near misses but the only thing that comes close to this was mountain biking in the Berkshires on some single track. I was on a fast steep descent lined with blackberry bushes in full bloom and startled a bear that was feeding leapt about 2' straight up in the air and then ran alongside me taking out a good 30' of bushes.

Oh! and my best near miss was on the bike path at night on the way home from Boston. There's a section I call "Watership Down" for it's dense population of what my wife fondly calls the "Suicide Bunnies". She rides through this section calling out in a high pitched voice, "Don't do it Bunnies!" I can't seem to bring myself to get my voice into that register that only small furry animals can hear so I ring my bell. One night I see a small rabbit crouched by the path and rang my bell to warn him as I went by. He was so freaked out he leapt up a good 5'-6' in the air and right in front of my face. We were eye ball to eyeball and I could literally see the whites of the rabbits eyes. We had this amazing moment of interspecies WTF! He landed on the other side of the path and as I looked back he was looking back at me like "whoa! was that wierd or what?" and then we both took off in opposite directions.- that was my best near miss.
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Old 04-22-07, 07:38 AM   #10
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I've had my problem with deer and small vermin, but nothing so exciting.

I was riding along on my regular training route through the hils when I see several young deer on the path just below the road. One starts and runs along the path parallel to the road in my direction. I fixed my eyes on the path, knowing he was in 'automode', that is not thinking and noted that a bit ahead the path came up to road level and crossed over to the uphill side. It was a no brainer, he followed the trail and I braked enough to give him plenty of space, even if he slipped on the pavement, which has happened before.

I read somewhere, and have had good success with this technique. When a prey animal is in the road way, that would be vermin, deer, and even birds like the turkey, aim at their position where they are when you see them. Do NOT try to ride around, aim at them. Their instinct is to wait for the predadtor to pounce then flee. If you try to anticipate you may well have a collision. I realize this is not a one size fits all solution, but it has worked remakably well in my experience.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinman
... I only had time to duck my head in the aero position ...
Make like Duck to avoid Goose?
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Old 04-22-07, 02:59 PM   #12
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Downhill sweeper with a peacock at the apex. (Heh. Top that!) Got up to chase it down and wring its neck and promptly landed on my butt again. Damn plastic shoes. As if my teammates weren't laughing hard enough already.
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Old 04-22-07, 04:19 PM   #13
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Raced Bambi for a while once before s/he crossed my path -- had the hand on the brake levers in case, phew!
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Old 04-22-07, 08:04 PM   #14
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This one time a Moose bit my sister.
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