Dodging wildlife on tour
This might be a repeated thread, but after just barely missing a wiley squirrel today on a rapid downhill ride, I began wondering what kind of wildlife people have had to avoid(or hit) while touring or just riding. I've had close encounters with deer and turkeys on the country roads up here in upstate New York(east of Lake Ontario). On a Moose tour a couple of years a go in Maine, a cyclist hit a moose, and he ended up in the hospital(the cyclist...not the moose).
I ran over a squirrel on a residential street in Toronto. The bike went:
Blomp-bloomp. The squirrel never stopped. Obviously a minor inconvenience.
Deer and moose have longer legs and and such are more dangerous to both bikers and car drivers. They also tend to 'have no fear' and remain on the highway looking at the headlights as they bare down on them. Those longer legs are bad for drivers as they collapse on the hood sending the torso of the animal into the pasenger compartment. Not nice.
My hint. Pass behind all animals, normally they go forward (same as cars). Let them know where you are, and don't appear to be an agressor.
Would you go into somebody's house and smack them upside the wall in their kitchen?
Well, it's the squirrel's house and the moose's, too, when you're riding thru.
So take off the headphones, focus on what is around you -
not your speed or your next date or your hassles at work -
and I doubt you will hit anything.
Ok I know moose can move pretty fast when they want to. But how did the cyclist hit it, did it jump out in front? Hope the injuries were not serious.
Got me how to avoid squirrels and such, consenous seems to be no panic stops, mostly likely with a little critter you will miss it by just maintaining a straight line. I stopped trying to dodge squirrels awhile back have not hit one yet.
Deer have crossed in front of me, but were across the road before I could react. I think that if a collision was unavoidable I'd lay the bike down, and take the road rash over an impact. Just my thought, hope it never happens. Either way its going to hurt, but at 20mph + I'd rather not hit a stationary object, big or little.
How do you hit a moose..... unless you're blind or decided it'd be a good idea to play chicken.
You hit a moose when you are going down a steep hill with thick woods on both sides of the road and the moose comes out of the woods! The same way a car would hit a moose. In the situation I'm describing, the moose was uninjured. The cyclists was slightly injured.
You do not want to collide with a moose. They are big and heavy. I know someone who hit one while driving 65 mile per hour (100 km per hour) in a car. Fortunately, none of the passengers were hurt, but the car was totalled. The moose walked away, without any signs of injury. I hope it survived!
I almost hit an ant today, but it wasn't a wild one, it was domesticated, so it's OK.
Sorry, just being silly.
I've got a couple of stories about wildlife and touring.
Several times we've been on some lonely outback road, fence either side, and a mob of kangaroos in front of us. We've never come close to hitting them because we travel just a bit slower than they hop. But the mob sometimes stays just in front of us for up to ten minutes, bounding away slightly ahead of us. I guess they're too lazy to jump the fence, so we end up herding them along the road.
A closer call was in North Qld last year, riding by moonlight, us with no lights. There are only one or two cars per hour so it's pretty safe. This time there are no fences and lots of brahmans wandering all over the place. I'd say we saw a dead one, or the bones of one every 10km or so. There are a lot of road kills in this area. Anyway, there we were, mosying along, not having seen any for quite some time, and I caught a glimpse of one in my peripheral vision, standing in the road. I yelled out to my partner who was in front - she wasn't paying attention, and she pulled to a stop about 5 metres from the beast. He just stayed there and eyed us off.
I was imagining the world-first headlines: Cyclist hits brahman, killed in stampede.
In outback of west Texas we ride around rattlesnakes quite frequently.
Two more stories:
Canada geese are a real menace in the city. They sit of the bike trails and poop leaving a horrid mess that makes sure you install fenders unless you want a mouthful. They are also aggressive and refuse to get off the path.
I once ran across a badger while I was in England. I'd never seen one in the flesh before and was suprised how large they are. I understand they have the same bad temperment as racoons.
Road kill is often a bit gorey on tour. I remember once is Southwestern Ontario spotting two together from some distance away. When I passed the first one I observed it was a rabbit or hare. It was hard to tell with out seeing the ears. Turn out it was a hare. The second road kill was the head.