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  1. #1
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    Passing Livestock

    I had some anxious moments yesterday on some very, very remote unpaved roads. I've seen signs that read "Loose Livestock" while touring before, but I'd never had to pass livestock who just happen to be hanging out in the road.
    I thought I might have trouble with the first one when I saw horns, but after closer inpection it was a female cow with small horns. The females that I passed were docile, they either lazily watched me go by or got spooked and ran away. But I ran into a male late in the trip and he was pretty much in the middle of the road. I wasn't sure what to do because it seemed that he could, if he wanted to, easily hit me if I passed on either side. I stopped a safe distance from him and we looked at each other for a while. He didn't make any aggressive gestures, so I hopped on and passed him. Thank goodness he just watched me go by.

    Does anyone have, or know where to find, good info on dealing with livestock on the road? I've seen much about dealing with dogs, but nothing about livestock.

  2. #2
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Whenever I pass horse (mule, ox-?whatever) drawn carts on tour, I allways slow a bit & give the handler a "howdy". I don't fully pass the animal until the handler has had a chance to perhaps reign in there animal. Mind you I'm not concerned about my health/safety, much more of the folks in the cart should the animal bolt.

    Cows, sheep, goats & horses in the road I just make my way through, unless there is a hearder about. If there is a hearder, I may ask (usually hand signal) if it's OK for me to weave through, or wait (I can ALLWAYS use a break).

    With larger animals (Cows, OX, horses in particular) I try to be as smooth as possible, avoiding freewheal clicking&shift clicking if at all possible.

    [edit*2] Adding: I've only seen an animal bolt once, it was a harnessed mule from a farm field next to a mountain cafe I was stopped at having some ?sausage(I hope)+carbs +coffee. Let me tell ya-had that happened while I was still riding I would have pooed me pants! Scariness.
    Last edited by Camel; 07-05-05 at 05:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member librarian's Avatar
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    I had to ride through a buffalo herd once. Luckily there was a ranger there making sure no one messed with them and he escorted us through. Those things are big, at least as big as the car.

    In South Jersey and PA the thing I worry about is deer. They are not used to people and are very skittish. Kinda like big squirrels with antlers.

    Another thought: I did get hit by a chicken once. A poultry truck heading towards us was taking them to be made into soup and one made his escape. Next thing I knew the chicken was coming down the highway at 40 mph rolling in a big cloud of feathers. I was dumbfounded. He had slowed pretty much by the time he hit my front wheel. He stood up clucked a bit and wondered off into the bushes. Escape plans worked that time.

  4. #4
    Long Live Long Rides
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    I was stopped by 3 deer on the Katy trail somewhere between Marthasville and St. Charles. It was kind of wierd. They didn't move. I stopped and we just sat there looking at each other. I even made a gesture in their direction. Still they just stood there. It was creaping me out really bad.

    Then, just like deer do, they shot into the trees. This part of the Trail doesn't carry much traffic so I can't imagine they were used to seeing people.

    Who knows. Just another strange thing to add to my Bike Ride Journal.
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

  5. #5
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony King
    I had some anxious moments yesterday on some very, very remote unpaved roads. I've seen signs that read "Loose Livestock" while touring before, but I'd never had to pass livestock who just happen to be hanging out in the road.
    I thought I might have trouble with the first one when I saw horns, but after closer inpection it was a female cow with small horns. The females that I passed were docile, they either lazily watched me go by or got spooked and ran away. But I ran into a male late in the trip and he was pretty much in the middle of the road. I wasn't sure what to do because it seemed that he could, if he wanted to, easily hit me if I passed on either side. I stopped a safe distance from him and we looked at each other for a while. He didn't make any aggressive gestures, so I hopped on and passed him. Thank goodness he just watched me go by.

    Does anyone have, or know where to find, good info on dealing with livestock on the road? I've seen much about dealing with dogs, but nothing about livestock.
    Was he bull or steer?

    Joe

  6. #6
    Macro Geek
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    Last year I started a thread on my close encounter with a herd of charging steers. Contributors provided good information about bovine behaviour!

    When cows and bicyclists meet...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeprim
    Was he bull or steer?

    Joe
    Steer. I don't know exactly what I would have done with a bull, but I wouldn't have passed him like I did.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    A bull of any breed can be a problem. I try to stay clear of them at all cost. Cows and steers are not a problem.

    Dogs are a much bigger problem. But as a fat old man I can still out run them.

    Joe
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Specialized Rockhopper 05

  9. #9
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    With deer, slow down if you can, then head around their rear end - deer can't back up. They spring forward if anything. And I don't think they wheel around like bulls. This tactic has kept me from hitting deer a couple of times while driving a car, I guess on a bike I'd do the same thing, but maybe yell too.

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