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Little critters, What do you do?

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Little critters, What do you do?

Old 06-15-17, 03:28 PM
  #1  
AlexanderLS
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Little critters, What do you do?

I live in a rural area. We have many many wild rabbits.
With it now being spring/summer season they are breeding like crazy.
So many rabbits.

When I am riding on the off road trail as I like to do, they like to dart in front of me sometimes. They like to sit on the trail sometimes. They just generally like to get in the way.

It can be quite nerve racking having to slam the brakes multiple times in a single ride. It is also adding wear to my break pads/tires.

Do you guys just run over critters? Do you also stop?


I'm tempted to make it a standard rule not to stop for these stupid rabbits anymore. I don't have the desire to constantly replace brake pads/tires. Would it be more dangerous not to stop? Would the rabbit possibly flip me? The idea of killing the innocent creatures does make me sad, on the other hand you should see these things, they dart right in front of me, in some cases multiple times.

Last edited by AlexanderLS; 06-16-17 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Changed highlighted questions to red highlights.
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Old 06-15-17, 03:48 PM
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Small critters go thump-thump

Bigger critters go THUMP-THUMP

Large critters go HOLY _RAP!!!

Bunny rabbits R A thump-thump
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Old 06-15-17, 05:32 PM
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I yell at them, slow down if necessary, and try to go where they're not. Some people say to just aim at them and their instincts will make them dodge but that's silly IMO. If you try to run them over, you're more likely to do so, end of story.
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Old 06-15-17, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I yell at them, slow down if necessary, and try to go where they're not. Some people say to just aim at them and their instincts will make them dodge but that's silly IMO. If you try to run them over, you're more likely to do so, end of story.
I'm of the aim for them crowd. IME critters may freeze for a second, but will dart. If I aim to either side I have a 50/50 chance of guessing right. But if I steer for them, my track will be through the place they left regardless of which way they jump.

Of course, if they don't jump, I'm screwed, but that's a rare event much less likely than my 50/50 odds of guessing which way they'll jump.
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Old 06-15-17, 07:01 PM
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I applaud your desire to not injure or kill the animals. What I recommend is to get off your bike and hike, instead. The woods is where the animals live, and it is no place for high-speed vehicles, either motorized or non.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:24 PM
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Try a mountain bike trail bell like the Timber. These ring continually until locked out.

After finding out about these bells I tried a homebrewed version from a set of three different size holiday jingle bells on my bike for several months between December and this spring. They really do work great on the trails with humans. I'm planning to try it on my road bike for rides in a rural area where there's a constant danger of deer and other critters darting across the road near evening.

However there's a danger that a bell might provoke a critter into darting across our path erratically, rather than hesitating. So I'm always prepared to brake. There are a few danger zones along my rural highway route where deer are likely to dart across my path from blind stands of trees and brush.

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Old 06-15-17, 09:30 PM
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How about super bright flashlight/headlight? I use them for pedestrians and it's more effective than bells
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Old 06-15-17, 09:53 PM
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Sometimes I think the rabbits in my area are playing "chicken" - they hide at the side of the trail then shoot across at the last second forcing me to swerve or brake. Then I hear them all laughing at me.
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Old 06-15-17, 10:35 PM
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A loud hiss sound that I make works every time for me on the little critters.
They are deathly afraid of snakes, and dart for cover.
This means they head for the brush, not for the open terrain of the road or trail.
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Old 06-15-17, 10:53 PM
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I do my best to never harm wildlife when riding. I've had a large number of assorted small animals in my path but I've rarely had any problem avoiding them.

OP, Really? You have so many close encounters with trail bunnies that it seriously impacts your maintenance budget? Constantly replacing tires and brake pads? Wow, the place must be swarming with them.
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Old 06-15-17, 10:53 PM
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Tie a dried up rattlesnake rattle to your bike.
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Old 06-15-17, 11:14 PM
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Next time take some pictures to share. I'm so envious. Only cockroaches and rats in NYC.
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Old 06-15-17, 11:26 PM
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Encourage your local bobcats and cougars to breed more. That should take care of the excess rabbits.
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Old 06-15-17, 11:34 PM
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Learn to recognize the symptoms of tularemia, and make sure you cook the meat well.

Sure, I'd rather not kill a rabbit by accident, but if it happens, at least make use of the meat and skin.
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Old 06-16-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'm of the aim for them crowd. IME critters may freeze for a second, but will dart. If I aim to either side I have a 50/50 chance of guessing right. But if I steer for them, my track will be through the place they left regardless of which way they jump.

Of course, if they don't jump, I'm screwed, but that's a rare event much less likely than my 50/50 odds of guessing which way they'll jump.
I've noticed that squirrels & chipmunks get more panicked and random if I'm heading right at them, the closer I get. Further away, at an angle to miss, they're more likely to scamper away.

Rabbits are a different story - it seems like their preference is full speed ahead, juking left and right but not stopping or reversing. They're sometimes not as fast as they think they are

It's the turtles that scare me, always sneaking out in the rain and crouching down in your way where you least expect them.
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Old 06-16-17, 04:26 PM
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An alternative is wider tires at lower inflation.

Riding my comfy hybrid with spring suspension fork and 700x40 tires at 50 psi I've run over a few pit bulls, no harm to either of us. None of the pitties I've run into -- literally -- have been mean. They're exuberant and not terribly bright. They like to play parade and trot directly in front of my bike until we reach the end of their territory, then they break off and go home. But sometimes they'll dart around back and forth, changing speeds or suddenly stopping. So I've run over the haunches of two or three of 'em.

So, fat bike FTW with critters.
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Old 06-16-17, 05:09 PM
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I ride a pitch black MUP late at night on my way home that goes through a wooded and swamped area full of small animals, all the way up to deer. I used to panic stop and nearly wrecked one night doing that. My fixed gear has bladed spokes on the wheels. My normal travel speed due to fitness level and gearing is usually around 18-22mph. A rabbit ran out and into my rear wheel one night. No time to stop or even slow down. It darted out past the point of no return. Kept going and of course I felt it hit that rear wheel. Upon inspection of my rear wheel when I got home, blood and hair were found in the spokes. Not sure if it lost part of its face or the head completely but it stood no chance against those spokes or the force of me turning that rear wheel.

Lesson to be learned just as in driving a car, don't swerve to avoid it. That is when the most damage happens. Of course, if it is a black bear or a moose, you may want to vary your direction of travel a bit.
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Old 06-16-17, 07:51 PM
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I'd post something, but my keyboard is blocked...
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Old 06-16-17, 08:04 PM
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First time I've heard of someone who can't afford to use his brakes.
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Old 06-17-17, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Ball Bearing View Post
First time I've heard of someone who can't afford to use his brakes.
Exactly-that is what those levers are for!
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Old 06-17-17, 06:21 AM
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I ring my bell, or yell at them, etc. Mostly squirrels here...we joke that they are getting in the gang according to how close they run in front of you.

Biggest danger I see is loss of control, or worse one going in the spokes. That would hurt.
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Old 06-17-17, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TomatoSue View Post
I'd post something, but my keyboard is blocked...
Cute!
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Old 06-17-17, 05:38 PM
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I was in Sanibel Island Florida a couple weeks ago on vacation, and spent my rides there trying to avoid these tiny lizards on the MUPs. But it was constant, finally smoked one and sounded like a popcorn popping. I love lizards, felt bad, but by that point I had seen hundreds of the things.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:55 PM
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I see plenty of small critters whilst riding on bike trails but I have never seen one that had been run over.
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Old 06-20-17, 10:47 AM
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commuted a while tru a bunny infested area (and sometimes foxes and other magical creatures) hung a few cat-bells on the bar (they certainly know cats!) and that worked
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