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Squirrel tale

Old 10-06-11, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Chris516
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Squirrel tale

Has anyone encountered a squirrel trying to play 'chicken' by running in front of your front/rear tire?

Today on my ride, I encountered a squirrel who ran under my crank while I was going 20mph, resulting in my unintentionally kicking squirrel in the head. I immediately stopped to look back to see if the squirrel was okay. Thankfully the squirrel was fine.

Sadly, It reminded me of a cyclist that was with a group testing out the route for a century bike ride several years ago, when he was killed due to crashing at 30mph because of a hedgehog.
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Old 10-06-11, 05:51 PM
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Watch (very) carefully around the middle/lower portion of the screen.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:09 PM
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I've hit a squirrel on my folding bike. How he went into the spokes of the front wheel of a 20" bike moving at around 30 mph (I was going downhill) is beyond me but the results were not pretty.

On my commute home on the MUP there is a section I call "Watership Down" due to the plethora of rabbits. My wife calls them the "Suicidal Bunnies" and sings out in a high pitched voice, "Don't do it, bunnies!!!!", as she rides through. I've taken to embarrassing myself by doing the same on occasion.

One night I so startled a rabbit that was hunched by the side of the path that he leapt a full 6' in the air right at eye level across the bike path in front of me. I swear his face was only inches from mine and we stared at each other in a frozen moment of panic, literally seeing the whites of the one another's eyes. I saw his terror and I am sure he saw mine. He landed on the other side of the path and as I looked back he was looking back at me like, "Whoa, inter-species moment of truth there, huh?"
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Old 10-06-11, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
I've hit a squirrel on my folding bike. How he went into the spokes of the front wheel of a 20" bike moving at around 30 mph (I was going downhill) is beyond me but the results were not pretty.


Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
On my commute home on the MUP there is a section I call "Watership Down" due to the plethora of rabbits. My wife calls them the "Suicidal Bunnies" and sings out in a high pitched voice, "Don't do it, bunnies!!!!", as she rides through. I've taken to embarrassing myself by doing the same on occasion.


Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
One night I so startled a rabbit that was hunched by the side of the path that he leapt a full 6' in the air right at eye level across the bike path in front of me. I swear his face was only inches from mine and we stared at each other in a frozen moment of panic, literally seeing the whites of the one another's eyes. I saw his terror and I am sure he saw mine. He landed on the other side of the path and as I looked back he was looking back at me like, "Whoa, inter-species moment of truth there, huh?"
Sounds like you found the rabbit from 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail', that guarded the cave of Kyre Manor(sp)....lol

The bunny beheaded several from King Arthur's Court, when they tried to enter the cave.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:44 PM
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I've nailed a few squirrels, thankfully with a fat tire town bike. Last weekend we had one cross between the front wheel and our rear wheel of our tandem; I didn't see it until it crossed under my feet (I'm stoker).

Our worst animal problem around here are the nutria. They feed on grass, mostly at night. Unfortunately, our bike paths are so close to the water that the nutria have to cross the path to get to the food. Even worse, they have poor eyesight and when they see a bike (just before it passes them) they race for the water on the other side of the path. They are big enough to take down most riders. I've never actually hit one, but I have had a few skidding halts to avoid them.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:51 PM
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I need to get a bike camera...I had a friggin bear cross my path today!
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Old 10-06-11, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
I need to get a bike camera...I had a friggin bear cross my path today!
Hee hee. I had one cross thirty feet in front of me last weekend. it surprised my since I had never seen one that close to town (twenty-five miles out). Ours are all afraid of humans, probably because we have lots of hunters.
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Old 10-06-11, 07:31 PM
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Aim for the squirrel's head. He will jump out of the way. This also works with dogs (usually). Maybe not with bears, though.
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Old 10-06-11, 08:25 PM
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Ok, in case you all don't know it by now, they are having open casting for a new squirrel in the GEICO commercial. Seems the old one missed his queue and wound up as the main course for the camera crew that night. Anyway, in order to get practice, they start out with bicycles, then move to motorcycles and then to the ultimate challenge, cars. Those that survive get to try out for GEICO.

Anyway, this should explain part of this phenomenon. Here's a link to the current commercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL1uFjSbvnA
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Old 10-06-11, 09:43 PM
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I played (unintentionally) squirrel soccer last week coming home from school. He hit my left foot, and managed to get out of the street before the pickup behind me could finish him off. Those things are NUTS!!! (pun intended)
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Old 10-06-11, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
I've hit a squirrel on my folding bike. How he went into the spokes of the front wheel of a 20" bike moving at around 30 mph (I was going downhill) is beyond me but the results were not pretty.

On my commute home on the MUP there is a section I call "Watership Down" due to the plethora of rabbits. My wife calls them the "Suicidal Bunnies" and sings out in a high pitched voice, "Don't do it, bunnies!!!!", as she rides through. I've taken to embarrassing myself by doing the same on occasion.

One night I so startled a rabbit that was hunched by the side of the path that he leapt a full 6' in the air right at eye level across the bike path in front of me. I swear his face was only inches from mine and we stared at each other in a frozen moment of panic, literally seeing the whites of the one another's eyes. I saw his terror and I am sure he saw mine. He landed on the other side of the path and as I looked back he was looking back at me like, "Whoa, inter-species moment of truth there, huh?"
A friend of mine told me about a squirrel that was even luckier. It seems that the little rodent was able to not only pass through his bicycle unscathed, but did so passing through his front wheel. I thought only cats had 9-lives.
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Old 10-07-11, 04:53 AM
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The most funny thing I've ever seen with a squirrel was when I hit my horn in the car and watched one jump right smack into the guard rail. Heh.. my wife was actually pissed at me and alternated between wanting me to go back and make sure the thing was okay and claiming that serial killers torture animals and I was getting too much amusement about it's bell being rung.
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Old 10-07-11, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
I need to get a bike camera...I had a friggin bear cross my path today!
I had that happen but had I been recording the footage would have probably been shaky. We were at mile 19 of a 20 mile ride on a mountain trail. We came around a corner after a crash and a bear was sitting on the trail. I credit the commotion of the crash with letting it know we were nearby.

I knew a guy who had been mauled in the area and was ready to redo 19 miles the other way, but the bear moved to the side of the trail and I was outvoted to continue past it. Amazing how much energy I had knowing it was watching us from behind.

As for squirrels, I used to ride through a trail to get to work in my early 20s that was a field of ground squirrels. The first month or so they would scatter and in their panic run in front of me. I always slowed down to let them get out of the way. After that, when I'd approach they would just sit to the side of the trail and let me go by. They must have been used to me and knew I was just passing through with no harm.

On another note, when I saw the thread title I was worried the OP was talking about squirrel TAIL. In cosmetology school, that was something else.
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Old 10-07-11, 10:49 AM
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I have had two pass between my front and rear wheel. They go crazy for those acorns and are everywhere.
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Old 10-07-11, 11:09 AM
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I've long wondered why squirrels have this seemingly suicide behavior. Earlier this summer I experienced a suicide squirrel event that provides a possible explanation.

My wife and I were riding along and a suicide squirrel did the usual dash across the road that took it near our wheels. As the squirrel neared the end of it's run across the road, a red tailed hawk swooped in from above us; talons extended ready to nail the squirrel. As the hawk swooped into our view we were so surprised that we both shouted. Maybe it was the shouting, or the general difficulty of nailing the squirrel, while dodging the bikes, maybe it was just a hapless hawk, but the hawk missed the squirrel by inches.

So, while I don't know if the suicide behavior is intentional, in this case it may have been the difference between life and death for one squirrel.

Speedo
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Old 10-07-11, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Sounds like you found the rabbit from 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail', that guarded the cave of Kyre Manor(sp)....lol
"look at the bones!!"

I had a kamikaze skunk run onto the bike path.. i ended up bailing to avoid running it over
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Old 10-07-11, 02:54 PM
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I've killed two ground squirrels, one on the bike path in Monterey and another on the velodrome. They both made the same sound: "snap!" My fixed Ti road bike has two squirrel decals. One of these days I'm going to get another one. It's important to hold your line. They're mostly pretty good at timing it just right. Hunter Thompson said they do it for the adrenaline rush.

Incidentally, the killer rabbit inhabited the cave of caerbannog!

Last edited by Ray R; 10-07-11 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 10-07-11, 09:15 PM
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The thing that I would like to know about squirrels is why do they run half-way out into the road and then turn around? If they'd continue running straight across the road they'd avoid getting hit. I did have a VERY close call with one earlier this week.

If I hadn't locked up my brakes I'd have hit the little bugger.
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Old 10-07-11, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray R View Post
Incidentally, the killer rabbit inhabited the cave of caerbannog!
Ah, Yes! I was trying to remember what the guy with the long beard said.
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Old 10-07-11, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
The thing that I would like to know about squirrels is why do they run half-way out into the road and then turn around? If they'd continue running straight across the road they'd avoid getting hit. I did have a VERY close call with one earlier this week.

If I hadn't locked up my brakes I'd have hit the little bugger.
Excellent question.

I saw a squirrel do that just the other day. I had to hit my brakes so hard, that I dragged a rock under my back tire and drew a white line on the asphalt. When I saw the line, I was thinking, a skid mark would be black, not white. Then I saw the rock under my tire and thought 'Attention to all squirrels in the neighborhood. You have to wait behind the white line, before you can take your turn at playing chicken with my bike'.
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Old 10-08-11, 02:48 AM
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Don't take squirrels lightly.
https://cloudbaseimaging.blogspot.com...-dont-mix.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/76039319/
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Old 10-08-11, 03:25 AM
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I think I have posted this before, but hey ho

Evil Mutant Attack Squirrell of Death
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Old 10-08-11, 09:31 AM
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I'm not skeered...

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Old 06-24-15, 08:59 PM
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I almost decapitated a squirrell tonight on a ride. Little bastard ran out in front of me right for the wheel. He got hit by the spokes and went flying.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:47 AM
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My wife and I were riding the Katy Trail a few years back when we noticed a squirrel sitting at the side of the trail ahead of us. The front wheel of her bike was about even with the squirrel when it decided to make a run across trail. It started, decided it couldn't make it without hitting the bike, did a little stutter step that Walter Payton would have been proud of, and then jumped up on her pannier. The squirrel rode the pannier for about 30 feet before scrambling to the top of the rack, finally jumping off to the other side of the trail.
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