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Things that go bump in the night

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Things that go bump in the night

Old 11-15-07, 02:11 PM
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Things that go bump in the night

Monday evening on my commute home I crested a hill and was riding along a slightly upslope road in the complete darkness. My route runs along mostly fields and some woods. I run on a very tight budget and only had one headlight: a Cateye EL 410 which I had ridden 10 miles darkly without incident last Friday. I was a little nervous with the lack of visibility, but could not afford to spend much more. I went to Walmart and got the Bell light for about $9 and stuck that on the bike. So Monday I felt a lot more confident.

So I'm riding along about 6 ft. away or less from tall grass in a field, but all I can see is straight ahead in front of me. I heard some rustling in the grass from something large that I could not see. I can tell you that it did scare me and I picked up my pace quickly. I never saw what it was, but it could well have been a moose. We have them all around us here. I'm glad whatever it was stayed in the grass and didn't join me in the road.

My question is what have you met in the dark that gave you a good scare while riding your bike?
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Old 11-15-07, 02:17 PM
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I tried to scare a cat once, as it was raiding my neighbors garbage can. I found out that, in the dark, from not far enough of a distance, skunks look kind of like cats. That made my heart skip a beat or 2.
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Old 11-15-07, 02:25 PM
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3 deer trailside (separate instances) and a possum last night... Seems the fixed gear is a little too silent to scare off the wildlife...

I just hope I don't have an opportunity to post a thread titled "I was hit by a deer on my commute."
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Old 11-15-07, 03:05 PM
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I had to brake hard for a buck standing in the middle of the bike path last night. He took a beautiful standing leap over a 5 foot fence after I came around a curve and caught him in my headlights. Then, back on the city streets, a saw a skunk duck under a car. I'm hoping I don't come across a coyote, which are plentiful here, in the same way.
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Old 11-15-07, 05:22 PM
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A pheasant early in the morning along the ride to work.
Broke from the brush next to the trail about 3 feet off
to my side.
Thought I might have to finish the ride squishy in the saddle for a moment there!
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Old 11-15-07, 06:23 PM
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I've been seeing some cats [possibly feral] on the MUP at night. Their eyes glow yellow, silver, and green - very eerie.

Last week I passed two large deer - one with about 4 points.

Last season heading down a short incline at 30mph with lights blazing something burst out from the side and passed through my bike with a twang! I froze up awaiting the crash that never came. In the morning I found what looked like squirrel tail hair stuck in my frame bottle holder.
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Old 11-15-07, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PerhamBiker View Post
My question is what have you met in the dark that gave you a good scare while riding your bike?
Going slow up a hill, in the dark, I heard something on the bank next to me. I turned the wheel to light up the spot and was looking at a black bear about 6 ft away.
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Old 11-15-07, 06:32 PM
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My Dad and I were riding after dark on the New River Trail in October; we saw eight deer in 6 or so miles.
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Old 11-15-07, 08:20 PM
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Meh, I ride through the country, farm land. There's crap running around beside the roads every day. This time of year they make a lot of noise due to the dry leaves. I expect it's mainly raccoons, rabbits, that sort of thing. Some coyotes too; I see one once a month or so. This time of year, deer are running around like crazy; I have to brake for them in the dark at least once a day, and I've had them come close to hitting me.

None of this really even gets my pulse up anymore.

I did have an owl dive on me once in the pitch black on a lonely road, and screech practically in my ear. Yeah, OK, that woke me up.
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Old 11-15-07, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by orange leader View Post
I tried to scare a cat once, as it was raiding my neighbors garbage can. I found out that, in the dark, from not far enough of a distance, skunks look kind of like cats. That made my heart skip a beat or 2.
hahaha this happened to me as well. I thought I was chasing a cat down the street, nope!
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Old 11-15-07, 09:59 PM
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I ran over an unidentified critter the other night on a MUP. I tried to avoid it but it came running straight for me. It survived and ran off in the other direction.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:26 PM
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I almost got hit last night by a ninja car. I was making a left into a sidestreet and I was in the middle turn lane. As I made my left the ninja car became more visible under the street light on the corner. Scared the crap out of me. Probably scared the heck out of the ninja driver too because he slammed his brakes when the "crazy" cyclist turned in front of him.

Wait, we're not limited to animals here are we?
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Old 11-15-07, 10:29 PM
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I swear I can't remember her name.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:36 PM
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As far as animals are concerned, a huge deer ran 5 feet in front of me from a residential driveway.

I was coming down a hill at a pretty good clip when I heard a loud banging sound behind a concrete wall. It turned out that the deer was running on paved ground and it darted from behind the wall as I was approaching the driveway opening. Its a good thing I latched on the breaks when I got startled by the sound. Otherwise the timing would have been perfect for it to run through me if I didn't.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:53 PM
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I just had a "bump in the night" experience. Super dark out tonight, the moon had just set and a thin layer of clouds prevented any stars from peeking out. So dark it seemed to just swallow my light, even though I have a quite bright 20w halogen. My ride home takes me through a stretch of about 5 miles of fields, light woods and riparian area, leading right up to the foothills of the Rockies. It's on a MUP that only crosses one road per mile, usually with an underpass. No nearby houses or anything, it's an awesome ride.

Anyway, tonight I was just a bit freaked out, and for some reason the thought of mountain lions crossed my mind. I was about on my third mile of MUP, two to go until I got to the town where I live. Heard something fairly large (or at least large sounding) rustle in the grass near a stand of cottonwoods. Couldn't see it, but man...I covered those next two miles in record time.

Probably just a deer, but it really freaked me out. Total darkness + bad thoughts = scary! Even though I routinely see deer and foxes and stuff, I just wussed out. Big time adrenaline rush...

I haven't moved so fast since last year when a german shepard lit out after me, no barking or anything. All I heard was the jingling of dog tags, looked back, and there was this big old dog gaining on me. Yelled at him to "GO HOME!" which gave him a few seconds pause, and I took off like a bat out of hell. Full sprint for like two miles, even though I don't think he chased me for more than 1/4 mile.

Haha, sorry for the rambling there. Looking forward to some more scary riding stories.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn_mojo View Post
I haven't moved so fast since last year when a german shepard lit out after me, no barking or anything. All I heard was the jingling of dog tags, looked back, and there was this big old dog gaining on me. Yelled at him to "GO HOME!" which gave him a few seconds pause, and I took off like a bat out of hell. Full sprint for like two miles, even though I don't think he chased me for more than 1/4 mile.
Same thing happened to me last week, though it was so dark I couldn't make out much more than the dog was big, and that it was persistant. It gave a pretty long chase.
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Old 11-16-07, 04:45 AM
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I get lots of rustles in the bushes as I cycle home through dark country road. It used to spook me a little until I mentioned it at work. One of the ladies I work with said she'd be scared it was someone waiting to attack her. Now I'm spooked alot. I've started to ride faster, I alter my journey a little so I'm not in the same place at the same time every night, I've even run though in my head how I'd fight off an attacker (it involves blinding them with my headlights and then twatting them with my pump)
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Old 11-16-07, 05:01 AM
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I ride through a Civil War battlefield every day on my commute, and now it's very dark when I go home. A couple of nights ago I was riding at a part that's next to a field, and since the sky was cloudy I could see a little without my light. Well evidently I couldn't see as well as I thought, because all of a sudden I notice movement just to my right. It was a deer, and very close. I startled it and it was trying to get away to the field, while I heard all kinds of commotion to my left in the woods. There were several deer on that side which I couldn't see at all. It wouldn't be a big deal, except there are lots of big bucks in that area, and the idea of them freaking out right next to me in total darkness isn't very appealing. Especially when I was chased by a large buck just recently.
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Old 11-16-07, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
I ride through a Civil War battlefield every day on my commute, and now it's very dark when I go home. A couple of nights ago I was riding at a part that's next to a field, and since the sky was cloudy I could see a little without my light. Well evidently I couldn't see as well as I thought, because all of a sudden I notice movement just to my right. It was a deer, and very close. I startled it and it was trying to get away to the field, while I heard all kinds of commotion to my left in the woods. There were several deer on that side which I couldn't see at all. It wouldn't be a big deal, except there are lots of big bucks in that area, and the idea of them freaking out right next to me in total darkness isn't very appealing. Especially when I was chased by a large buck just recently.
The way this started I was sure it was gonna be a ghost story...
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Old 11-16-07, 07:27 AM
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I go through some seriously dark parts of Crowders Mountain in the morning. Like, spooky, in-the-woods, Friday-The-13th, dark. One cool morning I heard something large running beside me in the woods then trail off. I freaked and "droped the hamer" for several miles until I got to a lit area. The whole time I was telling myself, "Bigfoot isn't real! Bigfoot isn't real!"
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Old 11-16-07, 07:59 AM
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My first and last three miles every day are on a semi-rural road where coyotes, rabbits and skunks are abundant, but not very stealthy around the roads. The two that give me starts when I encounter them are javelina and big barn owls. The javelina are really hard to see against the road because of their coloring, even with strong headlights. I've come really close to hitting a couple that were thigh-high at the shoulder. The owls just make your heart skip, because they are so huge and so quiet, and they suddenly appear like ghosts within a few feet of your shoulder. We have a couple of regulars on the property that have wingspans approaching (maybe exceeding) five feet. When those guys make that soft "whoosh" by your ear and into the beam of your headlight, it always gets the heart pumping for a few seconds.
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Old 11-16-07, 08:47 AM
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When I ride through the woods for about a mile I tend to think about the time we were driving into work one morning and a very large black bear just walked across the road in front of us and when I stopped beside him he stood up in the ditch and looked us over before ambling into the woods. I wonder what that would be like in the dark. I have to say I'm relieved to pull into the driveway.
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Old 11-17-07, 10:17 AM
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We run into animals of all kinds on the trails day & night. Nothing like speeding down a trail at 20 mph and a moose steps in your way. Here's a couple warming up for rut. I managed to snap off this pic as they lowered their heads. You don't want to be in the middle of this.

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Old 11-17-07, 10:40 AM
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Wasn't even an "in the dark" thing... was riding down a section of closed road that is only open to peds and cyclists... kind of a shortcut left behind due to rerouting a road. This chunk of road parallels a nature reserve... I have seen deer and very large birds in there.

Anyway..... riding along and ahead of me is what appears to be a stick on the road. As I approach I am not really thinking about it, and suddenly I hear a hissing sound. Very large rattle snake, shaking it's tail.

It only freaked me as I didn't expect a big snake, and yet there it was right in the middle of this road... hardly a threat as I am moving along just fine; it was just a surprise.
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Old 11-17-07, 02:23 PM
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Owls.

Big, silent, scary as all get out... owls. A couple times I've had one swoop into the beam of my headlight a snap up a bunny rabbit. I'm pretty sure that the first time it happened I shreiked like a little girl.
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