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psycholist 03-02-02 05:07 PM

OK, what was your weirdest encounter with nature?
I was riding down a stretch of super-rural road about a month ago and had just passed an old farmstead where a local farmer kept a few odd cows. I hadn't gotten but maybe a 1/8 of a mile and I heard something on the road behind me and when I slowed and turned my head I realized I was being chased by a large steer. I wasn't sure what to do but I had one heckuva headwind and didn't think flight was a reasonable option. Luckily when I stopped he stopped and we just kinda stared at each other until he bluffed out and headed back up the road. whew.
Bet nobody ever had to mace a cow.
Surely there are some other bizzarities that you peoples can share.

Old Dan 03-02-02 06:09 PM

Was leading a backcountry tour when one of the riders in the group went over his bars and landed on a rattlesnake.....the guy was lucky, it was a dry strike!

DnvrFox 03-02-02 06:32 PM

A couple of items:

1. Last summer, I was riding about 6 am and came upon a herd of about 18 deer. I see them often, but this time the deer did not know I was there. Once the stately older buck arrived on the scene (obviously the BOSS), the deer started frolicking and playing in a way I had never seen before. The young bucks were play-fighting with their antlers, the yearlings were frolicking and jumping and running into the bush, with the mamas right behind them nudging them back. It was quite a scene, and the BOSS stood there majestically in charge. I wish I had my video cam with me to record everything.

2. I keep running over snakes. I go around a corner, and WHAM, there goes the snake under my wheels. No time to stop or swerve. I am not quite sure just what a bike wheel does to a snake, but I would guess it does not feel too good to the snake.

3. While walking in a nearby biking trail, which goes through horse property, my wife was pushed down by a horse (for absolutely no reason) and he stepped over here. Emergency room visit, bruises, and quite a setback on her recovery from serious back problems.

ANyway, she is fine now. Scary. We suspect folks have been hand-feeding the horses and he was looking for food. We don't go there anymore. ALso heard of a biker being knocked down by one of the horses, and also a 5 yo girl. Complaints seem to do no good. The horses will soon be out of there as the land is up for development.

Gus Riley 03-02-02 06:44 PM

an ostrich....

roadie gal 03-02-02 07:09 PM

I was riding my mtn bike on a fire road last summer when I saw something cross the road ahead of me. Thinking it was a deer I stopped when I got to where it had crossed and looked to the right to see where it might have gone. What I saw instead was a small bear cub. Then I looked to the left and saw Mama bear. About 10 seconds later it struck me that I was between the bear and her cub. I think I set a land-speed record getting out of there and back to my car.

Joe Gardner 03-02-02 07:41 PM

Two that stick out in my mind.

I once broad sided a deer at ~10mph, i went over the deer and onto my back. The deer was fine, and took off down the trail. I first saw the deer about 200 feet away, the deer was standing just a few feet from the trail, I made as much noise as i could to scare it away, but it just watched me roll up. When i got just a few feet from the deer, he decided to make his move, by jumping right infront of me and stoping. Luckly, I was riding alone, nobody to laugh at me :)

Last summer, after my surgery i got chased by a peacock. It was the first week on my bike after a 6 months stay in the lazy boy. I figured i would just ignore it, and out run the big bird. But i bonked after about a half mile and had to stop. The peacock came upto my bike and started to bite at the chainstay and drivetrain. After about 5 minutes of this, it figured out it wasnt going to mate with my bike, and left me alone. I can only guess it went after my bike due to the color. A bright yellow frame, with a red swingarm and fork.

ljbike 03-03-02 08:47 AM

Thank goodness that no peacock's have tried to molest my bike, but I did come across 5 moose once. A huge buck and his girl friends. He looked at me and my bike for a few seconds, decided we were no threat, then continued meandering down towards the lake a short distance away.

velocipedio 03-03-02 12:00 PM

One time, I was riding my mountain bike [yes, I sometimes do that] on a stretch of singletrack by the shore in a wooded area near suburban Montreal. The track ran through tall bear grass and bullrushes at one point, and it got too thick to continue in the saddle, so I pushed on by foot. I almost stumbled onto a mallard duck nest by the shore, and I was promptly scared off by a very large male mallard guarding the clutch of eggs. By large, I mean VERY large, with ruffled feathers and a snapping bill that I'm sure could break bones.

On another occasion, in the same general area, I had stopped and I heard a quiet cheeping... pushing the reeds aside, I saw another nest, with just-hatching duckling... I beat a very hasty retreat...

Along that singletrack, I've seen loons, cormorants, turtles and kingfishers... and all of this within 20 minutes [cycling] of downtown...

Then there was the time that I was riding with my main training partner in Cote des Neiges Cemetary on Mount Royal. This is a great place to cycle -- it's full of sharp climbs up to 25 per cent, with no traffic and few crowds except for the occupants of the crypts. We were pushing our way past the Ross Mausoleum late in the afternoon, with the sun at about 30 degrees in the sky, when this large, silent shadow passed over us. It was an owl -- a very, very large own with a wingspan of at leat 1.5m [probably a grey] -- obviously coming out for its twilight hunt.

Given the location and the way the bird flew without making a sound, it was pretty spooky...

Pete Clark 03-03-02 01:01 PM


Originally posted by velocipedio
I almost stumbled onto a mallard duck nest by the shore, and I was promptly scared off by a very large male mallard guarding the clutch of eggs. By large, I mean VERY large, with ruffled feathers and a snapping bill that I'm sure could break bones.
This would mean nothing to me, except that I once opened the back door (at the sound of what seemed to be a dog in my garbage,) only to find a raccoon staring me down. He was very much larger than I would have thought, and definitely not afraid of me.

I let him alone.

blwyn 03-03-02 03:54 PM

My wife and I stopped by a pond once to take a break. My wife walked over to the pond and the swan swimming on the pond immediately headed towards her. My wife decided to offer it some of her granola bar. Apparently it was hungry for granola. It came out of the water and started chasing her. Just as she jumped on her bike it nipped her hard in the butt. It kept nipping at her as she tried to ride away. I probably should have been gallant and rode to her rescue, but I was laughing to hard to move. It left a pretty good bruise on her butt. I've never seen her ride standing up as much as she did on the ride home. Swans may be pretty - but they can also be mean!

wabbit 03-03-02 05:31 PM

So i've heard- they can be really agressive, and they're huge!

Ducks and waterfowl are pretty prevalent around here- we're surrounded on all sides by water. Last year, while out on an early-autum ride, we had to stop dead in the bike path for a large group of mallard ducks who were waddling across the path. It was pretty funny- I sometimes worry about the ducks around there but I haven't heard of any ducks being killed by cyclists. It's hard to miss a dozen large ducks waddling across the path; nothing to do but wait.

JonR 03-03-02 08:05 PM

Remember your Greek mythology? Are you sure that was a real swan, or maybe Zeus in disguise..? :eek:

MediaCreations 03-03-02 08:57 PM

I had a snake rear up at me once. I found sprinting abilities I never knew I had.

I was riding with a group across Australia when two emus came for a run with us. One on each side.

They ran along at the pace we were going and the rest of the bunch thought it was great. I had to quickly inform them that emus are extremely stupid and likely to cut right through us to get to each other.

Fortunately they soon left us to run elsewhere.

blwyn 03-03-02 09:01 PM

In college I used the Greek mythology class to catch up on my sleep (so many happy hours - so little time to study) - so I haven't a clue.

Pete Clark 03-03-02 09:12 PM


Originally posted by MediaCreations
I was riding with a group across Australia when two emus came for a run with us. One on each side.
This is not weird, but your post reminds me of it.

I was riding through my neighborhood and a loose German Shepherd dog was browsing around. He was friendly so I spoke to him (spoke to a dog? :eek: Gadzooks, friendly with the enemy!) He followed me everywhere, running alongside me for about 15 minutes.

Having done this, I now know that it is possible for a dog to catch me over a short distance, but their endurance is not enough if I can maintain a sprint long enough. I was truly impressed with his abilities.

PapeteeBooh 03-04-02 05:46 PM

snakes, roadrunners, lizards, loose dogs, chidren, motorists

D*Alex 03-04-02 06:52 PM

I actually hit a whitetail deer doe while riding my bike, once. I was about 19, and was riding home in the dark (no headlight, of course, probably had been drinking as well), and was going down a steep hill, riding on the tail of a car, on my Bridgestone touring 15-speed. The car flushed the deer out, and she hit me with a glancing blow. I managed to stay upright, but boy, did that deer smell!!!

JonR 03-04-02 07:19 PM

I happen to have a tape of a conversation that doe had with a couple of deer friends right after the incident. I copy verbatim:

"I don't think I hurt him any, but boy did that cyclist smell!"

pat5319 03-05-02 01:09 AM

Riding home from the "Sunday Breakfast Ride", a former institution here (over 120 riders was common in the summer), we came across a Hereford heifer not standing but gyrating in her enclosure, with her backside up against a pine tree scratching herself with abandon. Not very remarkable, except for the myriad expressions of abject pleasure and unbridled extacy that came across her face of convoluted rubber!, and her tongue.... I had no idea cows could stick their tongue out like "THAT" or "THAT". We started laughing and laughing we HAD to get off our bikes or we would have had a crash that rivaled those in the "Grand Tours". We stood there and watched and laughed and laughed and watched. We'd stop and look at each other, or her, and start laughing all over again and again.... OH for the want of a movie or video camera, the shots would have been priceless!!!!

Ride Happy

wellshorton 03-05-02 08:48 PM

There was a time on a remote abandon railway right a way in norhtern BC porcupines attempted to eat my tires while I was asleep on a tour. They like the salt in the tires.

blwyn 03-05-02 09:22 PM

The cow story reminds me of a friend who came upon a group of cows that had gotten out of their pen and were feeding on the good grass along the roadside. Seeing the break in the fence he thought he would help the farmer out and chase the cows back into the pen. He lays his bike his bike, gets around the cows and starts herding them back in the right direction. Just as they break into a trot he realizes that his bike is laying between the cows and the opening in the fence. His good deed cost him a long walk home and bunch of new spokes to repair his front tire.

JonR 03-06-02 02:00 AM


Originally posted by wellshorton
There was a time on a remote abandon railway right a way in norhtern BC porcupines attempted to eat my tires while I was asleep on a tour. They like the salt in the tires.
That's great! If it was my bike, I'd gladly sacrifice a tire if I could only get a good photo of the porcupine munching on it. Of course, I'd hope I had a spare tire along....

psycholist 03-07-02 05:45 PM

I'm suffering from withdrawal right now at my sis's in Radford Va...made a quick trip out to visit and couldn't bring my ride. WAH:irritated Anyway, thought of another experience to share while I sit here atrophying.
Was doing a night ride about a month ago and it was not quite totally dark yet. I was rolling along enjoying the unseasonably warm weather when a cat crossed the road in front of me and paused just before hopping into the bushes on the left shoulder. Thinking it was one of the many friendly locals I slowed almost to a stop and called out to it. Sure enough, it turned back my way and put its tail up , which to most cat owners is a sure sign of recognition and amiability. Well, I was stopped about ten feet from this cat and still feeling pretty good about the whole thing when I got a better look at its tail and realized how lush it was -almost squirrel-like -- and then got a whiff of it. There was hardly any white at all on that skunk. I guess since the wind was out of the other direction, I lucked out and didn't suffer a direct hit, but I could actually taste it . Worse than a Power Bar!
There was also the time I came up on a road-kill and it was pretty ripe so I went wide and thought I had cleared the thing. Unfortunately the traffic in the area had spread the stuff all along and way on down the road I felt something slap up against my calf and it kinda spooked me. I glanced down the back of my leg and saw something resembling a large leech hanging off just below the knee. It only took a second to realize what it was. Let me tell you, I will now change lanes a quarter-mile back if I think that dead animal up ahead has something to send along with me.

"How do I quickly remove this from my hand without betraying my cool exterior?" -- Mulder

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