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Squirrel jumping through spokes actually a danger?

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Squirrel jumping through spokes actually a danger?

Old 09-27-14, 11:02 AM
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John Redcorn
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Squirrel jumping through spokes actually a danger?

I saw a freshly-ran-over squirrel on bike trail yesterday (700x25 or less I'd guess) and it reminded me of posts I'd seen here about a danger of them instead of getting ran over, jumping though your spokes locking up your front wheel and wrecking your azz.

I'm not sure of the actual numbers involved but I'd just guess a person on a bike going 8mph or more has hundreds or thousands of times more kinetic energy than a .22, and those will fly right through a squirrel. All that energy, and it gets transferred to the squirrel by a spoke that's like 1/16". I think it'd cut it right in half, barely noticeable to the rider if he's not looking down. If not cut in half at least fold in half to go through the fork a time or twelve.

Am I wrong? When I see one being dumb, noticing me and running towards my path instead of away I ignore and proceed straight unless I'm far enough away I can move slowly to a slightly different course, I think quick evasive action by me would have many many times more potential for a wreck than running over one or having one jump through my spokes. I want to see this on mythbusters!

Last edited by John Redcorn; 09-27-14 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 09-27-14, 11:17 AM
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low spoke count wheel ?, maybe... 36, probably not.

bladed spokes may slice but not dice..
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Old 09-27-14, 11:20 AM
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Yeah, I guess it's a problem, albeit somewhat remote. Low spoke count wheels are probably more likely to jam, as a squirrel won't even begin to fit between the spokes of a 36 spoke wheel.

squirrel bicycle crash - Google Search
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Old 09-27-14, 11:24 AM
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We have the same problem here in south Florida, except it's with 6ft iguanas. I've had some close calls but they haven't got me yet.
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Old 09-27-14, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yeah, I guess it's a problem, albeit somewhat remote. Low spoke count wheels are probably more likely to jam, as a squirrel won't even begin to fit between the spokes of a 36 spoke wheel.

squirrel bicycle crash - Google Search
Even if they could "fit" throught spokes you'd think they'd quickly get knocked out of the way but, dang, i guess it is a real thing. also this:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ning-pics.html
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Old 09-27-14, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by John Redcorn View Post
Even if they could "fit" throught spokes you'd think they'd quickly get knocked out of the way but, dang, i guess it is a real thing. also this:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ning-pics.html
What's going to knock the squirrel out of the way?

The wheel is stationary at the very bottom where it contacts the ground.
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Old 09-27-14, 02:31 PM
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Here in Ohio, the squirrels are fast enough to get through the spokes. They jump through, flip you off, and run away laughing. So, I don't worry about it much.
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Old 09-27-14, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
We have the same problem here in south Florida, except it's with 6ft iguanas. I've had some close calls but they haven't got me yet.
Iguanas yea , I worked in Venezuela for some time and they eat them there and I did too! and of course you already know what it tastes like,,,,
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Old 09-27-14, 09:53 PM
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Have many suicidal squirrels on my commute route home and saw the horror second-hand. A fellow commuter passed me on the way home doing about 22 mph a few months back and when he got about 100 yds ahead of me I saw him suddenly take a header off the bike.

Cause was a squirrel darted at his front wheel, got caught in the spokes, and was squished/jammed in the brakes/forks. Unfortunately the sudden lock up of the front wheel caused my commuter buddy to go flying forward off the bike and snapped the frame at the head tube as a result of the crash. He was disoriented as a result of hitting the pavement so called 911 to get the paramedics out.

End result was an expensive ambulance ride to the ER, a CAT scan, a new helmet, and a thrashed frame. Tragically the squirrel did not survive.
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Old 09-28-14, 02:50 AM
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A Squirrel bounced off my 36 spoked front wheel.

Aviation engines are tested using a chicken cannon.

Last edited by MichaelW; 09-28-14 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:12 AM
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When I see a squirrel, I just maintain speed and trajectory. Squirrels can change their mind 4-5 times before you can even reach for the brakes. So I just give them a consistent target and hope they will make the right decision. So far, so good.
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Old 06-20-15, 11:24 AM
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Yes, it is a danger. My riding buddy had a squirrel jump into his front wheel and make it halfway before it was sliced into two halves, and my buddy went head over heels and is in the hospital with a subdural hematoma. He has had a previous serious life threatening bicycle head injury, so he cannot afford any injury to his head. Thankfully he seems to be OK.
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Old 06-20-15, 02:37 PM
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Never had a squirrel get in my spokes. i did have a chihuahua stick his nose in my spokes. It upset him a lot more than it did me.
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Old 06-20-15, 04:09 PM
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Squirrel jumping through spokes actually a danger?

An African or European squirrel?
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Old 06-20-15, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
An African or European squirrel?
One of them has their tusks on the inside and the other has them on the outside, right?
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Old 06-20-15, 04:49 PM
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I had a duck take me down once. It spooked and flew right into my rear wheel. It took a long time to get the duck feathers out of my derailleur!
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Old 06-21-15, 04:44 AM
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I got a tiny snake once. It got it one side and somehow got thrown out the other side. Probably really dizzy.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:52 AM
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Squirrels assume a rapidly approaching object is intent on eating it and that the object will change course to intercept it, so they run in one direction and at the last moment change directions, a feint like any good running back would do, hoping to avoid the jaws of death. On the bike, since you don't swerve toward the squirrel to intercept it, the feint can put it back into or under your wheel. Squirrels in my path make me nervous.
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Old 06-21-15, 06:04 AM
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Seriously? An entire squirrel thread without a single recipe?
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Old 06-21-15, 06:14 AM
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Cycling.....a dangerous sport?

On the road I must be on the lookout for morons who throw things and try to run you into a ditch, railroad tracks, pot holes, loose gravel, debris, etc., etc. When I ride the trail it's suicidal squirrels and chipmonks, wasps like the kind that got me in the lip, and the cooperhead I just missed running over and morons who give their dog about 8 feet of leash. In the summer it's lightening strikes and rain slicked roads while winter brings black ice. Then of course there is equipment failure and brain failure (like when I do something stupid).

I was planning on a nice afternoon father's day ride but will recondsider until I reassess the odds or returning home alive and uninjured!
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Old 06-21-15, 06:31 AM
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I don't know about squirrels but I can tell you from personal experience that it does not work with geese.
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Old 06-21-15, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
...morons who throw things and try to run you into a ditch, railroad tracks, pot holes, loose gravel, debris ... suicidal squirrels and chipmonks, wasps ... and the cooperhead ... morons who give their dog about 8 feet of leash ... lightening strikes ... rain slicked roads ... black ice ... equipment failure and brain failure...
lol, do you ever make it home?
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Old 06-21-15, 09:34 PM
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I had a rabbit run between my front and rear tire under my pedals while I was going about 13 mph on my hybrid in my subdivision early one morning. I've had lots of them jump right in front of me, but that one went right under my feet between the tires without getting hit by a pedal or anything. I've had lots of deer jump out in front of me. Some I've missed by a few inches.
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Old 06-22-15, 11:08 AM
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I'm pretty sure that a chipmunk made it between my wife's tires this weekend. She didn't notice it. We had so many near misses this weekend that it was beyond normal. And a bird pooped on me to boot.
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Old 06-22-15, 11:40 AM
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We had a local blackout caused by the powerline to maple tree ground short , through a Squirrel .
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