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Seconds from Disaster

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Seconds from Disaster

Old 08-10-07, 05:07 PM
  #1  
AminF3
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Seconds from Disaster

So I don't normally post around here, just peruse. But now is as good a time as any to start.
So here's my inaugural crazy story:
Yesterday I was on a ride doing about 25mph (slightly downhill) along a residential area that was heavily forested. Along my right side was a wooden fence about 3 feet high (the ones with the roughly cut triangular wood pieces). Ahead of me was some runner who decided to run on the wrong side of the road so I checked over my shoulder for traffic coming up behind me so I could move out into the lane to avoid him. As I did so, I heard him yell "watch out." I thought it was impossible that I had misjudged his distance by that much so I turned back around ready to swerve to avoid running into him.
Instead, out of the corner of my eye, I see a large brown blob taking flight. As I'm just turning my head back around, I don't get a clear shot of it, but instead just hear 4 hooves clicking along the top of the fence. Next thing I know there's a deer landing on the road in front of me less than 3 feet from my handlebars. Luckily I was able to swerve out of the way while it ran on past but needless to say I was thoroughly scared.
Anybody had similar experiences?
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Old 08-10-07, 05:29 PM
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I had a similar experience with some wild turkeys. I was on a twisty descent at a good clip and came upon a group of them sitting in the middle of the road. Before that day I had never seen them fly. Didn't even know that they could. When they are in a panic apparently they can. :-o
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Old 08-10-07, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AminF3 View Post
So I don't normally post around here, just peruse. But now is as good a time as any to start.
So here's my inaugural crazy story:
Yesterday I was on a ride doing about 25mph (slightly downhill) along a residential area that was heavily forested. Along my right side was a wooden fence about 3 feet high (the ones with the roughly cut triangular wood pieces). Ahead of me was some runner who decided to run on the wrong side of the road so I checked over my shoulder for traffic coming up behind me so I could move out into the lane to avoid him. As I did so, I heard him yell "watch out." I thought it was impossible that I had misjudged his distance by that much so I turned back around ready to swerve to avoid running into him.
Instead, out of the corner of my eye, I see a large brown blob taking flight. As I'm just turning my head back around, I don't get a clear shot of it, but instead just hear 4 hooves clicking along the top of the fence. Next thing I know there's a deer landing on the road in front of me less than 3 feet from my handlebars. Luckily I was able to swerve out of the way while it ran on past but needless to say I was thoroughly scared.
Anybody had similar experiences?
A women in VA was killed some years back when she hit a deer while descending.
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Old 08-10-07, 05:33 PM
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I almost hit a racoon last night. It was the size of a bear, I swear!
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Old 08-10-07, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AminF3 View Post
Ahead of me was some runner who decided to run on the wrong side of the road ...
When I was just a small boy, I was taught to ride with traffic and to walk/run against it? Were my parents wrong?
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Old 08-10-07, 06:00 PM
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I was climbing Lookout Mt. in Golden, CO one time, and had a mule deer fall off an embankment onto the road in front of me. He (4 pt. buck) landed on his side right beside me. I could hear what sounded like 5 gallons of air expel as the wind was knocked out of him. He quickly got up and gave me a "if you tell anyone about this..." look and pranced off into the forest.

A couple weeks ago, I was descending Far West at 46mph here in Austin and a fawn jumped out in front of me. We looked at each other like "I hope he keeps going the way he his..." and managed to miss each other by about 2 water bottles. He didn't have so great of traction on the chipseal...
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Old 08-10-07, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by do-well View Post
When I was just a small boy, I was taught to ride with traffic and to walk/run against it? Were my parents wrong?
No.
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Old 08-10-07, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by do-well View Post
When I was just a small boy, I was taught to ride with traffic and to walk/run against it? Were my parents wrong?
you actually listened to your parents???
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Old 08-10-07, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by do-well View Post
When I was just a small boy, I was taught to ride with traffic and to walk/run against it? Were my parents wrong?
Depends on the road. Where I run, there are alot o f curves and I would rather deal with what is coming up behind me than what is coming around the bend and doesnt know I am on the wrong side,
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Old 08-10-07, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AminF3 View Post
So I don't normally post around here, just peruse. But now is as good a time as any to start.
So here's my inaugural crazy story:
Yesterday I was on a ride doing about 25mph (slightly downhill) along a residential area that was heavily forested. Along my right side was a wooden fence about 3 feet high (the ones with the roughly cut triangular wood pieces). Ahead of me was some runner who decided to run on the wrong side of the road so I checked over my shoulder for traffic coming up behind me so I could move out into the lane to avoid him. As I did so, I heard him yell "watch out." I thought it was impossible that I had misjudged his distance by that much so I turned back around ready to swerve to avoid running into him.
Instead, out of the corner of my eye, I see a large brown blob taking flight. As I'm just turning my head back around, I don't get a clear shot of it, but instead just hear 4 hooves clicking along the top of the fence. Next thing I know there's a deer landing on the road in front of me less than 3 feet from my handlebars. Luckily I was able to swerve out of the way while it ran on past but needless to say I was thoroughly scared.
Anybody had similar experiences?
I almost run into this stupid @#$@#$@ dog every morning at 7am and again at 7:55am. The dumb thing insists on running out and chasing me and usually runs in front of my bke causing me to swerve. If I didn't love dogs so much I'd take something with me to hit it with. Stupid thing just doesn't seem to know any better.

I'm just worried that one of these days the thing is going to take me out.
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Old 08-10-07, 07:57 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cibai View Post
Depends on the road. Where I run, there are alot o f curves and I would rather deal with what is coming up behind me than what is coming around the bend and doesnt know I am on the wrong side,
+4
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Old 08-10-07, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
I had a similar experience with some wild turkeys. I was on a twisty descent at a good clip and came upon a group of them sitting in the middle of the road. Before that day I had never seen them fly. Didn't even know that they could. When they are in a panic apparently they can. :-o

ha ha #$#%^&^ Turkeys! Ive almost hit them a few times.
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Old 08-10-07, 08:41 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by AbsoluteZ3RO View Post
I almost run into this stupid @#$@#$@ dog every morning at 7am and again at 7:55am. The dumb thing insists on running out and chasing me and usually runs in front of my bke causing me to swerve. If I didn't love dogs so much I'd take something with me to hit it with. Stupid thing just doesn't seem to know any better.

I'm just worried that one of these days the thing is going to take me out.

Dude, give it a swat, teach it not to chase cyclists.. you could save its life, and yours
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Old 08-10-07, 09:15 PM
  #14  
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turkeys?
up here in Canada we have geese to avoid which are just as big as turkeys... lol
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Old 08-10-07, 09:44 PM
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The cure for that

Originally Posted by AbsoluteZ3RO View Post
I almost run into this stupid @#$@#$@ dog every morning at 7am and again at 7:55am. The dumb thing insists on running out and chasing me and usually runs in front of my bke causing me to swerve. If I didn't love dogs so much I'd take something with me to hit it with. Stupid thing just doesn't seem to know any better.

I'm just worried that one of these days the thing is going to take me out.
Squirt some water in his face, dogs hate that. It won't hurt him, but it will make think twice about doing it next time.
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Old 08-10-07, 09:53 PM
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I can top that

There used to be an Emu farm on one of our longer routes. These very large birds were in some kind of corral. One day several years ago, I am riding by this farm by myself and I see what looks like an Emu outside the fence. I think to myself, "nah, that cannot be. They are in the pen."

Wrong!

This one had escaped somehow. Now, I know nothing about Emus or how they think. But, this one decided I was prey or something. I rode by it, and it decided to chase me. Man, those suckers can run. I am moving as fast as I crank, but this bird was gaining on me. I later looked at my computer and discovered I had hit 30 mph on the flat. Now, my normal top speed on a level surface is around 25 mph. Adrenalin is an amazing thing.

Just as I thought I was going to be bird food, the Emu farmer pulled up in a truck and lassoed this thing with loop on the end of a stick. Damn, I was happy to see him. He yelled "I'm sorry" and took big bird back home. I slowed down to let my heart get back to normal and then finished the ride.

The Emu farm is long gone, but I still shudder a little when I ride by it. I have never seen another animal - dog, deer, whatever - move as fast that thing did.
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Old 08-10-07, 10:15 PM
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A few years ago we were riding along a country road next to a field full of cattle. Just for something different I yelled a MOOOOOOOOO really loud and the whole herd started running across the field after us.
I was somewhat shocked. I did look back to make sure there was a fence around them.
Now whenever we pass a herd of cattle, my husband looks back and just gives me the look. Just to mess with him I do yell MOOOOO on occasion....
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Old 08-10-07, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AbsoluteZ3RO View Post
I almost run into this stupid @#$@#$@ dog every morning at 7am and again at 7:55am. The dumb thing insists on running out and chasing me and usually runs in front of my bke causing me to swerve. If I didn't love dogs so much I'd take something with me to hit it with. Stupid thing just doesn't seem to know any better.

I'm just worried that one of these days the thing is going to take me out.
If it's literally that frequent/predictable, spend a few $$ on some bear spray or something like that from your local outdoorsey-type store. It'll teach the dog a quick lesson.
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Old 08-11-07, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozrider View Post
Now, I know nothing about Emus or how they think. But, this one decided I was prey or something. I rode by it, and it decided to chase me. Man, those suckers can run. I am moving as fast as I crank, but this bird was gaining on me.
Now that,,, I would like to have seen!!!
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Old 08-11-07, 04:50 AM
  #20  
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My 2005 bike-deer encounter:
Originally Posted by jimbud View Post
I thought I'd share with you my bike - deer encounter from the other night. Sorry that it's sort of long. I was on the last 5 miles of my normal 20 mile ride on the Paul Bunyan Trail, a paved multi-use trail here in North Central Minnesota. On a section of the trail South of Nisswa between Lake Hubert and Molly Lake the trail cuts through a 3 mile heavily forested area that opens up on one side to a large fenced in pasture that must had been clearcut a century ago.

I'm pedaling my normal pace about 19-20 mph on my Specialized S-Works M4 when I notice a deer ahead of me about 20 feet off the trail to my right with it's back to me looking over the open pasture. Normally when seeing a deer on the trail I would whistle to make sure the deer would see me but on this occasion I was confident I could zip right by the deer without having a problem.

I pushed on the pedals a little harder and picked up about a mph as I passed the deer and was actually past him by the time he saw me. I turned my head back away from the deer to look straight ahead down the trail when I herd something on my right. I look to the right and no further then 3 feet to my side is the deer running right beside me.

I stop pedaling and start coasting at 21.5 mph just watching this deer. While I'm on the paved trail the deer is still running on the gravel shoulder right beside me. As I started to move my right hand from the brake hood the deer spooks and takes off ahead of me like I was standing still. I started pedaling again watching the deer 30 or 40 feet ahead of me thinking our encounter was over when the deer ran to the left directly on to the blacktop trail. The deer started making quick darting jumps to the left and right while on the trail when all 4 of his feet went out from under him on the blacktop trail.

My guess is he was running about 24 or 25 mph when he hit the trail on his side and started rolling, he rolled 3 or 4 times and then slid on his side directly in front of me in the center of the trail. While still sliding he could see me coming up on him and he started kicking with all 4 feet trying to get up. Before I knew it I had to make a decision to either slam on the brakes and try to go around him on the side of the trail or ride off the trail down into a brushy wooded area away from the deer.

The first thing that came to mind was not hurting the bike and watching the deer kicking his legs the last thing I wanted to do is have one of his legs get caught in my wheels as I passed him on the side. That wouldn't be good for the deer or me. I was heavy on the brakes but still traveling about 17 mph when the deer was just about under my front wheel. I let go of the brake levers and yanked up on the brakehoods with as much force as I could as I lierally rode over the top of the deer's rib cage. As I felt my front wheel come down off of the deer's back on to the pavement I shifted my weight to the front praying I could get my back wheel over him without crashing.

I stopped the bike about 75 feet past the deer almost forgetting to unclip out of my pedals not knowing what I'd see behind me and luckly the deer was up and moving into the woods on the opposite side of the trail from the pasture. This whole encounter start to finish only lasted about 30 seconds but seamed to last a half a hour. All I have to show for the whole encounter is some deer hair on my chain and chainring. I'm guessing the deer has some war wounds from a Campy 53 tooth chainring.
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Old 08-11-07, 05:30 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
turkeys?
up here in Canada we have geese to avoid which are just as big as turkeys... lol
We have plenty of geese here in the States too...I don't encounter them much when riding but then I don't ride through many golf courses.
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Old 08-11-07, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by do-well View Post
When I was just a small boy, I was taught to ride with traffic and to walk/run against it? Were my parents wrong?
If so, so were mine...
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Old 08-11-07, 09:11 PM
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Yeah, after talking to a friend of mine who is a runner that is apparently common practice. I guess because they move so much slower than traffic it doesn't really matter that they run against it and it makes them more visible.

All I know is that whenever I'm riding along and have to move out into traffic to avoid a runner it really pisses me off.
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Old 08-11-07, 09:55 PM
  #24  
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In my younger days Coming down RT 17 near Mad River Glen, in VT
I was borrowing a bike, as I was approaching a hard corner ahead, I
gave a shout to the rider in front saying something like "tough corner"(left hander)
as I said that, he began to brake... I had been on my brakes, but umm
they didn't brake as well as his.. I went into the corner hot, made the decision
to go inside, right then he went inside too, we barely brushed shoulders practically on top
of the yellow lines, and at that moment a car was coming up at us... I think back now
how lucky I was... great downhill, but I'll never borrow a bike again without knowing its limitations.

This Descent its easy to reach 55-60mph in a blink of an eye...
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Old 08-11-07, 10:30 PM
  #25  
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in addition to the more common fauna (deers, snakes, etc.), i regularly pass monkeys on my rides. sometimes i will come upon troops of monkeys foraging alongside the road...while most will scamper in to the forest, some just sit and watch me as i ride past. usually they are not a problem, except for the odd one that runs to the side of the road that takes them in front of me.
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