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  1. #1
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    My wife posed this question to me

    Since I work 6a-6p, I typically get up at 3am to go for an early ride. This has not been an issue before, riding at night accept I recently moved close to Conifer and there is a community equestrian/bike/hike single track that I take for about 4 or 5 miles.
    The neighbors have worried her about bears and lions in the area and with me riding in the dark, she is worried about me getting attacked. Has anyone heard of this happening? I have lived in the mtns for a good portion of my life and I have never heard of it. Not to mention, I've only seen a handful of bears and only 1 lion.
    Now that my wife and I talked about it, I am a little un-nerved but I really don't think it's something to worry about. Do you?

    Thanks

    Trav

  2. #2
    Almost Human
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    Not many people are out in the woods that early so there probably aren't many survivor stories to be told, and the rest just don't come back...


  3. #3
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    I think about it all the time but the chance of an attack is fairly low. Low does not mean never though, it is a possibility.
    2 Hands Working Do More Than 1000 Hands Praying

  4. #4
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Even the bears and mountain lions are asleep at 3:00am--you should be fine! Seriously though, they will see you and your lights and high tail it before you ever see them. I think your only worry would be if you accidentally trapped one of them in a canyon or something.

  5. #5
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    The only thing that I have ever worried about were the deer and elk jumping out in front of me. My wife spooked me when she asked "what if a cat chased me from behind?" Yikes!
    Anything is possible and really, Im not going to worry about it but it's good to know that it's not happened, lately...

  6. #6
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  7. #7
    The 5th knuckle
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    no cougar thread is complete with out this

    My wife posed this question to me-cougar.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by osue077 View Post
    The only thing that I have ever worried about were the deer and elk jumping out in front of me. My wife spooked me when she asked "what if a cat chased me from behind?" Yikes!
    Anything is possible and really, Im not going to worry about it but it's good to know that it's not happened, lately...
    It has happened, but it's quite rare. I have never heard of it happening outside the Wildland-Urban Interface. Couple years ago a couple was attacked, and if I remember right the dude was killed and the woman ran off. When the wildlife officials got back the cat had partially devoured the dude. But that was in SoCal. Quite a few years ago a woman who was running was attacked near Boulder I think...

    Then there was the one along the west side of Colorado Springs that was sampling the local dog and cat cafeteria. Turns out that lion had been brought into a home as a juvenile and they turned it loose when it started to get big. It had learned about dogs and cats and developed a taste for them.

    Conifer does fit that description (Wildland-Urban Interface). But I still think it's not something to worry about really. Up here there is a super strong lion population, but there is also a very healthy mule deer population. The cats want the deer. They may be curious about us, but they really don't hunt us unless they are starving or otherwise messed up. When they are truly wild and have available deer, they hunt deer.

    I ride at night lots. Even knowing that it's unlikely, I'll often ride with a blinky because I tell myself that if a cat started chasing me it would probably distract it too much.

    But I worry much more about the big hoofed critters. I've nearly been broadsided by both deer and elk. I see that as more likely, and more likely to kill or maim me than a kitty.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  9. #9
    friend of Apex
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    It has been determined that this problem will be solved by simply riding with a gun.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  10. #10
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    Just get a laser pointer. We all know how cats love those, and how cool would it be to see a big cat like that chasing a laser?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    I ride at night lots. Even knowing that it's unlikely, I'll often ride with a blinky because I tell myself that if a cat started chasing me it would probably distract it too much.
    Maybe you should ride with a laser pointer, I hear those work really well to distract kitties!

    Here is a book that will give you second thoughts about mountain lions. It is about Boulder, mostly, but Idaho Springs is in there: The Beast in the Garden: The True Story of a Predator's Deadly Return to Suburban America: David Baron: 9780393326345: Amazon.com: Books
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    It has been determined that this problem will be solved by simply riding with a gun.
    this might be the key

  13. #13
    friend of Apex
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    Oh, they are around...

    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I ride at night lots. Even knowing that it's unlikely, I'll often ride with a blinky because I tell myself that if a cat started chasing me it would probably distract it too much.

    But I worry much more about the big hoofed critters. I've nearly been broadsided by both deer and elk. I see that as more likely, and more likely to kill or maim me than a kitty.
    I have a red blinky that I keep on the seat post and I have another for my pack that I don't usually take but I might start. I also entertained a little bell?

  15. #15
    Wasting time
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottap2003 View Post
    Just get a laser pointer. We all know how cats love those, and how cool would it be to see a big cat like that chasing a laser?
    ROLF that is hilarious


    OP,
    its something that is all in the back of our minds, just like we stay prepared with spare tubes, be prepared for this, you could always carry some pepper spray with you if you wanted. or ride with a .357. Either way
    2012 Diamondback Recoil

    -I keep finding more bikes I "need"

  16. #16
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    I live in pretty much the same area. I have encountered bears enough in the woods (and this means maybe three times in 15 years-very rare) that I realize they are much more scared of us than we are of them. So I rely don't worry about them. Mountain lions I find myself worried more about because apparently they stalk from behind. They are only on my mind at all at dusk or dark. Even then, I just have to remind myself that sightings and encounters are even more rare than bears. If I rode at night regularly and was worried to the point of taking away from the fun, I would get a bearbell for the bike or start singing out loud on blind corners.
    Take three hours of single track through a pine forest and call me in the morning.

  17. #17
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    Bikes with riders are fast, loud, and big. Three things that most critters flee. Ever notice how little wildlife you see when on a ride? Big cats aren't much different than house cats (they're all lazy) and would rather stalk and prey on small, relatively defenseless animals. Any cat that attacks a larger animal is either, young or old, or desperate for a meal.

    Personally, I'd consider it an honor to pass through the bowels of a large predatory animal (or small ones). It's far better than wasting space in a cemetery.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinerider View Post
    ...Mountain lions I find myself worried more about because apparently they stalk from behind... sightings and encounters are even more rare than bears...
    This probably won't make you feel lots better, but I've heard several variations of this same story; here's the version from my brother-in-law up in northern Wyo who's an avid hunter:

    Out on an elk hunt in fresh falling snow. Heading out for half hour or so, then realizes he fo-got his bewwits. Turns around and heads back to the truck the same way. Less than a minute of walking back in his own tracks he encounters kitty tracks. Fresh. Following his. He realizes that a big kitty was following him. He keeps going and sees that the kitty followed him for over a mile.

    As I say, I've heard that sort of thing several times from different people. Kitties are curious. We may think encounters are more rare, but the truth is we just may be almost universally unaware of them.

    Regarding packing heat to safeguard against kitty attack--I loves me my .357. Like to make it blow apart spoiled fruit and make big bangy noises. But I don't fool myself into thinking that having it on my person will guarantee my safety. Chances are that if you really did get attacked by the kitty it would be in the same mode they use on deer. Chase. Jump onto your back. Teeth immediately buried in the back of your neck, claws buried in your ribcage. Good chance you wouldn't get the time to unholster and take aim. If it was the stand-off type encounter, maybe so.

    But really. It's nothing to worry about.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  19. #19
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Chances are that if you really did get attacked by the kitty it would be in the same mode they use on deer. Chase. Jump onto your back. Teeth immediately buried in the back of your neck, claws buried in your ribcage. Good chance you wouldn't get the time to unholster and take aim. If it was the stand-off type encounter, maybe so.

    But really. It's nothing to worry about.
    Just like the deer above. THUMP from behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  20. #20
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    if i get killed by a wild animal, lightning, a nuclear blast, a stray bullet...or anything else i have no control over then it is my time to die..."time to die..time to die" (anybody remember what greg stump movie that is from?).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by osue077 View Post
    Since I work 6a-6p
    Ouch... I think consistent 12 hour days will do a lot more damage to your health than any wildlife. That's some serious stress.

    Personally, I'm more worried about rattlers down in the low lands. I'm not going to accidentally step on a mtn lion. I've seen 3 rattlers in the past week, no bears or lions. 2 of them were right next to the trail, mostly hidden in the grass. I don't even want to know how many I didn't see.

  22. #22
    The Notorious S.L.O
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Bikes with riders are fast, loud, and big.
    Uh, guess I am in trouble, as I am slow, loud and big.
    BT
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  23. #23
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    As long as I still see ample quantities of sweet little fawns all over NTM, I trust that the kitties have plenty of food and will leave me alone. If that's false comfort, I'm good with it, my wife freaks about going out in dawn and dusk but will go if I'm with her.

    I am solidly in the "no cat is going to want to mess with this noisy mechanical contraption even with the meal for a month riding on it."

  24. #24
    The Notorious S.L.O
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    When I moved here 12 years ago, (not from CA or TX for the record), I was bit concerned about it, but no so much anymore. I have come close to being body-checked by an elk a couple of time, seen a bear scampering off in the wood, but I am certain that only time I would know a mtn lion was after me is when I am lying on my back looking up at all those teeth.
    Gun or knife is pretty much just extra weight to carry, in the event of an animal attack, little time to get to them.
    BT
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Bikes with riders are fast, loud, and big. Three things that most critters flee. Ever notice how little wildlife you see when on a ride? Big cats aren't much different than house cats (they're all lazy) and would rather stalk and prey on small, relatively defenseless animals. Any cat that attacks a larger animal is either, young or old, or desperate for a meal.
    If you're climbing, you're not very fast or loud. And while it is true that you're only likely to be attacked by a cat that is young, old, or desperate for a meal, that won't be much comfort to you when you're fighting the cat off with a bike pump.

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