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  1. #1
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    Encounters While Commuting?

    Anyone have any stories to share about encounters while commuting?

    By encounters, I refer to
    a) Animals
    b) Natives
    c) Hostile natives
    d) Rowdy kids

    Any steps you take to protect youself? Pepper spray? Stick? Shotgun on the handle bars? Personally, I figure most of us are whipping by at 15MPH+, so odds of an actual encounter are pretty slim. I ask because I have to ride through a couple, for a lack of better terms, "depressed" areas. Slick and stealthy are my tactics. Most of the time people don't even know I was there.

  2. #2
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    Two knives and a 3.5' chain with a heavy lock. I'm also a total badass. Being peaceful to people is usually the best regardless of how they act.

  3. #3
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    For the occasional dog, a good squirt from a water bottle will deter most.

    Overall, I haven't had that much problem from people over commuting... barring the coworkers thinking I am crazy, I mean.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  4. #4
    Raidero desde Torino
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    Strangely, the most of the other cyclists that I meet are not "very" willing to either get drafted or to draft me. I expected better from the people down here in Italy.
    Otherwise I ride by 2 gipsy camps and one huge junkie park where I slalom arround siringes. The gipsies are sleeping when I ride by. I have also a dairy farm, where in the gravel road near by I have to slalom arround cow manure....... I have also a Cabrini Green looking place that is soooooooo huuuuglyyyy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Rat
    Anyone have any stories to share about encounters while commuting?
    A few years ago I almost rode into an elephant. It was from a travelling circus, and was foraging tied to a tree by the side of the road. There was no risk of a collision, but it shocked me to say the least!

  6. #6
    Happy in Happy Valley
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    Not my story, but my Dad had a black bear stop in the road and stare him down the other day... it ran off without confrontation :-)

  7. #7
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    Is carrying any sort of firearm bordering a bit too much on the psychotic side?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktse
    Is carrying any sort of firearm bordering a bit too much on the psychotic side?

    ummmm yeah...... If you're considering a firearm for protection on your commute, you may need to rethink your route... Also, unless it was on your hip it would take too long to access it when you need it.

    My 'piece' of mind: Frame Pump.
    You can please some people sometimes but you can't please all the people all the time.
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  9. #9
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    Speeding through London with a 29" wheel strapped to my back was ... interesting.

    Numerous beer cans/bottles thrown at me, never gave chase - it could be a gun next.

    My favourite trick for particularly annoying and obnoxious drivers is to stop in front of them and wait until they get out then ride off, everyone is honking and hating them, they go red in the face and next time I see em they drive surprisingly well...

    Faceplanting in front of an entire market street due to a derailleur jam was ....well let's just say I ride singlespeed now
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktse
    Is carrying any sort of firearm bordering a bit too much on the psychotic side?
    Absolutely not. As long as you fit into the category people that carry but never want to use it.

  11. #11
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    the tourists here, they don't like to look where they're going, or use their blinkers. this last time, i stopped the mofo from running into me by wacking the side of his van really hard with my hand. i've promised myself that next time it will be handle bar, or pedal stopping the damn vehicle. i think that, then, the lesson will stick.

    have you guys seen this? whaddya think?

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/....showdown.king

  12. #12
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    Yesterday I had something interesting happen to me. My son and I were riding back from a parade ( he rides in the baby seat behind me) and I was climbing a hill. On the way up a minivan is coming up behind me and I hear some idiot start yelling something at me. As they come up to pass I hear him apologize for cussing at me because he didn't know I had my son with me. Very strange.

  13. #13
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    Crazy Deer

    Several years back, I was riding and came across a deer running through a big open clearing. It was kind of cool looking, so I kept pace with it (we were both going the same direction, it was about 100 feet off the road.) Having not noticed me, it decided to start running toward the road. I slowed down to let it cross. As it reached the road, it saw me and must have gotten scared. Its legs went splaying out in every direction and it fell on its ass. I think we were both equally shocked. It got up a few seconds later, shook off, and ran into the woods.

  14. #14
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    Nutria aka devil rats. Hate 'em.

    Drunken transient panhandlers trying to ask for change as I ride by at 20mph.

    A driver that honked and yelled out the window at me as he passed then slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a squirrel. Lucky frick'n squirrel if you ask me. Makes me think maybe I should ride in a squirrel suit.

    I carry a cell phone with the cops on speed dial. I file harassment complaints. I will settle out of court under the condition that the driver completes an "anger management" course. Or they go to court, pay fines and have a record just because they couldn't share the road.

    When drivers do confront me (non-harassment), I tell them to call the cops if they believe I'm breaking the law. I even offer them the number. They either drive away or assault/harass me in which case, I call the cops. No use trying to take matters into my own hands. I start swinging my frame pump at the wrong person and it could end up in my a$$ and it would be my fault.

    My biggest concern on the area bike paths are groups of kids. (we were all kids once) but there's the chance that one of them has something to prove and they'll try to pull some sh!t as I pass. Has never happened though. I do the "slick and stealthy" tactic.

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  15. #15
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    I ran over a rattlesnake, it struck at me. Luckily, I was hauling ass.

  16. #16
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    In one ride I saw wild turkeys, deer, rattlesnakes and a coyote with a rabbit in it's mouth. All on a bike trail in the city of Sacramento.

  17. #17
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    Cop Caught on Video Assaulting Cyclist.

    Quote Originally Posted by River Rat
    Anyone have any stories to share about encounters while commuting?

    By encounters, I refer to
    a) Animals
    b) Natives
    c) Hostile natives
    d) Rowdy kids
    e) NYC Police officers.

    This in the news today:

    http://gothamist.com/2008/07/28/cop_...lting_cycl.php

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oUkiyBVytRQ&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oUkiyBVytRQ&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by springbok
    e) NYC Police officers.

    This in the news today:

    http://gothamist.com/2008/07/28/cop_...lting_cycl.php
    Well it sounds like he's getting what he deserves. The officer's name is Patrick Pogan, he'd been on the job only a couple months. He's now been assigned to desk duty while they do an investigation and will probably be fired. I wonder if this would have happened without the video?

    I guess they charged the cyclist with attempted assault and resisting arrest. I'm sure those charges will be dropped given the video though.

  19. #19
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    I saw a group of three homeless dudes on the Santa Fe Trail (near America the Beautiful park ) dragging a mattress up the trail with rope handles...and all of their worldly possessions piled on top of the mattress. That was fairly oddball.

    About 200yds earlier I had seen a tent set up in the underbrush...must have been their abode.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco

    A driver that honked and yelled out the window at me as he passed then slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a squirrel. Lucky frick'n squirrel if you ask me. Makes me think maybe I should ride in a squirrel suit.

    Caz
    Funny, there is a local park with a duck pound near my house. The street itself is really narrow, so there are "Share the Road" signs about every 10 feet. One day, I was riding and a woman passes me within inches, yells at me, then 100 feet slams her brakes to avoid hitting a stupid duck, squatting down in the middle of the road. While she is sitting and waiting for this brain-dead duck to move, I pass her within inches to see if she likes it, and I maneuver around the duck. Her horn sounds up like party blowers on New Year's Eve. "You want to try passing me with more room next time, jerk! Better yet, blah blah sidewalk blah!" Funny how drivers think you're attentively listening to their insults.

  21. #21
    Jackass
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    I saw a group of three homeless dudes on the Santa Fe Trail (near America the Beautiful park ) dragging a mattress up the trail with rope handles...and all of their worldly possessions piled on top of the mattress. That was fairly oddball.

    About 200yds earlier I had seen a tent set up in the underbrush...must have been their abode.
    Heh, I think I've seen those guys.

    No real encounters on my commute but I was riding in a city park early one morning, came whipping around a corner, and there was a tent pitched right in the middle of the trail. Definitely not a camping area, and it was colder then sh!t too. Might have been the mattress guys.
    I'm making enemies faster than I can kill them!

  22. #22
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    The worst I had was when I was 14. A passenger in a passing car threw a razor blade at me while saying "f*** you white boy." Gave me a little gash on the back of my neck.

    Once up in the Catskills driving with my Dad and brother, there was a bear on the road. We stopped to watch it, and it walked around the bend. When a bicyclist came by I yelled out, "There's a bear..."

    He must've thought I was being a smartass trying to ruin his groove. Makes sense - I've gotten that, too. But it was pretty funny to see him stop short halfway around the turn.

  23. #23
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    On the trails I've come within inches of colliding with deer a few times, and have had to reroute my ride due to bears and mountain lions. Nothing on the road besides dogs running out of steam and jollies with cyclists in their cars.

  24. #24
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    Cyclists in my area have to be careful of mountain lions. I know of several at the local cycle shop who told me they carry mace.

  25. #25
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    Animal Encounters

    I saw a family of five racoons crossing the road the other day. I've never seen more than one before. They were just walking across the road in a line.

    I've been seeing a lot of red foxes lately as well.

    The best was the other day when I was on a long off-road climb and red-tailed hawk took off from my right and flew a few feet in front of my face and off to my left. It was amazing.

  26. #26
    ONe less gear
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    I saw a mongoose (the animal version, not the bike).

  27. #27
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    The two lanes of traffic backed up from the stoplight about half a mile…I was coasting in the bike lane.

    Out of two separate cars jump two guys (20+ yrs old, around 155-165 lbs each) and meet behind one of the cars and commence to swing. Fists fly, one falls down…girls exits one of the cars yelling “Stop! Somebody stop them!”

    I stop my bike and lay it on the sidewalk. Seeing the incoming traffic behind the fight closing in, I step into the road to warn them. I'm 5’ from the action, fending off traffic. Heck of a day!
    I don’t intervene. They looked evenly matched, and one of them may have needed to be smacked. Who am I to interfere?

    One guy falls down while swinging, now he’s on his back defending, deflecting blows from the guy above, using his hands and feet. The guy on top is getting frustrated, landing no disabling blows…meanwhile traffic is backing up behind the fight.

    The guy on the bottom defends himself so well that the other guy just quits fighting. He shakes his fist, gets back in his car, fight over. I help the guy on the bottom up. He’s alright, just a ripped shirt. He gets back in his car and goes away.


    A fight goes off in the middle of the busy road and no one gets run over. The fight is over, lasting less than 1 minute, and no one is injured and no cops arrive. Amazing!

    All this, in less then a minute.

    People are crazy.
    The truth will set you free... But first it will piss you off

  28. #28
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    A serial bike harasser has been bugging me on my ride home...I feel like a magnet for this bozo, because it can be an hour later than usual & still I meet up with him...The first time it was the drive slow right up close to you, then gun it & yell something out the window...I ignored it except for slowing up in case I had to douse the light & run for the hills if he turned around (you know how your mind races in these situations)....this was on my empty dirt road & I have plenty of lights, reflectors, ride to the right, etc....the next night I practiced getting some plates using my headlamp on passing cars, and was ready when he rode up and blared the horn right next to me...he had a vanity plate so that made it easy to remember. It is VT plate CRPE DM, which I now take as "have a crappy day" rather than the usual translation of "sieze the day"... so I decided to call the cops, figured it could get worse if I did, but it would definitely get worse if I didn't. ..they said they were "very busy" but would contact him & "tell him to stop it". It did get better, or maybe I was just lucky & he didn't pass me or had another car behind him or something, but on Xmas eve he came up behind and tailed me real slow (he had to try real hard, it's all uphill & ice, I was going under 5mph) for awhile...I didn't acknowledge him & after a minute or so he passed, but not without a toot (which I took for "I know you called the cops") . Not sure what the best approach would be now...I am leaning toward ignoring him awhile & hoping he gets bored without any reaction, but it is very frustrating and instantly ruins that peaceful pedaling home feeling, especially since these incidents have all occurred within 1/2 mi of my house. I did find out he only lives 3/4 mi further down the same road, so I could also try becoming a real person to him by going to see him in a car. But he's got a target shooting stand in the backyard & sells gun sights & such so I am not overly anxious to talk to him, let alone something more confrontational. Another call to the cops is a possibility, but he seems to have gotten a little "smarter" and is doing less obviously dangerous stuff & would likely tell them he just slowed down to pass safely, which is bull. This strikes me as the kind of person who is just angry at the world and takes any opportunity to be more powerful, kick the dog, harass the cyclist or whatever. Anybody had any luck resolving problems with a repeat offender like this?

  29. #29
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    He sells gun sights and has a target stand in the backyard? Do you own any weapons? Might be a common ground you could build a rapport on. Does he sell the gun sights from his house?
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    He sells gun sights and has a target stand in the backyard? Do you own any weapons? Might be a common ground you could build a rapport on. Does he sell the gun sights from his house?

    Not yet

    Yes, it's his house. I was hoping it was a kid driving & that he might lose truck priveledges when the cops contacted them, but I dunno who is driving.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by springbok
    e) NYC Police officers.

    This in the news today:

    http://gothamist.com/2008/07/28/cop_...lting_cycl.php

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oUkiyBVytRQ&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oUkiyBVytRQ&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
    That cop is gonna pay, but I am not really a fan of Critical mASS rides.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    A serial bike harasser has been bugging me on my ride home...I feel like a magnet for this bozo, because it can be an hour later than usual & still I meet up with him...The first time it was the drive slow right up close to you, then gun it & yell something out the window...I ignored it except for slowing up in case I had to douse the light & run for the hills if he turned around (you know how your mind races in these situations)....this was on my empty dirt road & I have plenty of lights, reflectors, ride to the right, etc....the next night I practiced getting some plates using my headlamp on passing cars, and was ready when he rode up and blared the horn right next to me...he had a vanity plate so that made it easy to remember. It is VT plate CRPE DM, which I now take as "have a crappy day" rather than the usual translation of "sieze the day"... so I decided to call the cops, figured it could get worse if I did, but it would definitely get worse if I didn't. ..they said they were "very busy" but would contact him & "tell him to stop it". It did get better, or maybe I was just lucky & he didn't pass me or had another car behind him or something, but on Xmas eve he came up behind and tailed me real slow (he had to try real hard, it's all uphill & ice, I was going under 5mph) for awhile...I didn't acknowledge him & after a minute or so he passed, but not without a toot (which I took for "I know you called the cops") . Not sure what the best approach would be now...I am leaning toward ignoring him awhile & hoping he gets bored without any reaction, but it is very frustrating and instantly ruins that peaceful pedaling home feeling, especially since these incidents have all occurred within 1/2 mi of my house. I did find out he only lives 3/4 mi further down the same road, so I could also try becoming a real person to him by going to see him in a car. But he's got a target shooting stand in the backyard & sells gun sights & such so I am not overly anxious to talk to him, let alone something more confrontational. Another call to the cops is a possibility, but he seems to have gotten a little "smarter" and is doing less obviously dangerous stuff & would likely tell them he just slowed down to pass safely, which is bull. This strikes me as the kind of person who is just angry at the world and takes any opportunity to be more powerful, kick the dog, harass the cyclist or whatever. Anybody had any luck resolving problems with a repeat offender like this?
    I get along with most people, but when I am stressed or in conflict, I do not have that ability. There are some people who have that ability to put their anger aside and diffuse other's anger ... and discuss things rationally. I watched flight attendants do this a few days ago. When the flight started, I thought they were going to have an air marshal cart this woman off the plane. By the end of the flight, she was yuk'n it up with the whole staff.

  33. #33
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    MTBX, I don't want to fuel your fear, but your situation sounds very serious, and I could easily see this person escalating the situation until you got hurt. I have never had someone repeatedly harass me, but in your case I might consider a friendly (stress the friendly) conversation where you simply express your concerns for your safety and ask if there is anything you can do different to stay out of his way. At this point, he sees you as an object in his way: a faceless target on the road. Speaking to him might help him understand that you are a real person just trying to get home after work on your bike, and by asking him what you can do differently, you give him the authority and power in the situation which he will undoubtedly appreciate.

    As far as my encounters, I have been hit by cars 4 different times. Once, I was plowed over by a sporty Subaru. After going up on his hood and windshield, I fell to the ground and lay there stunned. The driver got out and rather than help me up he checked his hood for dents, jumped back in and took off before I had even stood up. I was alright but my bike was all bent up. I was only a block from home so I walked to my house, dropped off my bike, jumped in my car and went looking for the dude who hit me. I wasn't sure if I would find him but it turned out he only lived a couple blocks down from where I was hit, so I decided to stop and have a chat with him. When he opened his door it was obvious he had no idea who I was so I told him I was the guy he just hit and left lying on the road. I explained that what he did is considered hit and run, and at first he was very defensive. He blamed me for being in his way and even threatening to call the police if I didn't leave, but rather than tear into him, I decided to go friendly and explain that I wasn't interested in legal action (which was certainly in my favor) I was more interested in having him understand that I could have been seriously injured and that people are more important than vehicles. Anyway, after a bit of discussion, he apologized and said that after hitting me he was very scared and panicked. He said after he got home he felt very bad but wasn't sure what to do and worried he might be arrested. We talked a bit more and eventually shook hands and parted on friendly terms, which I feel was more meaningful and valuable for both of us than any legal action could ever have been.

  34. #34
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    No sign of serial harrasser since Xmas eve

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    A serial bike harasser has been bugging me on my ride home...
    Thanks for your thoughts & support - I'll update you if I have any more problems with this bikehater.

  35. #35
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    Iv`e seen loads of animals over the past few years. Moose standing in the middle of the road, Fox and deer are a common sight but one morning I met a huge hare that ran in front of the bike following the road for about 300ft. before darting into the woods.

    The worst encounter has to be from about 3 weeks ago.

    I had worked overtime on friday night, something I try to avoid like the plague and it was late at about 10pm.

    Some teenager jumps out on to the road, ran up to me and simply took a swipe. He was drunk and just looking for trouble. He aimed for my head but I swerved and he landed his punch in my backpack. I was pretty shaken, slowed down and asked him why he did it. He then ran after me so I called him ghey and sped off.

    I`m glad he was big because if he was my size I might have been silly and tried to smack him back.

    When car drivers sound thier horn I wave and smile. I think that if they stop for some trouble it would be pretty funny in a court hearing them say I deserved a smack because I waved and smiled.
    Disclaimer. I now sell bicycles and bicycle tyres.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by fux
    ...Some teenager jumps out on to the road, ran up to me and simply took a swipe. He was drunk and just looking for trouble. He aimed for my head but I swerved and he landed his punch in my backpack. I was pretty shaken, slowed down and asked him why he did it. He then ran after me so I called him ghey and sped off.

    Sounds hair-raising! Glad you made out ok & left the scene but the ghey comment is uncool, not to mention surely innacurate...

  37. #37
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    Sizzler, that is a really messed up story. Forgiveness is one thing, but that is just going too far if you ask me. If you think that you did anybody besides that driver a service by not reporting the hit and run you're kidding yourself. What if he hits/kills somebody else with his craptacular driving? are you now morally culpable?

    For wild-life encounters the strangest/saddest thing I saw was some lady in her SUV run over a mother goose and a few goslings crossing the road. There was one squished mother goose and some very dead bloody balls of yellow fluff that used to be her goslings. The father goose and a few remaining ducklings just standing there on the shoulder waiting while the woman stood staring at the carnage she just caused. A God dammed tragedy! Hope it was an important call lady.

  38. #38
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    Well, considering I don't have the right to bear arms anymore, I have been taking martial arts long before UFC I and all the MMA hype came along. I'm a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Assistant Certified Instructor, Level IV in Krav Maga and Assistant Certified Insructor, light training in Keysi Fighting Method(my least favorite of all), Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu when it was still underground and no one knew what an octagon was. 5 nights and 1 day of training, on top of commuting to work, and riding hard on most nights after training keeps my ass going.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUNARFX
    Well, considering I don't have the right to bear arms anymore, I have been taking martial arts long before UFC I and all the MMA hype came along. I'm a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Assistant Certified Instructor, Level IV in Krav Maga and Assistant Certified Insructor, light training in Keysi Fighting Method(my least favorite of all), Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu when it was still underground and no one knew what an octagon was. 5 nights and 1 day of training, on top of commuting to work, and riding hard on most nights after training keeps my ass going.
    Gesundheit!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    I saw a group of three homeless dudes on the Santa Fe Trail (near America the Beautiful park ) dragging a mattress up the trail with rope handles...and all of their worldly possessions piled on top of the mattress. That was fairly oddball.

    About 200yds earlier I had seen a tent set up in the underbrush...must have been their abode.
    That area has filled up with bums big time over the year, they have a mini villiage now.

  41. #41
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    I have run over a rattlesnake... that gets the heart racing, but at normal trail speeds you're gone before it has a chance to take a stab at you.

    I have had several pretty close encounters with deer on my commute... they are everywhere around here, and I see a few every day. I quit braking for deer long ago on the bike. I have this theory that they are better than I am at predicting what the other guy is going to go and getting out of the way. If they see me, they can pretty much tell where I'm going and scamper out of the way every time. The only times this doesn't work is when they don't see or hear me coming.
    The deer regularly feed on the shoulder of the road. If they are head-in-the-weeds and I am on a downhill stretch or moving at a pretty good clip, I can sneak up on them and give them a good scare. They instinctively bail AWAY from the road 99.9% of the time. I have had two occasions where this didn't happen. The first time I actually made contact. The deer heard something (me), jumped up and started to bolt right across the road in front of me, hooves peeling out on the hard pavement. I thew my weight back and braked hard, and actually bonked the deer in the quarterpanel with my front wheel...it wasn't enough to send me flying or mess with the deer's escape, and we both went our separate ways unscathed. I spent the rest of the day feeling like I had won some epic lifelong game of tag. It was pretty cool actually.

    The other time was the same scenario...deer feeding on the shoulder heard me, raised it's head up, and started the lunge across the road but stopped at the last second and started to swing around to run away from the road. I swerved as it swung its head around... I kid you not, I could smell its breath. If it had been a buck, I'd be missing an eye right now. There was no contact and I didn't even slow down, but I was on edge for the entire rest of the ride.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  42. #42
    jrm
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    Ran over a squirrel

    hit a pigeon (kinda on purpose), pulled a woman from a wrecked mini van, seen 1/2 naked woman twice, A couple of OPD gang roundups, a man driving a car on 880 that was on fire and i ALWAYS wave to the bums that jump the freight trains.

    Ive had two instances were i thought i was going to be robbed of my bike or have my ass seriously kicked. I carry a cell phone, telescopic billy club and pepper spray but havent used um and hope i never will but will if forced to defend myself.

  43. #43
    namagomi
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    In regards to potentially fast moving wild-life I aim straight at them, just like commuterboy says he does with deer... it works with squirrels also, not the kamikaze ones though. They are dead set on glory for the emperor and for sure will fling themselves into your wheel spokes(though some do chicken-out at the last moment)! OF course this method of playing chicken with wildlife doesn't work for the less flighty animals like dogs or geese. I wouldn't try it with bears, bucks or errant children either.

  44. #44
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    wow you guys all have horrible stories of human interactions. When these events occur are you riding in bad neighborhoods?

  45. #45
    MTT
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    Since I have both positive and negative stories, why not put a positive one up? Several winters back I was out for a ride after work. It was late (around 10pm), dark, cold and raining here in the Seattle area; and I was heading north on our well traveled bike only path which runs along lake Washington (gigantic lake that the UW and Husky stadium is on).

    Anyway as I got out of the city I was feeling good and I noticed the moon was out, so there was enough light to see outlines of trees and things beyond my light. At one point I felt there was something with me, and I looked almost directly above me to see a huge owl flying just above and in front of me. He was only about 15 feet above me and man what a beautiful animal! the wing span was as wide as the trail. They are large birds.

    He followed me for about two miles. I think he was looking for rats or mice in my light, but I can't be sure. In all the years I rode on that trail I only saw him that one night, but maybe he follows cyclists every night and they just don't see him? It was great just riding along with him, and I will never forget it. MT

  46. #46
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    ^^ That is just awesome. I had a similar moment with a Canadian Goose.

    It happened to be on the day in March when the sun comes up during my commute for the first time of the year. It usually happens at the top of this hill I ride every morning, where there's this big sweeping right hand corner...and after months in the darkness, the morning when you get to the top of that hill and get blasted with the sun it just makes the whole winter worth it...you know the feeling.

    Anyway, there is a long straight stretch before you climb this big corner, and on that stretch I had the same feeling...I looked up, and there was this BRIGHT ORANGE goose about 30 feet above my head. He was orange because he was in the sunlight and I wasn't. It was like the sun was making that goose glow, but nothing else was getting hit by sunlight yet. He paced me until the bottom of the hill when I got too slow for him, and he peeled off into the field to find his friends. It wasn't a two-mile encounter, but it was cool. Then I climbed the hill into the glorious warmth of the sunshine for the first time in months.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  47. #47
    MTT
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ That is just awesome. I had a similar moment with a Canadian Goose.

    It happened to be on the day in March when the sun comes up during my commute for the first time of the year. It usually happens at the top of this hill I ride every morning, where there's this big sweeping right hand corner...and after months in the darkness, the morning when you get to the top of that hill and get blasted with the sun it just makes the whole winter worth it...you know the feeling.

    Anyway, there is a long straight stretch before you climb this big corner, and on that stretch I had the same feeling...I looked up, and there was this BRIGHT ORANGE goose about 30 feet above my head. He was orange because he was in the sunlight and I wasn't. It was like the sun was making that goose glow, but nothing else was getting hit by sunlight yet. He paced me until the bottom of the hill when I got too slow for him, and he peeled off into the field to find his friends. It wasn't a two-mile encounter, but it was cool. Then I climbed the hill into the glorious warmth of the sunshine for the first time in months.
    I wish I could fly!!

  48. #48
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    I got passed by a mouse today...

    Shortly after leaving my driveway, I saw something moving on the road, at first I thought it was just something windblown, but it was the smallest little mouse running a pattern & on a diagonal for my front wheel. I braked & let him pass, talk about sharing the road....

    2 nights ago, the last bus arrived at work & I grabbed my bike - only then I noticed there was no bike rack! I didn't think my chances were good at finding a ride @ 5:45 & was getting worried (25 miles if I bike all the way home) but the driver said to bring it aboard & my fellow passengers helped get it up the steps & situated. A guy with crutches braced it with his crutch & admired the studded tires. A good time was had by all.

    I was all ready to leave the house 2 a.m.'s ago, but opened the front door & found I was trapped in the house by snow/ice that fell off the roof & froze in front of the storm door. Gave up on the front door & went out the slider in back.

    Saw another bike commuter this a.m. - this one returned my wave.

  49. #49
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    I had a guy come at me with a trash can like he was going to heave it at me. He thought that was a great joke. The occasional wild boar on the outskirts of town, and lots of rabbits. They're worse than the pigeons.

  50. #50
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    Well, I'm fairly lucky in the encounter department...I have the size and demeanour to be mistaken for a cop.

    I do carry a collapsible baton as I have a strong martial arts background, but it is my method of last resort (pepper spray is out...I'm asthmatic and would likely end up in hospital if I deployed it...I'm well trained in blades and firearms, but I'd rather not escalate to lethal force). Only had to pull the baton once for a rottie x that was being egged on by a stupid owner and it kept wanting to come around the bike to get to me. Owner changed his tune when the baton came out.

    I've had my fair share of honks, swerves and profanities, but generally most folks are pretty decent. I do, however, love seeing the dropped jaws when I'm our for a snow ride and get around better than the cars.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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