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  1. #1
    Hassan's Ghost
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    Squirrels Attack!

    So last night cruising home at around 20mph, with both panniers full (two computers, huge stats manual, clothes, etc...), I had a real life 'nature' experience. A good size gray squirrel ran under my front wheel. I feel bad but... I didn't crash. I did however nudge my commuter buddy off the bike path. Last week I dodged at least three possum. I figure if I hit one of those I am pretty much done for (I picture me lying on the ground possum feeding on my carcass).

    Does this happen to other people?

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    Never on a bike. I've had huge rats run out in front of me several times while driving (in two different states no less, CA and HI). The squirrels are out in force, more so that usual for this time of year. I think we're going to have an extraordinarily cold winter!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
    iRonic
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    Haven't hit one yet, but there's been quite a few squirrels that have run in front of me after I've had to stop for em.

    It's bizarre. They seem to be aiming for the bike. I slow down, they slow down. I speed up, they speed up. The only way to avoid a collision is to just stop moving.

  4. #4
    Slowly but surely...
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    Had a smallish dog dart in front of me in a bike lane just as I passed it and its owner, who were on the sidewalk. The dog was not on a leash and I had slowed and was watching it, just to make sure that wouldn't happen, but I was on a downhill and the dog waited till the very last second to jump out in front of me, so I couldn't stop. Luckily, my front tire went over him without issue and he got out of the way before the rear hit, so I was able to ride it out. The owner, surprisingly, kept his mouth shut. Guess he knew he should have had a leash Next time I'll give a leash-less dog a wider berth.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.
    - Juli Furtado

  5. #5
    iRonic
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    Speaking of dogs, I came upon a man and his dog (on a leash) on the trail recently. He seemed like he wasn't in control of the dog and seemed to be wondering back and forth across the path. Almost as if the dog were walking him. The closer I got, the more they went back and forth to the edges. Wasn't sure what the deal was, but....

    I always try to warn people that I'm going to pass them and I did so. He immediately stepped to the side with the dog and thanked me. Once he turned around to face me, I realized that he was blind. I guess maybe the dog knew I was coming and was trying to get him to the side, but he didn't realize this and kept fighting it.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    I almost rode into a skunk few days ago. It was very scary, that thing just came out of the bushes it was about 3 feet from me and I could smell it, I was very lucky that I didn't get sprayed by all that nasty smelling stuff that they have on them.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    I've come very close to running over prarie dogs, here in Santa Fe. Unlike squirrels (even though they also are rodents) they seem to have enough brain power to know how to get the hell outta the way!

  8. #8
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    I actually had a...

    squirrel try to run between my spokes on the front wheel a few years back. The result was rather messy, and the score was wheel 1, squirrel 0. He didn't quite make it, got picked up by the oncomming spoke and it kinda folded him against the fork. Fortunately he was umm...mushy enough?...to squish through the fork legs. Rather a sudden reduction if forward velocity, but not enough to cause a crash. Wasn't a cool thing and I felt kinda bad about it, but what can you do. Wished I'd have had a camera at the time. It would have made a rather gross but interesting pic. I've had other close encounters in the woods, deer dodgings, close calls with skunks, racoons, etc. But that dumb squirrel is the only one I've ever hit. Or did he hit me???

    Anyway, if you ride much it's bound to happen sooner or later. Runins with local wild life isn't all that uncommon.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  9. #9
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    That's what I worry about, a critter getting in the spokes. A sudden wheel lock up would be bad, but I'm fine with running them over. I've almost caught a bird in the spokes. I'm sure that would have been a feathery explosion.

  10. #10
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    I have smelled the breath of the deer that changed it's mind at the last possible millisecond when contemplating launching out of the shoulder/gutter in front of me. I swear if she was a buck, I would have had an antler in my eye.

    I see deer every day on my commute, but they scatter when they hear you coming...the danger is sneaking up on them. I have taken to 'click click'-ing at them as I approach, as if they were a horse or something. It's not enough sound to really freak them out, but they look up early enough to cross in front of you with minimal peeling out of hoof on asphalt.


    ...But I am guilty of a larger crime. I never told mom, because I just knew I'd be in trouble somehow...but when I was in about 6th grade, riding my Skyway BMX bike over at the school, just cruising down the walkway minding my own business, what I thought was a large leaf landed in the path directly in front of my wheel...I realized moments later that I'd just hit a baby bird during it's first attempt at flight. Poor thing had been out of its nest maybe 15 seconds in its whole life and it lands 6 inches in front of my 20 inch Tioga BMX tire.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    I ran over a ground squirrel in SoCal on my skinny-tire fixie, ran over a rabbit in NC on my CX fixie, had a gray squirrel launch through the spokes of my MTB in NC, got dive bombed and helmet slammed by a cardinal in NC, and got a seagull caught by the wing on my headlight mount doing a night beach ride in SoCal; had to pull him out of the mount while he was flapping and squawking. Also ran over innumerable snakes (accidentally) offroad as well. No crashes from those, but I hit a cat while doing about 25 mph and crashed hard, that was a few years ago. Last year had a pit bull run right in front of me, when I hit him it was like hitting a wall. Crashed. Both of those in NC.

    Didn't realize I had hit so many things until I started thinking about it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    Also had a prairie dog near-miss when in Fruita last spring. Coming down a steep hill, the little guy shot in front of me. Nothing I could do, but he just missed my front tire. I realized later that I could have crashed really bad avoiding him -- I just never thought about one zipping out like that.

    More recently, I had a couple turkey near-collisions @ china camp this summer. Also when I was going fast. These guys seem big enough to cause a crash in a collision. With as casual as they are about walking in front of mountain bikes, it seems inevitable that someone will smack one...

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