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  1. #1
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    Scary animal encounters

    Would like to hear some stories of scary animal encounters you might have experianced out on the trails. Myself, I live in Wyoming. In case you don't know we have the lowest population in the country, lots of mountains, and lots of public lands. That means I see critters a lot on the remote trails I ride. Thankfully no bear or mountain lion run-ins (knock on wood).
    Last week I stopped on the trail to move a sunbathing snake out of the way so the next rider wouldnt squash it, I looked up and a cow moose with her calf were 10 feet away from me. She started swinging her head and walking towards me. I didn't stick around to take pics but that was not my first moose encounter. Moose are more dangerous to humans than many predators so I know to give them their distance. I have also had been chased by mama cows with their yearlings. Kind of funny in heinseight but those things are big and I don't know what sort of damage they could do if I were cornered.
    So yeah, let's hear it. I am really interested in this.

  2. #2
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    We scared all the animals out of one valley to the next one over....anyway turns out that was the valley we needed to ride...

    So we start up that valley....I see a moose jump out on the trail and run up the trail...buddy is ahead of me he starts yelling bear bear....I yell no moose moose....

    Then we see the bear chasing the moose up the trail......5 secs ahead and we are between the bear and the moose.....

  3. #3
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    Scary stuff guys!
    This past week in Breckenridge, Colorado I was zipping down on the pavement road at dusk with my not so bright lights on and saw a dark object on the road just ahead. I swerved to the side and just missed the object by a couple feet. Turned out to be a huge porcupine crossing the roadway. All I could think of on my way home was how bad that woulda sucked to hit.

  4. #4
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    I ran into a mother bear and her two cubs once. She acted like she was gonna charge me, but she just wanted to make sure her cubs were safe and the three of them took off away from me. Up in Maine a few years ago I stopped to take a breather, about 100 feet away a moose cow came out of the brush walking parallel to me, I watched in awe. But right behind her was a bull, most likely pursuing her to mate. He stopped and stared me down, I was a little concerned because the bulls can go ballistic especially during mating season, I was on a singlespeed in sandy soil and in no way could I outrun him. He eventually turned away and walked off into the trees following his prize.

  5. #5
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    Riding on the flatlands north of Fort Collins, Colorado I have had encounters with rattlers too. Most trails in Wyoming are too high elevation-wise so luckily I do not see them unless I go low.

  6. #6
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    Rattlesnakes are an occupational hazard in Arizona, and I have run over a couple and made 'em very very angry. Had one rear up in front of me on a steep rocky climb once too, when I had my head down grinding, but luckily I heard him before I got within strike distance. I always check under rocks when I stop before sitting on them, as I found one once under the rock I was sitting on a minute before.
    I was outside Anchorage once riding alone, and stopped on a powerline trail to find my bearings. I heard something big moving in the bushes next to me, and a mama moose with calf made a move at me, then pulled back. That scared to poop out of me!
    Another time I separated a javelina mother from her babies as they crossed the trail in front of me, and she charged at me. had to put my bike up in front of me, and backed up quickly to let the kids thru. She pulled away, but that got the heart pumping too!
    Other than those, nothing much.
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  7. #7
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    I saw a bear, it was pretty cool i guess.

  8. #8
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    Dude was sitting enjoying a hot tub in Whistler after a day of riding and got smacked by a bear.....

    Black bear attacks man in Whistler hot tub - Yahoo! News Canada

  9. #9
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    Once in a great while have to chase off a bear so I can get a bike from one of the out buildings.

  10. #10
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    ran into a bull elk (~30 yards away) during the mating season out near estes park, CO. Don't know if I was actually in any danger or not, but he eyed me down for a good while before heading off in another direction.

  11. #11
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    Riding recently in Wawayanda State Park. Climbing up a single-track out of the woods and into an opening. I looked to my left and spot 4 big black balls of fur. It took a second to register. It was mama and 3 baby black bears. Mama and 2 took off and 1 baby launched up a tree. Within 10 seconds total, that one released down the tree and followed his family. They were as scared of me as I was of them. That my 6th bear encounter - 2nd in Wawa. I keep telling myself that some day I want to see bears close enough to get a good picture, yet far enough not to be scared sh!tless. Hasn't happened yet.

  12. #12
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    Last night I rode a pretty secluded trail. Got back to my truck and hear some weird yelping. I stood still and listened and realized it was a pack of coyotes getting closer. Heart raced and I booked the hell outta there. Will a pack of coyotes attack me if I was still on the bike in the trail?

  13. #13
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    This does'nt really compare with moose, bears and rattler confrontations but I'll share anyway. While doing a road ride on a somewhat rural road in the great flatlands of IL, I saw a groundhog in the grass close to the shoulder and as I approached it I thought "these things are completely docile" and will just forage around in the grass and have me on its pay no mind list. Wrong, it started growling as I got close and when I got even with it it launched itself at me while growling fiercely. It did'nt make contact but did scare the bejesus out of me as I flinched away from it.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  14. #14
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    Dogs. Yes

    Mtn lions, bears--Meh. Part of the natural order. Not a problem.

    Dog one. 12 years ago. Came at me in the back country. Thought I could ride over him/her. So I learned something. Not a smart idea. I crashed and the injured dog ran off.

    Dog two. A couple of years ago. On a trail a mile from my house. Bit my ankle and drew blood.

    That's it. 20 years of riding and that's it.

  15. #15
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    racing a coyote, not scary but fun:

    a lone coyote jumped up fRom the tall grass about 10' ahead of me. coyote hauled azz along side trail and i peddled as fast as i could trying to keep up with him. just as i closed in he turned, jumped across the trail in front of me and ran up into the brush. i had a blast and i bet coyote did too ! prolly told the pack all how he beat me !

  16. #16
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    I was out at night hitting some local single track and came around a corner to a number of eyes shining off my headlamp. Turns out to be a pack of coyotes and they were not about to run away at the sight of me. I eyed them down for a minute as I planned a proper exit. Over the next two weeks in totally different areas I came around a corner (in broad daylight) and a coyote was in the middle of the trail. Both times they took off and I am certain they were more afraid of me that I was of them but it still hit home. I have considered attaching a bell to my camelbak to jingle as I bike down the trail to let all ahead both hikers and animals know I am coming.

  17. #17
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    I've seen a few black bears, one while mountain biking. I came up on that one fast, scared the crizzap out of him and he hightailed it out of there. It's funny to see them run, they are so stiff yet they move incredibly fast. Like they're made of nothing but muscle.

    The others were seen while hiking in an area of the mountains where there are a lot of houses and trash cans for them to forage through. That area has more black bears per square mile than anywhere else in the surrounding counties.

    I encountered a frightened female (species: human) coming down a mountain trail one day. She saw a bear and turned around, even though her boyfriend was waiting for her at the top, a mile away or so. I escorted her back up, making sure to stay behind her to admire her tight, healthy coat of lycra. When we got to the top, her BF just laughed at her and didn't seem to believe that she saw a bear. What a d00sh...

  18. #18
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    I almost ran over a snake. Not scary, just glad I didn't wipe out trying to avoid it. Would have felt bad running over one

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Will a pack of coyotes attack me if I was still on the bike in the trail?
    Not likely anywhere. Coyotes are more interested in small game like rabbits, mice, young turkeys, etc. They are extremely wary of humans.

  20. #20
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    My friend rode over a vole tonight and it's death throws we're scary.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  21. #21
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    i crested a rise on a favorite local climb and ran into two completely naked dudes, one b***s deep in the other.

    i've had many, many bear and moose encounters but that one scared me the most of all.

    Recently I saw an old friend and we were reminiscing about a ride we did over 10 years ago, where on a descent he stopped and yelled for me to stop as there was a bear on the trail. I got off the bike and headed towards him slowly, only to have a pair of cubs jump out in front of me, maybe 5-6 feet away. He was trapped between the mother and the cubs, and I was almost touching distance from the cubs. A few tense moments (to say the least, I thought he was dead), the curious babies hauled into the woods and the mother followed.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  22. #22
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    A few years ago, my gf and I rode out into a clearing with a herd of bison towards the end of mud season at the bottom of Shadow Mountain, in WY. 30 ft away 2 bulls charged each other and locked horns. We felt the ground shake. Then, both bulls turned their heads towards us. We ditched the bikes and ran back into the treed area where we had came from. Waited for 45 minutes and picked up the bikes to make a sprint for the parking lot. That night I had bison from i got from Smith's (a local grocery chain) t.

  23. #23
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    Camping with no tent next to a river, waking up early in the morning with a mountain lion right at the foot of my sleeping bag starring me down and growling, tried to act calm and then I hid under my sleeping bag and didn't come out for a few hours. by far the scariest thing of my life aNd it still scares me to this day.

  24. #24
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    Almost hit a bear (VT). Mountain lion jumped onto the trail in front of me and ran in the same direction as I was riding for about 5 seconds (GA). Bull moose standing across the trail as I came around a corner (VT). I swear if I ducked, I could have ridden underneath it. The moose was the most frightening. That thing was huge. Came along side a shark windsurfing. Scarier than the moose.

  25. #25
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    Interesting about all the moose encounters people have had. I have read they are more dangerous than bear or mountain lions statisticy speaking. Luckily my run-ins have been nothing serious. I did get charged by a huge cow when I was riding through a heard once. They had me surrounded when I turned the corner and they had their yearlings with them. I know cows are essentially harmless, but a pissed off mama could do some damage if she got you on the ground.

  26. #26
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    Last night on the road with my wife and her trike a big deer ran across the road full speed head down about 10 feet in front of us. Kept thinking of that youtube video with the mtber on the trail getting side slammed. Wife was a little freaked, didn't really bother me.

    Back in the late 80s on our 200x three wheelers my brother and I came around a corner to find a porcupine climbing in a tree that overhung the trail. No time to react, just duck and pray. Got lucky on that one.

    Got hit by a bee or wasp on my chest while riding. Didn't think much of it for a few seconds until I realized it was hurting more and more. Turns out it was still on me and stinging repeatedly. Chest swelled up pretty good about the size of a grapefruit and I was diagnosed as allergic. Been stung twice since with no reaction.

  27. #27
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    I was riding downhill on a fast section of single track. This particular section is a 30 foot drop down a hill about 50 yards long then you make a sharp left hand turn and cross a wooden bridge over a dry creek bed which only has water during hard rains. I come flying down the hill around 20mph and make the turn and look up at the bridge and see a big snake about 6-8 feet long draped over the bridge. It was one of those moments that happened to fast I didn't have time to react before I was on top of the snake. My front wheel hit him and I tried to bunny hop over him. I remember hearing a "whirring" sound like a stick getting caught between the frame and the rear tire and I see the snake flopping in my peripheral vision behind me. He's somehow stuck on my bike. I'm peddling like mad to get away but he is my passenger and he's flailing like crazy behind me. My senses come to me and I grab some brakes and somehow perform an endo jumping dismount off the bike and I land on my feet running like hell away from my bike. I get about 20 30 yards away from it before I turn around and look, just in time to see the big snake untangling himself from my bike and slithering the hell away. I know I had to have hurt him because I ran him over with my front tire and I don't know what sort of damage he got when he was hung up in the rear wheel. I've always felt bad about injuring him and still do to this day.
    -DeoreDX

  28. #28
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    I've scared several moose out in the woods

    I've never got very close to a moose calf ... and don't plan to either.

    ... there was one pretty exiting moose encounter wayyyy back: I was Just Riding Along on the shoulder of a road and saw two moose coming across a field. When crossing the road, they panicked because some cars and a bus were approaching. One ran across the road just in front of me and the other slipped on the hard surface and fell just behind me.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  29. #29
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    I like seeing animals on the trail. Its a sign that we aren't doing as much damage as the crazy hikers say we are.
    Especially apex species and major predators. It takes a very healthy ecosystem to support mountain lions, wolves, bear, etc.

  30. #30
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    Someone called "BS" on my reputation rating for saying I have stumbled upon moose before. If you bike with any frequency out here, you see moose. People! lol.

  31. #31
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    Recently I was out for an early morning ride in a remote area of the Oregon Coastal Range. For much of the early part of the ride, I had a distinctly eerie feeling. About six miles in, I came across a fairly fresh deer kill by what I assume was a mountain lion. I hightailed it out of there back to the car.

    Last weekend, I had the opportunity to talk with an Oregon Fish & Wildlife biologist who said that we have an exploding population of mountain lions since cougar hunting with dogs was made illegal. Estimates put the population in Oregon at around 6000.

    As an additional note, the highest concentration of mountain lions in North America is found in the Redwoods (according to a park ranger at one of the Redwoods National Park visitor centers).

  32. #32
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    ^^cougarinfo.org is a good source of info. lot of mtn lions through out the west. from the deserts to bc and beyond.

  33. #33
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    im not afraid of anything



    .... except snakes

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Someone called "BS" on my reputation rating for saying I have stumbled upon moose before. If you bike with any frequency out here, you see moose. People! lol.
    Must be the same person did the same to me! It was a plus rep tho...
    It's all Here. Now.

  35. #35
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    This will sound crazy, but I have had more problems with being freaked out by cows than any other animal. We got all the fun critters out here, moose, deer, mountain lion, beer, elk etc but at Curt Gowdy State Park (where I ride most) they graze many a cow on the trails during the summer months. Sometimes you have no choice but to ride through a heard when you turn a sharp corner and encounter them. I have been charged two times already. I know its because their yearlings are with them and they are protective.

  36. #36
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    3 Big A$$ Pit bull almost got me on one ride. I had to pick up my bike and use it to fend them off. Scary $hit
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  37. #37
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    I carry a high speed led poising device for critters (or bath salt zombie hippie humans) that might think they are above me on the food chain.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    This will sound crazy, but I have had more problems with being freaked out by cows than any other animal. We got all the fun critters out here, moose, deer, mountain lion, beer, elk etc but at Curt Gowdy State Park (where I ride most) they graze many a cow on the trails during the summer months. Sometimes you have no choice but to ride through a heard when you turn a sharp corner and encounter them. I have been charged two times already. I know its because their yearlings are with them and they are protective.
    If I ever have a run in with a beer on the trail it's going down like a dog on a piece of meat. I aint skeered!

  39. #39
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    This is a funny update. Weeks after posting this I had my first mountain lion encounter yesterday. Was at Curt Gowdy State Park yesterday in broad daylight. I was riding down the dirt road to hop on Granite Ridge Trail and sitting on the side of the road was a small cougar. As soon as it saw it saw me it made a mad dash off the road into the brush. It was the fast thing I have ever seen and was fairly close to me (I'd say 15-20 feet). It was a small lion, probably a juvenile. Odd because it was in broad daylight and next to a fairly busy road. Needless to say I didn't hop on that trail but I did get a good 20 mile ride in. Was gonna tell a Ranger but none were there. Took me about 9 years to finally see one but was kind of cool. They are out there!

  40. #40
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    the occassional deer or fox on the cape. saw a brown bear and her cubs in vt, that was cool.

  41. #41
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    This past Saturday my wife and I rode Western States Trail from Midway Bridge (between Tahoe City and Truckee) up to Watson Lake and then back on TRT to Tahoe City. Ran into a bear at the top of the first climb (at bottom of the wall, at the junction of the fire road). About 100 yards away, did a short stare down and then he slowly walked away on the fire road leading away from us, stopping every so often to look back to see where we were. Didn't feel threatened but, then, neither did he! Anyway, it was cool to see a bear in the woods even though it freaked my wife out a bit (she hadn't thought to include bears on her list of animals that might eat her on this bike ride). Only one we saw in two days of riding.

  42. #42
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    First solo night ride in the Wasatch. Heard a few coyotes yipping across a meadow. Never did see them. I've seen Mt Lion tracks while snowshoeing a trail I ride all summer long. I've never seen the lion though.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    This is a funny update. Weeks after posting this I had my first mountain lion encounter yesterday. Was at Curt Gowdy State Park yesterday in broad daylight. I was riding down the dirt road to hop on Granite Ridge Trail and sitting on the side of the road was a small cougar. As soon as it saw it saw me it made a mad dash off the road into the brush. It was the fast thing I have ever seen and was fairly close to me (I'd say 15-20 feet). It was a small lion, probably a juvenile. Odd because it was in broad daylight and next to a fairly busy road. Needless to say I didn't hop on that trail but I did get a good 20 mile ride in. Was gonna tell a Ranger but none were there. Took me about 9 years to finally see one but was kind of cool. They are out there!
    Better than the cows, at least?

  44. #44
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    On the 4th of July I was riding a trail that was new to me. There was a dead tree that went up and over the trail at an angle which lead to the tree being above the trail and parallel with it. Watched a squirrel run up the tree as I rode under and next thing I knew the squirrel jumped off the tree and almost landed on me. He missed by inches. Those little bastards have sharp claws. That could have ended much worse!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  45. #45
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    About a month after I purchased my first real mountain bike, which was back in the good ol days, I rode upon a real hot cougar in the hills above Malibu. She chased me all the way to her house where she took advantage of me till noon the next day! The cougar finally tired and fell asleep. I was about to chew my arm off and get away when an even better looking cougar knocked on the door, looking for the cougar that was sleeping. Before I knew it, I was cornered by two hot cougars. I didn't get away till 9 that night and I left both cougars purring happily. I made it home pretty unscathed, with only minor scratches on my back. But for some reason, I was very happy for days to come.

  46. #46
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    ^ I almost forgot. I made weekly visits to the cougars den for about the next year!!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Better than the cows, at least?
    Exactly! I have never had a wild animal run after me. A domesticated cow? Yes! That's why I was riding Vedawou for the least three weeks. Now the cows are up in Vedawou! Oh well, at least you have the space to go around them there. glad I can ride Gowdy again. It's less of a drive for me.

  48. #48
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    years ago while staying with my brother in Canberra, I used to ride the national park, just north of his house every evening. There was often a mob of kangaroos around (they are everywhere out there) and a couple times, I would be flying down this long fire road and the mob would start moving with me...we would be doing around 40-50kmph and there felt like hundreds of 'Roos all around me...it was awesome, and I used to love it when they got real close...they seemed totally in control, leaping over the 5 foot fence beside us, and over small trees and stuff. It dawned on my a while later that kangaroos are, generally speaking, complete idiots and are like small bouncing cows, and if one of them had changed direction I would be dead!

    I kinda miss being young and stupid....

  49. #49
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    turned a corner and ran into some cows. scariest moment of my life

  50. #50
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    As someone who lives in Australia, I don't run into moose/bears. Kangaroos are too quick to run into but I've nearly run over an echidna (Google it if you don't know what it looks like). Nearly front-flipped while braking since it was downhill at the time.

  51. #51
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    Not trail related, but today I was riding my bike home through a lovely old neighborhood in the middle of Austin (very hilly, wooded, gorgeous homes-Balcones Drive, for you Austinites), and glimpsed a critter zipping across the road ahead. Took a few seconds to process that it was a coyote, and he was likely using a dry creek bed as a route to cruise around the 'hood. One thing you'll rarely see, though, is a dead coyote on a road. Their adaptability and survival skills are amazing.

  52. #52
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    Heading down a flowing downhill a chip weasel jumped out on the trail in front of me. Little fella starts hauling tail down the trail only feet in front of my tire. He's carrying too much speed to corner so he's just pinnin it to keep ahead. Found myself yelling "Go chip weasel go!" with a big smile.

    Only scary part was in retrospect realizing the time I spent staring down at the little fella and not once at the trail.

  53. #53
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    ^ I know how he feels! When that cougar was chasing me, I was scared!

  54. #54
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    Hey bear

    I live in a sparsely populated area in N.W. Colorado and was out on a trail in the White River NF and ran into a bear. Yelled at it so I wouldn't spook it and it strolled the other way. It wasn't too interested or worried about me which is good.

    Honestly I'm a little more scared of mountain lions since they are a lot sneakier, though I haven't ran into one yet.
    2012 Trek Rumblefish
    200? Gary Fisher Kaitai

  55. #55
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Was riding Monday morning and was close to the end of the ride (just 1/2 mile to go) and a squirrel jumped about 2 feet from a tree right in front of me at handlebar level and scurried off the other side of the trail.

    Scared the living crap out of me....Squirrels have a habit of doing that.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  56. #56
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    nver mind

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