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  1. #1
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Do cougars attack large, moving objects like us?

    So I was reading this article about a cougar being seen near C.O.D. trail last week, when I thought to myself, "would a cougar really attack someone who looks big, on a big bike, moving at a high rate of speed?"

    Now, I've never encountered a big cat, but I have a hard time believing I'd be attacked while cruising along. Maybe if I stopped to 'shake the dew off of my lily' I'd be worried, but not while riding.

    Do bikers pedaling at a nice rate really seem like moving prey? I have a tendency to think not. Please confirm my sense of well being.

  2. #2
    Nat
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    The Anne Hjelle case back in 2004 had her riding at 15mph, so you're hosed!
    http://www.railriders.com/blog/2010/...n-lion-attack/

  3. #3
    Afric Pepperbird
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    I don't wanna be disemboweled

  4. #4
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    I don't wanna be disemboweled
    Better stick to the bars.

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  5. #5
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    it was my understanding that the quick and silent movement triggers their auto-chase instinct which is not a judgment/risk thing, just a reaction. i thought that was the rational behind the guidline to not "not run" if having an encounter. like a shark tasting a surfer, its a behavior move that we, in their environment, get the short end of the stick on...

  6. #6
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    Yes, they do attack large moving objects like us. No, it won't happen to you.

  7. #7
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    . . . I still like my chances against the cougars and bears rather than the cars I encounter on my daily commute.

  8. #8
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    They eat deer, elk, etc. Why not a cyclist?

    I think about this mostly when I'm on a ride by myself, during the climb. ...When my breathing is labored and my movement slow, I wonder how the local wildlife interpret. Some rides, I tend to avoid riding by myself just in case. I saw a black bear on 3corner rock a couple years back, so that's a trail I'd like to have a riding partner on, among others. ;-)

  9. #9
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    From the link above, this is key:
    Coss “found that people who stood still avoided injury only 26 percent of the time. Cougars may view your lack of fight as a sign of vulnerability. Of people who backed away, 39 percent survived unscathed. And of those who booked it, 50 percent escaped without a scratch. In cases where two or more individuals happened upon a mountain lion and booked it, the fastest runner among the two or more escaped without injury 100 percent of the time.”

    Always ride with someone slower than you.

  10. #10
    Green Wrencher
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    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    From the link above, this is key:
    Coss “found that people who stood still avoided injury only 26 percent of the time. Cougars may view your lack of fight as a sign of vulnerability. Of people who backed away, 39 percent survived unscathed. And of those who booked it, 50 percent escaped without a scratch. In cases where two or more individuals happened upon a mountain lion and booked it, the fastest runner among the two or more escaped without injury 100 percent of the time.”

    Always ride with someone slower than you.
    This....

  11. #11
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    Here is an article for ya.
    08 February, 2001. Seattle resident, Jon Nostdal, 52, was attacked at about 9:30 p.m. by a cougar as he rode his bicycle from where he had dinner in Port Alice, British Columbia, on northern Vancouver Island, back to where his tugboat was moored near the town's pulp mill. Nostdal was less than 2 miles (about 3 kilometers) from town when he heard clicking sounds. He thought something was loose in his backpack, but when the clicking sound gradually became louder, Nostdal sensed that something was approaching from behind. Before he could turn around, the cougar jumped him and bit the bunched-up hood of his captain's coat, knocking him to the ground. He realized the noise had been the cat's paws on the pavement. Nostdal fought the cat for what seemed like a few minutes before passerby Elliot Cole, 39, saw the struggle on his way home from the mill. The cougar was behind Nostdal, chewing on his neck, with its claws gripping his head and chest. Cole stopped his truck, yelled at the cat, attacked it with a heavy bag, and then began punching the cougar in the head. But the cougar would not release Nostdal, so he used Nostdal's bicycle and was able to pin the cat with it and free him. He told Nostdal to flee to his truck and "smoked the cougar one more time" with his fist, bouncing the cat's head on the pavement. Then he also ran to his truck and climbed inside. The cougar refused to leave. Only when Cole pulled out to take Nostdal to the hospital, did the cat run out from under the truck and disappear.

    Nostdal was hospitalized at Port Alice Hospital, where he was treated for bites on his head and several lacerations to his face. RCMP Constable Randy Freeborn said wildlife officials believe the cougar was one injured several days previously by a car. It may have been the same one that had confronted a local resident recently and killed several pets. On February 23, a Port Alice resident shot a cougar suspected of being the cat, which attacked Nostdal. Sources: (The Globe and Mail; Canadian Press; 02/09/2001) (Vancouver Sun; Doug Ward; 02/10/2001) (Canada NewsWire; Campbell River Couple Survives Cougar Attack)
    Road bikers are at risk too!
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  12. #12
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    I think it's usually the sick ones that look at us as easy prey, which we pretty much are I would say.

    My 6'5" brother was riding his un-corked loud 300lb XR650R motorcycle, and saw something out of the corner of his eye. Looked back, and there was a cougar taking a swipe at him and missed. He's guessing he was cruising at about 30mph. The day before someone on a moto had there jacket ripped while riding. Rangers went out hunting for it asap.
    Bend, Oregon

  13. #13
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    Well it looks like its time to break out the hockey goalies mask, and chainmail turtleneck!
    Braun Enterprises LLC, Building Cool Stuff

  14. #14
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    I've thought about taking my .45 with me when I am out in the middle of nowhere, but really if it's a cougar after you, teeth in your throat will be the first thing you know I'm guessing. Chainmail on the neck and a full face helmet is sounding good!
    Bend, Oregon

  15. #15
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    As already mentioned, bikers have been preyed upon by cougars quite a few times, with a lot of the incidents happening in SoCal.

    Chances are, most of us have already been watched and passed over by kitties quite a few times already. And like thuren said, your chance of seeing or hearing the attack coming is pretty close to zero. I might be a lot more concerned about cougars than bears, but I also know that I'm many times more likely to die in a car accident driving to a trailhead than in a cougar attack on the trail. The risk is real but very small, and not worth staying home over IMO.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  16. #16
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    I believe they will...

    I regularly ride with a cougar. She is in her mid 50's and I have occasionally seen her stock the young studs that roll up on the trail. She definitely prefers the young strong types over the older guys with the beer guts.

    And I'm pretty sure you wont out run her, she's pretty fast on the trail.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  17. #17
    Steve Dallas wannabe
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan
    I regularly ride with a cougar. She is in her mid 50's and I have occasionally seen her stock the young studs that roll up on the trail. She definitely prefers the young strong types over the older guys with the beer guts.

    And I'm pretty sure you wont out run her, she's pretty fast on the trail.

    I was waiting for things to go this way.....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mophile
    I was waiting for things to go this way.....
    What makes it really funny...What I said isn't to far from the truth.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  19. #19
    Daniel the Dog
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    Golden Retriever

    I see a Golden Retriever on the trail every time I go riding. She is red and has been known to chase a squirrel. You get killed by a cougar just know it is your time to go....fight like a mother and kiss your butt goodbye. They go for the neck and bite like a pit bull on steroids. I'm more worried about Meth addicts cruising the woods looking for a mark.

  20. #20

  21. #21
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    First of all a wounded or sick cat is completely unpredictable. Just hope you don't run into one. Secondly, cougars preffer to kill by puncturing the cranium not strangulation. The majority of cat wounds are bite marks on the top and back of the head. Also related claw marks on face, neck and upper body. Due to the structure of the human scull a cougar can't kill by puncturing the brain. That is why most cat attackson humans end up as maulings vs kills.

    Wear a helmet and chain mail and you will be fine.
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  22. #22
    Known Mountainbiker
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    For Sale: Titanium Chainmail.


    Caz

  23. #23
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    I once read a statistic that said, for every time you've seen a cougar; a cougar has seen you 8 times...
    And yes, you will most likely never hear it coming. They allmost allways attack from behind.
    As far as cougars not being able to puncture the skull and kill a human; I'd beg to differ.

    Looks to me like this little guy would also disagree!
    Braun Enterprises LLC, Building Cool Stuff

  24. #24
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Was anyone else a tad disappointed when they learned that this photo, which went viral last year, was photoshopped? I thought it was great.



    By the way, I'd love to see one on the trail, from a safe distance. Nat's post about a biker being disemboweled notwithstanding.

  25. #25
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastyNick View Post
    I once read a statistic that said, for every time you've seen a cougar; a cougar has seen you 8 times...
    And yes, you will most likely never hear it coming. They allmost allways attack from behind.
    As far as cougars not being able to puncture the skull and kill a human; I'd beg to differ.

    Looks to me like this little guy would also disagree!
    That pic can't be real. That thing is the size of the sabertooth tiger!

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