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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Mountain Lions on the Front Range...

    Hey...just got into mtn biking and originally moved here from Arkansas (no mountain lions to speak of). What does everyone think of the possibility that you could get attacked by one here on the Front Range? Do you ignore them? Do you take measures to avoid them? What measures do you take? Do they actually attack humans?

    I've just never ridden anywhere where they lurk before and I have no idea of what to think about them from a mtn biker perspective. Any info is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Rolling
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    I always carry a slower rider with me.

    But if it's a hot cougar, I act interested and cover my band.

  3. #3
    This is how it started...
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    So Rich, is that why you always ask me to ride with you????
    Life is about the ride.

  4. #4
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdsantacruzer
    So Rich, is that why you always ask me to ride with you????
    ...................it's to partake in the second part.

  5. #5
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    I would be conscious of it but not worried. Open areas are safer but the chance of you seeing one is slim. Dusk is the prime time and if they are going to take you then there isn't that much you can do. There is some statistic that they've seen you 20 times for every time you've seen them.

    I live in the foothills outside of Boulder and make it a point to be cautious, not walking my dog at dusk but you could live your life in fear over most anything. For instance the bear in my neighborhood doesn't concern me (trash stored inside) but the mountain lion is a bit more of a concern.

  6. #6
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    You may not get real sincere...

    Quote Originally Posted by rcstylin
    Hey...just got into mtn biking and originally moved here from Arkansas (no mountain lions to speak of). What does everyone think of the possibility that you could get attacked by one here on the Front Range? Do you ignore them? Do you take measures to avoid them? What measures do you take? Do they actually attack humans?

    I've just never ridden anywhere where they lurk before and I have no idea of what to think about them from a mtn biker perspective. Any info is appreciated.

    responses to your posting here because the topic of ML has been talked about extensively here on the MTBR. Just plug "mountain lion" on the search and you will get ample number of discussions and information to keep you entertained. Bottom line, in my opinion, I can't recall last time a biker got attacked by a ML. But if it does happen, given sheer # of riders here in the front range, odds of happening to you is pretty slim. Welcome to CO and enjoy...

  7. #7
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    Most of the time--They see you, you donít see them

    #1 Lion attack’s are rare, the lion usually wins, But you could ride your whole time in this area and never even See one.

    #2 Unfortunately a moving rider may appear as ‘fleeing’ prey to a lion and trigger their attack. Basic advice is to ‘aggressively’ fight back if attacked, stand up, make yourself look ‘big’ yell, use your bike, rocks anything as a weapon etc etc etc, make no mistake you will be fighting for your life if attacked.

    #3 In general Mtn Lions are ‘stealth’ hunters so chances are, if attacked, you will not have any ‘warning’ and will be hit from behind/side.
    Note: A gun or some type of spray will be of marginal use unless you get lucky enough to have some ‘extended’ reaction time, but you probably won’t. So for most riders who have even taken the time to think about it – why lug around all that potentially useless weight.…….but each to his own

    #4 See #1 and don’t worry, and sense there is nothing ‘practical’ you can do about this minor/small risk……….

    #5 Oh, seen any momma bears with cubs lately……….


    hey--- and enjoy your next long, lonely, solo ride
    ---------------
    me have blog

    forever lost in the desert, except when in the mountains

  8. #8
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    I almost hit one laying on the trail couple weeks at Indian Creek. I was coming downhill so he had the right of way, but he was cool and moved off for me. They have good trail etiquette so I don't think you'd have to worry about being attacked by one.

  9. #9
    Pivot Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    I almost hit one laying on the trail couple weeks at Indian Creek. I was coming downhill so he had the right of way, but he was cool and moved off for me. They have good trail etiquette so I don't think you'd have to worry about being attacked by one.
    that's funny!!

    I've seen one once, heard them a couple of times -- never been attacked! Just ride and enjoy -- the more you fear, the less fun you'll have.....
    Dirt Divas website l Twitter: @thedirtdivas l Facebook

  10. #10
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    Lions are

    Yes, you now live in 'Lion country". There have been 3 documented deaths in the last 30 yrs, and several more attacks, including one at Walker Ranch in 1997 that was on a MTB'r, as well as several more on hikers/trail runners in the Front Range area .

    The definitive source for Mountain Lion attacks in the US is HERE as well as the more recent attacks HERE that the original site no longer links to


    I've seen several lions while on my bike. There used to be a long-lived female that reared her cubs at the S side of Horsetooth Rock back in the early '80's and were frequently seen playing around the trail. I've also been 'stalked" by one up at Crosier Mtn.

    Your chances of being struck/killed by lightening are several 1000X more likely than a life threatening lion encounter.

    I know, I've been hit 3 times by lightning. Lightning is the leading cause of death in CO for outdoor recreationalists, next to hypothermia, and avalanches.

    "Don't Worry.. Be Happy...Just Ride"

  11. #11
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    I'm fairly new to CO and had the same reaction that you have to the possibility of a mountain lion attack. Just put it into perspective. As mentioned, you're more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a cat. You're probably way more likely to be killed while rolling in a metal box at 60mph surrounded by others rolling in their metal boxes on the way to the trail. I bike Deer Creek pretty often, which I know is ML country. Usually on the weekends, there's a lot of noisy traffic and I'd imagine that the MLs just avoid the areas around the trails.

  12. #12
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    Yeah dude, they're out there... watching... waiting...
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  13. #13
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    Yeah, what they all said. Look at it this way, if you're attacked, you get your 15 minutes of fame. You might even be lucky enough to see it on TV or read about it in the paper.

    I used to ride with a small pepper spray hooked to the shoulder strap of my camel back. At least at that location, there was a chance I might get to use it if needed. I lost it a couple of years ago and haven't replaced it. I think it was more of a security blanket than anything else.

    I've been riding trails in Jeffco for 15 years and have never seen a lion while riding. One bear on Chimney Gulch, he/she was very courteous and yeilded the trail immediately. Lots of rattlesnakes and bull snakes. The rattlesnakes are fun to taunt with a long stick. I usually toss them off the trail when I'm no longer amused.
    What, me worry?

  14. #14
    Moosehead
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    if ya gotta go, may as well be something cool like getting taken down by a lion while wearing a SEG.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbelaydave

    I know, I've been hit 3 times by lightning. Lightning is the leading cause of death in CO for outdoor recreationalists, next to hypothermia, and avalanches.

    "Don't Worry.. Be Happy...Just Ride"
    Dude, holy crap. You've been hit by lightning 3 times???

    What may I ask were the circumstances when this was happening?

  16. #16
    enlightened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Three Phase
    Dude, holy crap. You've been hit by lightning 3 times???

    What may I ask were the circumstances when this was happening?
    I'd wager that he was outside.

  17. #17
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    1st time was on the summit of Long's Peak

    Quote Originally Posted by Three Phase
    Dude, holy crap. You've been hit by lightning 3 times???

    What may I ask were the circumstances when this was happening?


    That one was the scariest.

    The other 2 were more mundane and were while I was working as a framer.


    I found the write-up I did for my BP'ng forum

    "I was guiding a summer camp of kids and had just summited when it started clouding up. I started hearing weird musical notes all around me, and taking my sunglasses off in the diminishing light, I found I could play "music" just waving them through the air. At the same time I saw everyone's hair standing up and my beard felt like I had a million ants crawling in it so I told everyone it was time to leave NOW and reached for my ice axe.

    BAMMM, I got hit in the instant I touched the axe and the bolt hit. My arm went numb but I was still alive so I mustered everyone off the summit as fast as I could in the rapidly developing storm.

    Two more times the same sequence started as we made our way down the exit slabs. The "music" would start playing again, we'd feel the "ants" all over us then BAM another bolt would hit a few feet away.

    We could see the little tendrils of the arcs as they ran down the now wet slabs, just a few feet away, and I'd quickly check to see if everyone was still alive, then push as fast as we could, to get just a few 100' before the next bolt struck.

    Finally the "ants" and "music" disappeared as the storm moved on and we got out of there FAST


    The 2nd time was while I was framing a "Trophy" house high above Breckenridge. We saw the gathering storm and I told my crew to roll up. No sooner did I reach for a cord than a bolt "somewhere" near me hit, and the bolt exited out the cord into my arm and blasted me back several feet my workers said.

    Took about 2 weeks to get full use out of my arm.

    3rd time was here in town. I was out at work and saw a big storm moving in, so told the crew, "again", to roll up fast. It started pouring, and the curbs were overflowing. I was standing in the water, putting the last of the tools in my van.

    BAM I saw the flash, felt the electrical surge up my legs and was thinking "Not Again" as I blacked out.

    Luckily, I didn't need CPR, but I was pretty "fuzzy" for a while."

  18. #18
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    I think you're chances of getting injured or killed by a human are way more likely than a mountain kitty. I feel much safer riding my mtb on the trails than on the road where people are getting hit and run over all the time. I'll take my chances with the cats. Everything in life is a risk, but without some risk there are no rewards. Just be smart with your outdoor adventures, and the experiences will be worth it. Don't worry about the cats because they are there and I'm sure you have ridden by them dozens of times. It's their home that we are playing in. Keep riding and don't worry about it!

  19. #19
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    You knew it had to be done...

    I'd be way more afraid of the cougars prowling in the LoDo area than any in the mountains...BUT, the nice thing about the LoDo cougars is you can smell them WAY before you see them and they are easy to ID from their tramp stamps...

  20. #20
    Slopestyle Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Fubar Rider
    I'd be way more afraid of the cougars prowling in the LoDo area than any in the mountains...BUT, the nice thing about the LoDo cougars is you can smell them WAY before you see them and they are easy to ID from their tramp stamps...

    MMMMmmmmmMMMM Cougars...

  21. #21
    Stand back
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    Mmmm, tramp stamps...
    Golden Bike Park

    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. It sounds likely to run into a playboy shoot on the trails than a mountain lion.

    Thanks for all of the info!

  23. #23
    skillz to pay billz
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    dave is one lucky sucker

  24. #24
    This is how it started...
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    Dave, if I give you a dollar, will you by me a lottery ticket?
    Life is about the ride.

  25. #25
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    Why ???

    I've played the lottery a few times and its true... "You're more likely to get struck by lightening than win the lottery" ! The most I've ever won was less than $100.00


    Most people that know my 'history" slowly start moving away at the first sound of thunder.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub*
    I'm fairly new to CO and had the same reaction that you have to the possibility of a mountain lion attack. Just put it into perspective. As mentioned, you're more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a cat. You're probably way more likely to be killed while rolling in a metal box at 60mph surrounded by others rolling in their metal boxes on the way to the trail. I bike Deer Creek pretty often, which I know is ML country. Usually on the weekends, there's a lot of noisy traffic and I'd imagine that the MLs just avoid the areas around the trails.
    Sanjuro?

    My favorite scene of any movie involving my two favorite actors:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObuvfQKPCsA

    Nakadai's eyes=utter madness.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by perioeci
    Sanjuro?

    My favorite scene of any movie involving my two favorite actors:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObuvfQKPCsA

    Nakadai's eyes=utter madness.

    Yep. I'm a fan of Kurosawa. Loved Yojimbo. Just got Redbeard from Netflix. That one's a departure from the samurai theme (along with High and Low, Dreams, etc.).

    ..sorry for the off-topic remarks...

  28. #28
    what nice teeth you have
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  29. #29
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    I think you're chances of getting injured or killed by a human are way more likely than a mountain kitty.
    Known of allot of folks accidental shot by idiots with guns mostly, hunters, not many killed or hurt by lions. Only seen one on front range in 30 years, seen a wolf, lots of bear, coyotes, etc...
    Running at Elk Meadow a few years ago ran into one coming down the trail. Kinda shocked me, but not my dogs, the sense of smell they knew he was around. Anyway, they charged at him I yelled yield, they stopped. You could see it scared the crap out of him, but damn he moved fast and was gone. Btw, don't ever send your dog after one. If they don't get treed, your dog gets maimed.
    Also, never attempt to pet one.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcstylin
    It sounds likely to run into a playboy shoot on the trails than a mountain lion.

    I've got you covered on this one as well. Mountain lion a couple weeks ago and a few years back came across a porno shoot at Green mountain morning and on a Sunday of all days.

  31. #31
    lucky enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcstylin
    Thanks for the replies everyone. It sounds likely to run into a playboy shoot on the trails than a mountain lion.
    Well my wife works at a guest ranch in the hills and a bunch of Playboy bunnies were going to be up there last summer but they canceled .
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

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