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Critters...(21 posts)

Jun 29, 2001 12:48 PM
What critters have you had to deal with on a ride?

Today during my lunchtime ride I had just topped out of a short climb and as I settled back into the saddle I encountered a Kamikaze squirrel. This squirrel was determined to get under my front wheel. After several zigzags several inches in front on my wheel it decided to shoot up a tree on the opposite side of the road.

As I rode away, the squirrel could be seen shaking his tail and chattering at the crazy cyclist who tried to run it over. What a yarn it's squirrel friend were hearing...

Richard 8-) (watching for critters.)
I usually deal only with the four-wheeled kind!!Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 12:57 PM
Have you seen those Kamikaze Soccer Mom's??
Don't forget the two legged golfing types!! ;-) nmLazy
Jun 29, 2001 12:59 PM
NEVER!!!!Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 1:05 PM
But thankfully one can make an easy effort to stay away from them. Cars (SUVS) are more difficult to elude!
I was out in Montana ....seth1
Jun 29, 2001 1:14 PM
on a supported tour. I had just come down from Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier with a bad thunder storm hot on my heels. So I hammered as hard as I could to the camp site. I was screaming down this deserted road that was really twisty and turny. When all of a sudden I round this one corner and nearly slam into the side of a cow standing right in the middle of the road. I was so scared not only from the weather conditions and the lightning now striking all around but I didn't know if this cow was vicious or not and would wind up charging me if I tried to move around it. It eventually wandered off into the woods.
Snakes, why did it have to be snakes.Maillot Rouge
Jun 29, 2001 1:43 PM
Tuesday I was mt. biking and came across a young rattlesnake (about a foot long)sunning itself on the path. This trail is fairly busy and has a lot of young kids on it. So for the safety of the snake more than the kids I got a stick and flipped it off the trail.

Wednesday I was riding on the road around the reservoir and came upon a 4 foot long bull snake. Slowed down and chased it off the road.

One time we were road riding in a pace line doing about 28 and a deer comes along side runs next to the group and then crosses in front of us without skipping a beat. Nobody in the paceline skipped a pedal stroke it was pretty amazing.

I envy you! (nm)Gecko
Jun 29, 2001 2:47 PM
re: Critters...MrCelloBoy
Jun 29, 2001 1:56 PM
1-Mountain lion on a local road ride.
2-Yapping dogs during a long unpaved climb. They were yapping at my partner ahead and when he finally dropped them I BARKED LOUD as I snuck up on them and scared them down the embankment!
Firmly Yelling "GET OFF THE COUCH"! works real well with dogs.
4-Deer crossing the road ahead forcing us to brake quickly on our tandem.
2-skittering cows
1-Vulture that took off late.
3-bees and yellowjackets, hard on the forehead when riding fast. The new larger vents in helmets do a great job of sucking bees in as well.

In local State Park doing MTb riding:
25-Wild Turkeys
3-Wild boars
1-Slow moving Skunk who wouldn't move off the trail until he reached his favorite watering hole many yards ahead.
Ever swallow a bug? Carb loading out on the road! (nm)Brian C.
Jun 29, 2001 1:56 PM
Oh MAN!MrCelloBoy
Jun 29, 2001 3:03 PM
Near the end of my first Davis Double Century, in CA, the bugs were out in force at dusk as we slogged the last 40 miles through the Central Valley. Every time I took the lead in the paceline I inhaled bugs with every breath and was wiping them out of my eyes.
Ever swallow a bug? Carb loading out on the road! (nm)warren128
Jun 29, 2001 3:45 PM
dating myself, but...

back in the early 70's, i went out on my one and only bike ride with my dad through one of Golden Gate Park's (San Francisco)bike trails. I was having so much fun talking, laughing, and breathing hard and stuff, when suddenly a large black fly (horsefly?), flew right into my open mouth. I spit it out, gagged a little, but kept riding on, but with the heebie jeebies for a few minutes. Aaack!

I swallowed a horseflymike mcmahon
Jun 29, 2001 3:51 PM
I was humping my way up a steep hill on a very hot day. I took a deep breath and a big horsefly went right into my mouth to the back of my throat, where it lodged itself. I tried several times to dislodge it by coughing it up, but no luck. Meanwhile, the thing is buzzing like mad and flapping its wings at about a million beats per minute. Finally, I just had to get it over with and swallow. Lately, skunks (dead or alive, visible or not) have been the bane of my existence. Dang gum varmints!
re: Critters...Haiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 2:19 PM
snakes on the road (end of last month and the start of this month i was dodging them left and right in the same ride) and trail. no trail snakes so far this year, but ran over one last summer, and my partner was behind. said it struck at my rear tire. that would have been a pretty cool "snake bite" fl*t.

terrapins and water turtles (always stop to move them off the road in the direction they're traveling).

dogs, dogs, dogs. usually don't give chase. one or two have been large, athletic and a challenge, but usually not so smart, and run themselves into a barrier (fence, wall) while giving chase. earlier this week an aged mutt, quite small, with mottled fur, one good eye and a crooked mouth chased me WAY past its territory. looking down and back at it yipping along was pretty humorous, as the little fella couldn't run straight, had a sideways gate, and slight limp. a squirt from the water bottle didn't deter, so i had to step it up a bit and drop the pooch.

I consider border collies a dog super-race. lazy and quiet 'til you cross their path, then they swiftly execute a mastermind-level plan to eat your face, and in one smooth move, they grow from tongue-wagging porch rats to a blur of black and white and a jawfull of bleached fangs. rode out to my parents farm earlier this year, and at the tail end of the ride outsprinted a dog (he lost interest) uphill to their drive. i asked what domesticated wolf they had living up the street, they said it was a juvenile border collie.

deer are plentiful 'round here, even well within the suburbs. on a group ride in february out in the boonies, the group just in front of us had several cross the road and jump the adjacent fence, one doe getting hung on the wire and breaking her neck--there in front of the riders. have seen plenty from the seat of an mtb, too.


fox, last fall, on my regular road route.

there's a goat farm on my weeknight solo ride route.

earlier this year in puerto rico, mountain biking, found that--as the little chipmunks and birds scamper through the woods when you speed through the trails here at home--the iguana and other lizards do the same on their quaint little island. was very interesting...and the local vegetation is like something out of jurassic park.

saw a pair of clydesdales loose on the road in late winter. big horses seem even bigger from atop a road bike. funny, that.

oh, and bubbas--everywhere. it's like a bubba breeding ground here in elvisville. small, big, male, female, 4-wheel-drive enabled, and those young drunk ones in 12 year-old dilapidated ford escorts with rebel flag stickers on the bumper. arrrrrgggghhhh!
re: Critters...DINOSAUR
Jun 29, 2001 3:19 PM
Deer: (main concern, almost got hit by a 200lb Buck).
Squirrels: (Can't make up their mind which way to go).
Bugs:(had one fly up my nostril while descending, hurt like crazy).
Dogs: (best defense, bark back, they will think you are nuts).
Wild Turkeys: (big suckers).
Snakes: (almost ran over a 5ft Timber Rattlesnake).
Vultures: (the ones that circle me overhead make me wonder)
Soccer Mom's driving SUV's: (talking on cell phones).
Pickup Trucks: (with shotgun racks in the rear window).
Cattle Trucks:(a moving hazardous waste on wheels).
Stop me if you've heard this before --bill
Jun 29, 2001 3:50 PM
Riding on Cape Cod. Minding my own business. Then, WHAM. Wha? WHAM. What tha?
Don't see the critter, but I see the shadow. A seagull is trailing me, pecking at my helmet. My white helmet. As he flew above me, he must have been thinking, "Man, the boys at the pier will never believe the speed of it, but I'm a gonna show them the largest damn clam that's ever been if it kills me."
Mountan Lions, coyotes, and bobcats, oh my!mr_spin
Jun 29, 2001 5:26 PM
Came around a corner on my mountain bike and stopped about 20 feet from a full size mountain lion. It looked at me and snarled. We stared each other down for about ten seconds (it seemed), then he turned and jumped into some bushes. I slowly backed around the corner, then took off down the hill. Actually I was at the bottom of a 100 foot climb at the time, but I flew up that thing like Lance on Hautacam! Then I screamed down the hill. That was actually my second one. On the Bulldog trail in Malibu Creek State Park, I came upon a baby mountain lion. Those things are really cute! Still, I figured mama was close by and got out of there.

Another time, on my road bike, I was cruising down a road at about 35 mph (Skyline, past Page Mill for you Bay Area folk), when I noticed rustling in the bushes on the side of the road. Then a coyote suddenly jumped out and ran across the road in front of me. Nearly took me down hard. I see coyotes all the time, but never like that!

Riding my mountain bike at Wilder Ranch near Santa Cruz, I turned around and saw a bobcat behind me about 25 feet back! I don't think it was following me, but it was a VERY uneasy feeling. Then I noticed it had a rabbit in its jaws, so I figured it wasn't really interested in me. Sure enough, it disappeared into the bushes.

Finally, on my way to work one day, I rode next to a big group of birds, who suddenly took flight right at me. Most managed to avoid me and the bike, but one decided to go through me. Somehow it made it through under my bottom bracket. I still don't know how, because I was still pedalling at the time.
Mountain lions will get the heart rate goingmike mcmahon
Jun 29, 2001 6:01 PM
I saw a mountain lion near the Mountaingate community, in the hills above Sepulveda. I was riding my mountain bike when I saw it about 100 feet away. We stared at each other for a good minute or so before he finally wandered off into the brush. I've seen two coyotes and two deer in the past two weeks in the hills at Griffith Park. You've also got to watch for the rattlesnakes in the Santa Monica Mountains. I was mountain biking a couple years ago and rode up on a rattler that was taking up most of the width of a fire road.
Turantulas and Deergrz mnky
Jun 29, 2001 6:13 PM
Been checked out by the biggest spider I've ever seen while MTBing up in the hills above Silicon Valley. Got jumped and flattened by a doe on the road bike. Seen bobcats on numerous occasions. Once a mt. lion in Wilder Ranch. More wild boar than I care to think about. Rattle snakes. Whales while riding along the coast.

I've come to appericiate all of my sightings and firmly believe that if you're riding in the Santa Cruz Mtns. and pay attention you will almost always see something. Course I've also witnessed the guy next to me get attacked by a Great White while windsurfing.....maybe that's a little more than I wanted to see.
Great big ol' grasshoppers n' horny toads.E33
Jun 29, 2001 7:29 PM
From a distance, it's difficult to distinguish which is which because of the similarity in coloration and posture.

These are BIG grasshoppers, and many of them are, ahem, breeding, so they are stacked up, making them particularly hazardous to run over.

I'm proud to say that I've yet to run over a horny toad in 5 years of riding.

(This is E3 on someone else's computer. I can't remember my password.)
re: Critters...BrianU
Jun 29, 2001 11:02 PM
When I lived in Maryland, I was riding around St. Mary's Lake on my mtb and almost hit a big racoon. Startling him, he snarled and jumped at me. Talk about about an adrenalin rush. My fastest time ever around the lake.
I moved to Oklahoma in 96 and think it is the skunk meca. Have also learned to watch for copperheads sunning themselves on singletrack in the Fall. Saw my first turantula, that was not someone's pet. I stopped to watch it while it was crossing the road and squarted a little water at it from my water bottle. It actually turned and came at me.
...deer and pigeonsPogliaghi
Jun 30, 2001 12:49 AM
Came 'round a curve to brake lights today on a late afternoon, early evening spin up in the Berkeley hills. Cars were slowing for a deer in the middle of the road which couldn't make up its mind where it wanted to go. Finally headed for someone's yard, as I passed, it was looking around still trying to figure out where it wanted to go. Never seen one so indecisive, usually they just run off and disappear.

During my commute earlier this week someone startled a 50-60 pigeons just as I was riding by. All of the sudden I was engulfed by birds flying all around me. My immediate thought was the fear that I'd get bombed by pigeon crap.

These airborne rats are a pain. I've nearly ran over a couple on Market St in San Francisco. They're comfortable feeding on trash besides the curve and are unfazed by cars driving by two three feet away.