Author Topic: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?  (Read 585 times)

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Offline BikePacker

Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« on: October 19, 2020, 08:33:08 am »
1st : ) Full Disclosure:
I am a full-on to the point of boring safety-junkie.
With that understood....
Recently there have been numerous most interesting posts on 'Max and Min Speed' on a separated thread.....
have read 'em all and have added my own 'min and max,' as well;
however, the posts have just naturally gotten my safety-junkie thinking activated ...
some critters (am thinking coyotes, etc., etc.) don't necessarily hear a bicycle coming.
I have seen them drifting out into the road not knowing I am coming their way.
Here is what I am wondering about ....
What amount of concern do y'all assign to the possibility of destroying yourself
at whatever you consider to be high speed by unavoidably crashing into such?


Offline John Nettles

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 10:14:01 am »
Under your parameters, I give very very little chance.  There is a reason why news stories, photos, and videos of a cyclist hitting a bear or other large animal (or vice versa) attract so much attention is because it just doesn't happen that often.  Yes, it can, but probably along the lines of hitting the lottery.

That said, I have several small creatures encounters in my 40+ years of touring, two birds, a few snakes, and two frogs that I can remember.  The birds and frogs both flew or jumped into my spokes; all times when I was riding close to high weeds alongside the road.  One frog was during a fast downhill and it splattered over my legs; not fun.  The others went round a few times and then fell out dead.  The snakes were just accidentally ridden over.

My biggest fear about flying down a hill is having one of the tires deflate suddenly which would cause loss of control.  I have personally known 1 amateur racer killed that way (way back in 70s but he rolled a glued on sew up tire) and one severely injured (90s due to a blowout).  Imagine going even just 25mph downhill and then having the front tire blow.  You would probably survive but have a lot of rash for sure; the real reason racers shave is so the bandages do not stick to the rash after a crash.

Sorry to give you something else to worry about  ;) . Tailwinds, John

Offline hikerjer

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 03:54:11 pm »
"not fun". - especially for the frog. :P

Once while riding through the desert I hit a jack rabbit, or rather he hit me, which cold have resulted in a nasty fall but I was fortunatley able to stay upright.  I suppose I was gong 10-11 mph at the time so it wasn't too hazardous. At a higher speed it would have been a little more dicey.

The most bizzare bicycle animal encounter I'm aware of involved my wife and a rather dizzy friend of hers. They were riding their bikes and came upon what they assumed, for not  discernible reason, was a stray kitten. The friend decided she would take it home and adopt it. Having no other way the carry the cat, she draped it over her handlebars and proceeded to peddle home trying to keep the cat on her handlebars with her free hand. Obviouly, the kitten was not comfortable with that arrangement and stuggled to escape. It ended up jumping free only to get caught in her rotating spokes. While it didn kill it outight, it injured it enough, in a rather bloody way, that the  poor thing had to be put down.  Pretty dumb.  My wife remains truamatized by the event and swears she will never a carry a cat on her handlebars. Good thinking, I'd say.

Offline aggie

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2020, 06:22:59 pm »
i know of one cyclist headed downhill and going somewhere between 35 -40 mph.  A coyote ran out and stuck it front legs through the front wheel spokes.  The result wasn't pretty.  The cyclist took nearly a year to recover, destroyed the bike and helmet and was in a coma for several days but for the coyote it was fatal.  I've also had a few close calls with various animals crossing in front of me at the last second.  So far I haven't run over one.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 09:54:36 pm »
I’ve hit squirrels, prairie dogs, snakes and dogs, but what scares me are deer. I look for them diligently.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2020, 08:18:43 am »
Sorry to give you something else to worry about  ;) . Tailwinds, John
: ).

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2020, 08:54:54 am »
I aim for tree rats, aka squirrels.  If I try to miss them I'm going to risk throwing myself off, and if I kill one that's one less to eat my pecans, but so far they've managed to miss me.  Sometimes barely.

The animal I did hit was a 'possum that ran between my wheels as I was churning uphill at dusk.  Pretty good thump from the back wheel!  The guys behind me reported it ran the rest of the way across the road after that encounter.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2020, 08:29:29 am »
flying down a hill ... having one of the tires deflate suddenly - Tailwinds, John
Yeah, lost a tube, uneventfully thankfully, coming down the east side of Washington Pass.
It all happened just right, John, ...
as it was just after the start of the downhill about an 8th mile before that 1st more than double back curve and I was not yet at much of any kinda speed.
Meanwhile, here is the best part...
back then (2002), right before the slab started swinging left, was that large open gravel-ie area on the right road side which gave me all the room needed for a pulling off and fully unpacking of my rig to get the rear wheel new tube in place, while not being in hittin' distance from the steady parade for RVs and Logger Trucks coming n going.

Offline LouMelini

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 10:29:21 am »
I’ve hit squirrels, prairie dogs, snakes and dogs, but what scares me are deer. I look for them diligently.

I had a friend and neighbor killed by a deer last May. I understand you concern. Moose are in the same category of concern.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 10:18:13 am »
I had to brake hard for a group of deer in the road last month while riding across PA. Came around a curve on a step hill. They were in the middle of the road. I have had to do that in MT on several occasions. The most recent time was last year descending Thompson Pass towards Thompson Falls. The next day I had to stop for a herd of elk with calves that I spooked when I stopped to take a photo of them grazing on someone's lawn. I saw them getting antsy so I put away the camera and started riding. That spooked them even more, and they stampeded towards the road. I knew they were going to cross so stopping was no big deal. The sound of all those hooves crossing the pavement was amazing.

In 2018 a young bear cub crossed my path in NJ as I was riding back to my site after showering. Mom was nowhere to be seen, which was unnerving.

I often preemptively yell "Yo, deer!" when I am in an area where I think I might encounter them. Always stay alert when you are riding in wooded areas.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2020, 11:19:02 pm »
I have never run into or over any kind of animal.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2020, 08:21:47 am »
I have accidentally run over some small critters usually not on pavement.  The most common were snakes, but frogs were pretty common as well.  I have had close calls with dogs and even made contact with a few, but never crashed as a result.  A couple times I have bunny hopped over a snake, once while being chased by a couple dogs.

Off road I have come very close to crashing into a number of deer at least once actually making contact, but without crashing.  I came close to hitting a few medium sized mammals like raccoons, possums, even a porcupine, but always managed to avoid them.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2020, 09:04:35 am »
I never thought about running over a live porcupine, although I avoided a road-kill porcupine once somewhere in the northwest.  I wonder if it would ruin a tube?  Imaging a spine breaking off after penetrating tire and tube; would the barbs keep you from pulling the spine out of the tube?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2020, 01:23:59 am »
If somebody wanted to get experience dealing with critters in 1984, he could bicycle the length of highway 90 in north Florida. That is what I did. Free ranging dogs were all over the place everywhere. They were seen dead along the roadsides. I did not drive into any.

About domesticated dogs in the USA. You need not be concerned with your safety. They are pacified, fed, kept, and soft. They snip and snarl, bark and fart. They become aggressive. My long experience says they will not seriously attack. It might actually happen, but it has not to me. One hint. Stop cycling and they stop chasing.

The movement of the legs sets them off. Maybe it is something in the primitive brain set there for survival, the hunt, the chase, and killing the prey. My experience is the actual attack will not happen. It could happen, and there are always statistical anomalies and one in a million chance happenings. Keep in mind, dogs are descended from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. During that time hunting and killing were their means of survival. It is hardwired into their DNA. It is born in the blood. No matter how domesticated and docile, those impulses are still within. Nature assures they are transmitted generation to generation, and when nature does the same thing endlessly and repeatedly, there is a reason for it. This whole pet dog thing has been around for a comparatively short time. If conditions change, they can rely on ancient instincts for killing. Those instincts are why normally placid fido goes bananas when he sees you flying past on your velocipede. He will not jump on you. I seriously doubt he will sink a fang into your hide.

On the downside of the curve, a pack of dogs attacked and killed a woman in New Mexico. Well, yes, things do happen. Many thousands of people are killed by dogs annually worldwide. The dog will not tear at you. We too have instincts for survival. Rover does not want to go up against that.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2020, 07:11:16 am »
If somebody wanted to get experience dealing with critters in 1984, he could bicycle the length of highway 90 in north Florida. That is what I did. Free ranging dogs were all over the place everywhere. They were seen dead along the roadsides. I did not drive into any.

I don't think there are all that many there these days at least that is my impression of the portion I have ridden (I live just off of US 90 in Tallahassee these days).

Missouri and Kentucky had a lot of chasing dogs in my experience.  Also I am old enough to have lived in a time when I had dogs chase pretty much every rural ride in Maryland.  Most just loved the chase, only a few out for blood.

Only once did I actually fear for my life and that was from a trio of blood thirsty curs in the central valley of California.  Actually I think only one of the three was truly blood thirsty or I might not be here today.  The others were his willing accomplices, but were less in for blood.  They caught me on a steep enough uphill that I had zero chance to out run them so I dismounted.  I managed to intimidate the two more hesitant ones enough to keep them back a bit while keeping the bike between myself and the badass.  I was prepared to bash him with the bikes chainrings if necessary.

In the SW some of the reservation dogs seemed half feral and like maybe they could be aggressive, but were mostly too lazy to bother.