Animal Confrontations

Being a worldwide forums with +40K members, I’m sure we’ve all had confrontations with animals.
I live in Madison, WI (site of NAUCC '11 :D), and it seems like every time I go up and over a hill or check the GPS in my phone while I ride around my favorite loop, there’s a deer standing in my path! It doesn’t even run away. It’s like my 36er turns me into Dr. Dolittle!

3 times now in the past week, I’ve come within 15 feet of a deer while checking my GPS, and having to swerve away and off the curb, just so I don’t hit a deer.

I’m just lucky that they’re deer.

I know a lot of you live in areas with lots of wildlife, especially compared to urban Madison. I’ve even seen pictures of bears! I’m also sure a lot of you MUni folks encounter animals a lot.

Any stories to tell?

I saw a squirrel about 15 feet away once… :astonished:
:roll_eyes: I’m sure I’ll see things more… exciting… than squirrels once I get my new Torker DX in. Going to Oak Mountain to ride the trails out there. :sunglasses:

I’ve seen cats and joggers, that’s about as wild as it gets in the burbs. :stuck_out_tongue:

So far I have encountered bears, moose, deer, elk, wolves, coyotes, beavers, ptarmigan, grouse, and even a couple woodland caribou.

Obviously some encounters are more exciting than others.

I don’t get anywhere near that close to the deer around here. Mostly I run onto snakes and terrapins. I leave the snakes alone. The terrapins need help getting off of the trail since they don’t know about the four and five rider mountain bike trains that fly through the woods. I ride a head higher than the trail runners and bikers in the mornings so I catch spider webs and their pissed off builders on my helmet and face. Sometimes the lead trail runner of a group will hold up a stick to accumulate the webs.

This is my favorite trail after the spider webs get cleaned out

Looks like a beautiful trail. Looking at all the pictures people post, I wish Madison had MTB trails. If you want to get fit by unicycling, MUni is definitely the way to do it.
Madison is very bike friendly, but you don’t get to see much wildlife, and you have to go a ways just to find a good trail… the bike paths are nice though.
It makes me want to attend college somewhere consistently warm and with good, well-kept, non-restricted trails. Terry seems to have lots of fun :smiley:

But then again, looking at AspenMike’s posts, Colorado is pretty awesome too!

Yes, I stay jealous of AspenMike’s locale. I was up there in his neighborhood (we have some friends up there) and met him but didn’t have the opportunity to ride there. Someday Mike?

when the soil is wet my Muni makes absolutley no noise (except my pounding heart) and then I do surprise some animals: a deer in England (“I say, that’s shocking” seemed to say the beast), another one in France (apparently the wind was going the other way: I do smell when riding :astonished: ), many roe deers in the Pyrénées, but on my usual trails I am on a first name basis with the squirrels :sunglasses: . never met a pink elephant (though I tried!).

My favourite ‘confrontation’ was with an echidna, I’ve only seen 2 in my life and I certainly didn’t expect to almost ride into one on the local trail!

Cute little things :slight_smile:

There’s a family of skunks that lives near my local trail. They are out and about in the evenings when I ride. I have to pay attention all the time. I haven’t been squirted, but I’ve gotten close enough to see the skunk stand on its front paws and show me its tail.

I also saw an armadillo once. I’m used to seeing them squished flat, so I it was interesting to watch a live one.

Had a deer just jump right out in front of me…all spazzy and crazy…the other day on ride. He looked panicked and I fell off. Almost like he was waiting for me.
Kinda cool though.

Loads of New Forest ponies and their foals while I was down south. They’re well used to traffic and people - but its sometimes hard to try to keep from going between a foal and its mother. I had one curious foal follow me quite a way.

There were also some HUGE highland cattle roaming around, all hair and horns. They made my dog detour widely. He says he wasn’t scared, just adopting a strategic defensive position.

Where I live the deer and elk just roam around town. I don’t have to go out and uni, I can just sit in the back yard. And it’s not just deer–a bear knocked my fence down a while back. I think it was running away from something.

When I do go out and ride XC, I’m more likely to see a horse on the trail than anything else. Usually with someone riding it.

Tom Turkey

I was riding on a trail near my mouse on the morning around 2 weeks ago and came up on a big turkey walking across the path. He didn’t even brake stride and kept on going maybe 10 feet away from me. Don’t know who was more suprized him or me?

My best encounters have been a fisher in the morning, a bunch of woodcocks zipping around at dusk, and a flying squirrel one night.

If we’re talkin’ best encounters while unicycling, that has to be the weasel I saw by the river. I didn’t know they even lived around here.

A little bunny or a 6 point buck; which is more dangerous?

Came face to face with a WhiteTail deer while riding the 12.5 mile multi-use path that is Owensboro’s Greenbelt Park. There was a creek on the left and a 12 foot fence on the right. He tried to run away from me but there was a jogger coming the other way and it was clear after 5 small circles that he felt trapped. If that fence had been 8 or maybe 10 foot tall, he would have cleared it easy but 12 foot was just too much with no room to get a running start. That did not stop him from trying. 3 times springing off the fence like a trampoline and flying through the air landing in a thud on the pavement. I dismounted my 36er and kept my distance having seen 1st hand (Bow Hunter in my younger days) how a sharp the hoof of an injured deer can be. After it was all said and done, I told the jogger “You thought I was going to be the craziest thing you saw today”.

10 miles down the path and again with a grown up fence line on the right, a tiny little bunny rabbit darted out of nowhere right at my wheel. Wide open (12-14mph) there was nothing I could do but pray. Felt like I might have clipped his tiny little foot (I thought those feet were supposed to be lucky) which left him rolling across the path and me scared to death. I did not UPD but I did hammer on the brake. Finished the ride paranoid at a more manageable pace.

Moral of the story: the bunny is more dangerous because I can see the deer coming.

Ooh, no kidding. I’ve had birds (well… they tend to fly right in front of the wheel), rabbits, squirrels, etc. dart right past my wheel. I don’t even have brakes, so when I’m cruising along at 13-14 mph, there’s not a whole lot that I can do. Even with brakes I couldn’t stop at the speeds it would demand.

Luckily I haven’t actually hit one yet. No doubt if I hit it in the wrong place it’ll end up killing the animal, and likely hurting me.

Got up close and personal with a kangaroo and a wallaby in the Blue Mountains in Australia. The wallaby ran off quickly, but the kangaroo stayed and gawked. It was really magical until he asked me where’s my other wheel.

I had a coyote jump onto a bike trail in front of me a few weeks ago. I followed it for about 50 feet before it hopped off the trail and took off through the underbrush.

In that same area I have come across roadrunners while unicycling. I have never seen the two species together. :roll_eyes: