Strangest animal encounters

While out on a ride in the fells yesterday evening and losing light fast, I was having to concentrate hard on the trail trying to distinguish anything that would cause an UPD. I glanced up and had to duck out the way as I had a piperstrelle bat flying straight towards my face. This happened a second time and got me thinking as I rode the rest of the way home, what is the strangest animal encounter you’ve had while out on a ride? :smiley:

It’s not strange but its Magpie swooping season here. Riding along, minding my own business and whoosh, magpie almost got me. Lucky I wear a helmet!

My newest ride has a particularly aggressive magpie. No “almost got me” here. It hit my helmet over and over again. Moreover, it swoops at “the roller coaster”, a section where the driveways are especially deeply carved into the footpath.

Funny how they know when you are watching no matter how discrete one tries to be.

I also have flying foxes that are surprised as I pass in the dusk but they try to avoid collisions.

I pretended to throw my uni at it…it was a little less brave after that. Nevertheless, i walked backwards and watched it for about 100m, while it was Pretending to be innocent, sitting on the powerline

We have magpies’ round my way, but I have never had them swoop at me and as we don’t have flying foxes round here, I think your experience oneTrackMind pales mine into insignificance. I have yet to run into the highland cattle that they have roaming free up here - but theres time yet.

Almost got run down by a deer once. I was riding through my local nature trail (on the smooth central path), and I guess I spooked the deer, because it bolted right in front of me from one side of the path to the other, and promptly disappeared completely before I could get a picture.

A trained falcon passed a few meters over my head and its master asked if it had gone after me. I said no, but wasn’t so sure it hadn’t started to and changed its mind.

We see coyotes around here fairly often. Lots’a ground squirrels, too.

I’ve run into moose on trails in Winter Park, CO, twice! Both times, I didn’t notice them until I was about 20 feet away. Luckily, they spooked me more than I spooked them and we both went our separate ways.

I had a race with a squirrel through our local cemetery once :sunglasses:

I ride at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.

Since Spring I have run across three copperhead snakes and 2 coyotes.

This is in the middle of the city.

Two copperheads got a free pass but the third got a little too close to my 10 year old and I bounced my tire on it. I know, I could have relocated it off the trail but I’m no snake handler and it was coiled in strike mode.

This is one that I ushered on it’s way after snapping a phone image.

I think it’s cool that the lake attracts and holds wildlife. Even ones that are a little on the poisonous side.

No pretending from me. I was ready to take a swing. A 24 inch Torker with a 375 gram DTH tyre can be wielded quite effectively and I think the magpie knew it.

I was walking anyway after the first attack because I haven’t managed to ride the roller coaster yet.

I did the same run yesterday afternoon with the helmet camera running but the magpie must have been taking a snooze.

Hopefully we will come to an understanding before too long.

Just remembered this moose I encountered in Montreal. I taught him to unicycle and he even allowed a photo to be taken with him.

My wife was almost run over by a pair of deer a while back. We ride together on a local bike path (paved); she on her recumbent. It was near sunset. There were three deer, and as two of them came bounding up to cross the bike path they realized there was a bike there, so they made a hard left, going next to her for a few steps before getting ahead of her and darting across. Those deer were BIG. They could really take you out if they wanted. My normal encounters with deer are usually a lot more peaceful.

No moose, but in 1995 I was in Yellowstone National Park, and took one single unicycle ride on my old 24" Miyata. This was up a gated-off road up to a natural bridge formation. I rounded a corner and there, about 10-20 meters away, was an elk, sitting down. I stopped, and slowly started to pull out my camera but the elk didn’t wait. Elk are a lot bigger than deer. I also saw my first coyote on that ride. There were no other people on that trail.

On the American River Bike Trail in Sacramento (33 miles, from downtown up to Folsom Lake) I’ve seen lots of stupid squirrels, who you never know if they’re going to suddenly change direction. Jack rabbits with big, tall ears, lots of wild turkey, the occasional deer, the rare coyote, and rattlesnakes who like to lie on the pavement when it’s hot.

Last year I ran over a rattlesnake on my Coker. I wasn’t planning to ride over a rattlesnake; I only realized what it was when I was practically on top of it. I was taking a little dirt shortcut–a straight line connecting when the paved path hooks to the side and back. What looked like a stick was a snake. I “thought light” as I rolled over it, went about 10m and then crept back to see the aftermath. No snake. They’re pretty tough.

Today I got “buzzed” by a hummingbird. You don’t really see those, especially while riding, because they’re so small and quick. I was off the uni, at our turnaround point at Beals Point. I heard a sound like our small French bulldog snoring, and started looking around for a dog. Then I heard it again and realized a hummingbird was right next to my head! Then it went up and landed on a tree branch, so I could get a good look at it.

  1. Below: Llamas, in somebody’s front yard in Loomis, while we were doing a 100k ride last year.
  2. Jess Riegel being attacked by some strange, plastic creature that was mounted in the ground, at the top of the climb on our local Clementine Loop trail in Auburn
  3. Wild turkeys on the prowl along the American River Bike Trail



A Momma Bear and her two cubs! Luckily they were more interested in lumbering away than chatting, although they hesitated for about 5 seconds to see what I was going to do.

The 10k at NAUCC this year had a lot of wild turkeys in the brush, but none darted out that I know of. When I walked the trail a few days before the race you could catch a glimse now and then.

Llamas are co cool! :slight_smile: There’s a farm of them about 5 miles up the road, I’ll have to get some pictures at some point :smiley:

we have alpacas close by, (apparently their good at defending lambs against Foxes)and big fuzzy Highland cattle albeit not as cool as snakes and flying bats etc but I’ll try to get some photos as I have few days off work. Discussing this topic with colleagues today they came up with the assumption that I need to be in a mental institute due to the fact I ride a uni full stop, let alone off road and if I can find a picture with an elephant and a unicycle their’ll eat their hat ( a mean feat as there reinforced) so has anyone stumbled across an elephant on their travels? :wink:

Elephants on unicycles (sort of). I’ve only ever seen this feat once. That can’t be easy for something the size of an elephant, even with four legs and flat feet!

An interesting fact about llamas, which is probably also true for alpacas: If they are looking straight at you, they appear to be smiling. So at the Latvian State Circus in Riga (Latvia), where these three pictures were taken, they had a llama photo studio setup. The llama was apparently trained to look at the camera. Now all you have to do is get the kid to do the same. :slight_smile:

I was there with Greg Milstein from NY, for an international youth circus festival. We were invited to perform in a “regular” show at the Riga Circus. That’s me in the crazy gold tails. Greg Milstein was also the host of Unicon II (1986). These pictures are from 1990.