Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just one more thing to worry about

While city and interstate riding certainly have their challenges, riding in the country can be no less exciting.
Out here we not only have to contend with farm equipment on the road, local lads who feel that stop signs offer but the merest hint of a suggestion to slow down, and city folk gawking at “the scenery”, but the critters as well.
Dead skunks, even when given a wide berth, will fill your full-face with their olfactory presence for several minutes. Hitting a live skunk extends the pleasure for weeks. Turtles the size of a small boulder will suddenly appear from between the wheels of the car in front of you. And deer seem to have a genetically programmed death wish to cross the road in front of every passing vehicle. (I can imagine them bragging about it later. “Hey did you see that? I left fur on his bumper. Bet you couldn’t come that close.” “Bet I could. Watch this!”)
Now the bears are on the move in search of new homes and food.
Black bear on roadSaturday, on one of my favourite riding roads a rider hit a bear with predictable results – rider injured (fortunately not too seriously), bike damaged, bear injured and most likely dead.
This particular road is favoured by local riders because of its (as the story says) “scenic curves”. It’s also lightly travelled so the chances of getting stuck behind Ma and Pa Kettle for 10 kilometres at 20 kilometres per hour are slim. For both reasons, riders tend to push a little harder than usual and assume the road will be clear around that next blind bend. I know I certainly have, and probably will again, but this story just serves to remind us that when riding anything can, and will, happen.  And always when least expected.

10 comments:

  1. That's one thing I never thought of looking out for. But we don't have bears in Kansas City so I guess I won't have to worry too much about it. I have had a close call with a dear.

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  2. Danny - We could send you some - we have lots! Deer too. Chased three out of the garden this morning. Just provide an address.... :)

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  3. Thanks but no thanks. Got plenty of dear too. Save yourself some postage. Watch out and don't hit the mammals and keep the rubber side down.

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  4. Damn. Thought I had a solution there.....

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  5. i have a bear story and should put up a blog on it sometime... they are really frightening to find in the roadway. i was sick for miles just for having seen 1st hand damage. definitely reason for being cautious.

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  6. Especially this time of the year when all the critters are migrating from winter quarters to new areas. Not always dangerous though. Today on the ride home there was a red fox and one of her kits right on the side of the road. They stayed there for a while as I stopped to have a good look. Beautiful animals to see. Unfortunately my camera was at home. Note to self: carry the camera always!

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  7. Don't forget the porcupines... Hit one of those prickly buggers and you'll be picking the quills from your riding pants for hours. Luckily, they only seem to come out at night.

    Cheers,
    Lucky

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  8. How could I forget the porcupines? Aside from a skunk, they're probably the worst, and most likely, animal to hit on the road at night.

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  9. Hey, we got plenty of bears up here in BC and the HWY (01) between BC and Alberta you can get to see a few (On a lucky day)...Canajun, which road is that you're refering to...sounds and looks interesting.
    it's not the 17 is it?

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  10. Baron,
    It's County Road 511 over by Lanark. Was a great road until they started straightening it out. Now it's merely a good road.

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