Hot answers tagged

38

Stop. Back up if necessary. Don't risk running over it. Snakes almost never chase people, they will only attack if they're cornered or you're lying very still (for very large snakes that eat things the size of people). Running over a snake is probably your worst approach if you don't want to get bitten. Not only do you have to be very close to the snake, ...


25

In the situation you describe it sounds like there is no time to stop. The next best option has to be riding around the snake toward its tail, because snakes (like most animals, apart from humans on bike paths) mostly move forward. If you're going fast and significantly altering course would risk you falling on the ground (near the snake!), just hold your ...


14

Thankfully, we have "DOCUMENTED VIDEO EVIDENCE" of snake encounters on bike paths. Since the original question is not specific about the type of bike, trail, rider, speed, or snake involved, answerers had to guess. Of course, with all these variables, the answer has to be, "it depends." GENERAL BROAD ANSWERS FOR ALL SITUATIONS: 1) Avoid running over ...


12

To answer your question title in very short: You don't have to fear them but some healthy portion of respect won't be wrong. The longer version: normally cow herds aren't really aggressive so it is quite safe to just go around the herd (if it blocks the trail) or pass them if they're close to the trail. Going right through the herd isn't a good idea in any ...


11

My commute brings me through a park with a lot of rabbits (or similar animals, not a zoologist here) and it has been rather close a few times ... I use a head lamp when driving there at night for two reasons: It allows me to see through turns much better The eyes of animals reflect directly back at you, which helps to see them a little earlier All that ...


11

Sorry, continuing pedaling towards a snake if you can stop in time is just dangerous and unecessary. Talking from my own experience (on a motorbike on a sandy track) even driving just close to its tail can cause a snake crossing the road to strike at you (in my case it was a black spitting cobra, and it did hit the bike, but fortunately I lifted my leg in ...


9

Sure, there have been cases of hitting an animal in the day or night. Here is an article of a cyclist being attacked by a moose, for example. In addition, you need to worry about road hazards since you won't see them as early. Obviously, the amount of hazard depends on the particular location, but you should have good lighting and reflective gear at night ...


8

The best answer I've found for being around horses is to simply slow down and stop well away from the animal. The rider will see you and act in the best way for that horse. Do not yell or call out. Do not ring a bell or blow a horn. Do not do any brake lockup skids or anything similar. You do not know the nature of the horse nor the skill of the rider. ...


8

I've been hit by a kangaroo, luckily a small one, while touring. Roos are not well adapted to wheels, their movement pattern is to hop in a straight line for a while then swerve, and they flee the same way. One bounded along next to me for a few seconds, realised it couldn't get past me, then swerved across behind me, hitting my pannier with its head. ...


8

When I read your question I had a vague recollection of reading something not so long ago about this. Have a look at this article from a UK newspaper (check out also the related articles on the page): Cow Attacks So you are absolutely right to be cautious - people have been killed by cows. Personally, I live in a rural area (the New Forest in southern UK ...


8

Something that has not been mentioned so far. Be aware of the herding dog. In the area where I bike (South Italy), herds are usually left with a couple of herding dogs by the shepherd. The only bad experience I had with a herd was not with cows itself, but with a dog. Since then, I pass through if there is no dog, or I wait/turn around if there is a herding ...


6

As a horse owner I can answer this from experience. If approaching the horse from behind it is important to slow down, as you approach the horse shout 'bike' or make some noise - bikes are very quiet and if you suddenly 'appear' in the horses line of vision and it didn't hear you approach you'll spook it. Pass wide and slow. If approaching from the front, ...


6

I have run over chipmunks 4 or 5 times, and hit deer twice in my rides on country bike trails. The deer caused the crashes both times, but neither I, the deer, or my bike was hurt. In both deer crashes I had some time (but not enough) to brake. Both deer crashes happened during the day. I'm very wary of deer now- they are incredibly stupid and simply don't ...


5

Not really a full answer but I can't post pictures in a comment. Imagine stomping along a darkened rural road at your top speed, and running into this unyeilding mass of sheep flesh. Its totally possible for any domesticated animal to get out of their paddock and stand in the road - they're a bit stupid mostly.


5

I trust you used the search function and read "How do you carry a dog on a bike"? I haven't ridden with a big dog since I was a child, but I have a friend who had one. My experience was that when the dog weighed about the same as I did my ability to ride was entirely dependent on the co-operation of the dog. In my case that was not usually a problem, but ...


4

Just get a used kid trailer and put your dog in there to see if it likes it. I did that with my first dog trailer and my dog liked it so much we didn't upgrade. When we got a second dog I added a wood floor. I must say though, getting a front-load cargo bike for a big dog would be extremely righteous.


4

Potentially more dangerous than hitting an animal is swerving to avoid hitting the animal and going off-road and crashing. This often causes significant damage to the bike and rider -- sometimes even more damage than if you had hit the animal in the first place. However, it does help with your overall karma to not unnecessarily kill animals. Fine print ...


4

Just 2 weeks ago I hit a deer on a night ride. I was headed down hill at a little over 25 miles an hour when it ran out from behind some bushes. I didn't even have time to hit the brakes before impact. I flew over the handlebars, rolled twice, then slid another 15 feet on asphalt. Luckily my heavy winter gear protected most of my skin. I walked away with ...


3

Dead animals on the road in the dark are my primary concern, but mileage varies. Dogs, snakes, and deer are the most common ones I see. Dogs are most concerning as they will sometimes give chase. I've read that dogs can determine an intersect point between a moving object and them, but they cannot adjust very well to something which suddenly alters it's ...


3

The water-bottle squirt works well. Also, dogs are easily distracted. Throw something down. Dogs will often stop to investigate. So if you have a snack in your back pockets, throw it out there. Please don't whack a dog with a frame pump.


3

Gotta say I agree with Chris Pink (who'd a thunk it, if it's the same Chris Pink from a certain boaty forum) I've never hit an animal on the towpath. Sounds to me like you are not riding to the conditions. I know when I ride at night, where there is no lighting you need to slow down a lot, even if you have decent lights. Yelling out before going around a ...


3

Would making more noise (without being obnoxiously loud) be an answer? Constantly twiddling a bike bell would be distracting, but a few jingle bells you could hang on your bike or gear might help alert the critters that you're coming.


2

In the heat of the summer I like to take night rides on some lite paths to get out of the sun. For night rides I ride my mountain bike as it is slower and more agile. And if I hit an animal (or other obstacle) I would have a better chance of staying on two wheels. And as linc answered (+1) light it up. And hit the bell or yell rider before a blind corner....


2

I've been using a K9 Sport Sack for my 25 pound dog. https://www.k9sportsack.com The dog and I ride a couple times a week. It took awhile for my back and shoulders to get used to the weight but it's no problem now. We have a bike trailer for dogs and have used it once. The backpack is much less of a hassle. No need for extra bike attachments. No storage ...


2

There's an additional issue that wasn't mentioned that worries horse riders. Occasionally cyclists think it is "neat" when riding two-abreast to pass on BOTH sides of an obstacle, one cyclist going to one side, one to the other. With horses this is a dreadful idea. The horse can deal with "terror to the left" by shying to the right, or vice-versa. But "...


2

I rode over a Western Australian dugite yesterday, no time to stop or avoid as it was wriggling rapidly from a road onto the bike path from my left. It was about 1 metre long. I crossed it about one third of its length behind its head, but did not see what it did as I was unexpectedly making a funny noise and had lifted my legs straight out in front under my ...


2

Absolutely it happens - and its not just night time. The Bastard is a wonderful downhill road where I've done 60 km/h and good cyclists can hit 75-80 km/h. The sheep was in the road, and the rider went around its head-end. Sheep being stupid walked/ran forward straight into the path of the cyclist. So for sheep, go around the back-end. This rule of ...


1

I'd say riding near any wooded area can be extremely hazardous, though usually only at night. Just last night while heading home, a raccoon was on the opposite side of the trail, and I suppose it tried to attack me. (Mother "defending" youth perhaps.) Either way, I was flying at about 40mph. It hit the front wheel as I tried to swerve away, was thrown ...


1

Yes, definitely, when cycling in the country in wooded or otherwise open areas you should watch out for wildlife. Not only wildlife that might get in your way but wildlife that might attack you. This applies in the In the city too.


1

If you can get to a children's toy store, you'll like find a few bells. Tie a couple on your handle bars. Try tie a few around the spokes of your front and rear wheels. I believe it would be make difference.....


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