30“It’s great how stealthy bikes are. Animals are often surprised by our sudden appearance…And the stuff of legends this has become…a Nannup Tiger (supposedly extinct… people who claim to have seen one are branded nuts.) It was a very isolated part of the south of Western Australia. We stared at each other until he realised that people were not supposed to see him and trotted off.” Adrian, an Australian, on animal encounters of the bicycle kind
With all our miles on isolated roads, it will be a bicyclist that discovers 31Bigfoot. Here’s just a North American list of animals encountered while racing or training thus far – other than road-kill of every kind: deer running across, beside, toward me; wild horses and escaped cattle; moose, elk, and antelope; bears yikes!; giant turtles crossing the road together (a flock of turtles?); geese, duck and chicken families; ground hogs, prairie dogs, porcupine (imagine quills in a tire); moles, squirrels and chipmunks escaping spoke entanglement (since squirrels can be so wily, we have to come up with another pejorative for a wobbly cyclist); birds swooping and pooping (Audubon-types would envy this list); bats, bees, moths and other pollinators; mice, rats, minks and raccoons; foxes and coyotes; pissed peacocks and wild turkeys; frogs, toads, tarantulas; snakes, lizards, and armadillos; wildcats and bobcats, mountain lions heard but not seen thankfully!
Housecats seem to get killed by cars but have sense enough to run or duck for bicyclists. Dogs are the most common problem. Not that I dislike dogs, but dogs are unpredictable with bicyclists. There are the yipping, barking, protecting dogs; but there are also chasing, herding, biting dogs, and the worst – crossing dogs. The latter can be deadly for rider and dog. Trouble with these types of deadly dogs is the unpleasant encounters with these types of deadly dog owners, who sometimes delight at their canine quirks. Jerks! In fairness to dog lovers, regularly I hear an owner yell, “Rocky, come” or some other moniker for Fido on the loose toward the female on two wheels. Keep leashing and lowing. We need a clear road even when we like the company.
Prayer re: Animal Interaction
“…bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.” 32Genesis 6:19
We thank You for making creatures of the non-cycling kind. We ask that the procession toward the ark be cancelled when we ride close and for safety of all species and cyclists.
Ponder What is my first response to unsafe animal scenarios? Affirm I realize roads are artificial intersections for animal routes. Watch – it’s amazing what’s out there!
30“Animal Encounters of the Bicycle Kind,” posted on January 17, 2007 – a response by Adrian www.bikehugger.com. This posting has a few great animal encounter anecdotes on it!
31This is a joke. Just because I believe in God doesn’t mean I believe in everything. Although, I do think that some form of wild ape could exist in North America, and I’m waiting to see it at road-side in the dark woods of Appalachia near my homestead.
32The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society