Yesterday, during my morning commute I almost hit a squirrel on Damen when it darted out from under a car and stopped right before my tire. On my evening commute, the same happened on Clark, but with a pigeon.

 

My question is - what do you do if an animal is heading straight towards your wheel and you have no time to react? Those are busy streets and I'd like to avoid falling and, if possible, not kill the wildlife.

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I actually try not to vary my line too much when that happens. Generally the animal will make a last second decision and go one way or the other. If you try to dodge it, you might choose the same way they were going. I'm not overly fond of either squirrels or pigeons though. You might be doing the gene pool a favor by killing off the ones that can't even manage to avoid getting hit by a bike.
And then, besides avoiding the cute defenseless animals, there are the toothy unleashed dogs chasing you down as if they think you're some kind of tasty venison.  And, you suddenly realize you're wearing shorts with a lot of exposed leg....
^--- HA!

i too recently been having issues with squirrel playing chicken and/or frogger lately.  and ive had the occasional rat. 

 

the philosophy here should be much like with driving and small animals.  do not brake, do not jerk the wheel or swerve.  you are only likely to injure yourself or someone else around you, or worse - stear into a car.  like chucko says, the animal will probably scram just in the nick of time.

 

with dogs - i thinking stopping is the general recommendation - looses their interest to chase.  but if its a vicious dog out to kill, i would jump on a car and hope my u lock is handy.

Probably easier said than done, but I agree with the recommendation to try to hold your line and wait for the small fur-bearing creature to perform evasive maneuvers. Make sure you have a grip on the handlebars though, cause if it's unsuccessful, I would anticipate a squishy-feeling loss of traction. Dogs usually come from the side, and you have to make a quick assessment of whether to try to outrun it, or stop and be the disapproving human. If the problem becomes commonplace, some of the handier members may be able to assist with retrofitting one of these bad boys.
I have had many close calls with critters while on the NB trail, this spring during a training camp in blue mounds wi I hit a squirrel while descending at close to 45 mph........ the squirrel lost it's tail and eventually I was able to remove my testies from my throat. As with all unexpected obstacles the best approach is to keep a light touch on the handle bars, keep your balance and ride through it.
good one!

Chris C said:

Squirrel Jambalaya

 

1 Squirrel, medium
Salt and red pepper
3 tb Oil
2 Onions, large, chopped
3 Celery stalks, chopped
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1/4 Bell pepper, chopped
4 tb Parsley, chopped
2 c Uncooked rice, washed
1 1/2 c Water
2 tb Salt

Cut squirrel into serving pieces and season well. Sauté in oil until brown; remove from skillet. Sauté onions, celery, garlic, bell pepper and parsley in oil until wilted. Replace squirrel in skillet; cover and cook slowly about 20 minutes or until squirrel is tender. Add rice and water. Stir thoroughly. Add salt. Cook slowly about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. From www.wildliferecipes.net.

 

 

Casserole of Pigeons with Apples and Cider


serves 2 - 3
2 tbls butter
2 young pigeons
1 small apple, cored and sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbls flour
3/4 pint stock
2/3 cup cider
salt
pepper
1 bouquet garni

Melt the butter in a flameproof casserole or, heavy saucepan and brown the pigeons on all sides. Remove them from the pan and cut in half. Add the apple and onion to the pan and fry until lightly browned. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring well, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock and cider and bring to the boil. Add salt, pepper and the bouquet garni and return the pigeon halves to the casserole. Cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the pigeons are tender. Transfer the pigeons to a warmed serving dish and keep hot. Strain the cooking liquid and return it to the pan. Boil briskly until well reduced, then pour it over the pigeons. www.cookitsimply.com


Just close your eyes and feel it
In my experience, the squirrel is the only animal that will run TOWARDS the source of danger instead of away from it. This makes evasive riding somewhat tricky. As for attacking dogs, I remember being instructed as a boy to get off the bicycle and then to use the bike as a barrier. I've done this many times since, without any bites.

whoa
you didn't stop at all

good job !


S.Presley said:

Thanks, all - I braked, so it's good to know I should just keep going and pray the animals scared enough to run. Although if they don't, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to make that soup;)

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