Avoiding animals while riding

Riding a motorcycle on a quiet road can be a very relaxing experience, but the closer you get to nature and the further away from civilization, the dangers of an animal suddenly crossing your path becomes higher. This is especially dangerous for you as unlike a car where usually it is the animal that suffers, here you are equally at risk because the last thing you want to experience is to be flung from your motorcycle either by colliding with an animal or braking too hard and skidding. This does not mean that you should park your motorcycle in the garage, cover it, and forget all about it. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to be perfectly safe.

Deer:

One of the most common animals you can encounter on a motorcycle trip are deer. They can be a real nuisance as they appear out of nowhere leaving you very little time to take evasive actions. Usually you will end up colliding with them which can leave you in a very sorry state. Another danger of hitting deer is that they can get aggressive and even attack you when injured or cornered. Deer can be avoided very easily though. Most places where deer are common will have multiple signs alerting you of their presence. Slow right down and keep checking the shoulders of the road. Deer have reflective eyes and these can be visible in the shrubs. Keep an eye out for them as well. If you spot a deer far off then chances are high that more of them are around as they tend to travel in groups. Slow right down so that you can navigate around them. They usually prefer to flee rather than fight. So, as long as you stick to your path at low speeds you should be fine.

Moose:

This is one tricky customer that you have to deal with very carefully. Their almost lethargic movements might cause you to underestimate them but they can do serious harm in a split second. Their large size allows you to spot them easily but it is best to stop at a safe distance and allow it to pass. Continuing to ride even at a lower speed will intimidate a moose as it might mistaken you for a rival that is charging at it. It will try to defend itself which can end fatally for you. If you can take an alternate route then that is best way out. If for some reason it decides to charge you then turn and ride away as soon as possible. It will give up very easily. Under no circumstances try to confront them or intimidate them.

Buffalo:

These are generally very placid and in most cases you can ride along without any worries. However, they can be highly unpredictable at times and it is best to allow them to pass instead of confronting them. They are easy to spot and depending on their general demeanour you can judge whether it is safe to ride past them or not. If they are grazing without paying much attention to you then ride on. If, however, they are standing still or if there is a calf nearby, they can become territorial and defensive which can be bad news for you. It is again best to wait for them to move away or you can turn back and find an alternate route. Their size is the biggest danger as they can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and you do not want to mess with such an animal.

Bears:

Bears are very intelligent creatures and can get very intimidating quite easily. Under no circumstances get into a confrontation with one of these giants. They can go from docile to terrifyingly aggressive in the blink of an eye. Always stop when you spot a bear and keep a safe distance from them and keep your eyes constantly on them. Let them get well clear of the road before riding again. If they begin to approach you then escape as soon as possible. They might give a short chase but do not stop or try to get them to back off. Bears can be really persistent when they want to, and it is best to stay out of reach at all times when a bear is around.

Dogs:

Normally, people do not view dogs as something that would be dangerous. They have this image of being the most loyal of all pets. While that might be true for the poodle at home, stray and feral dogs can be a real danger. They have this habit of darting across the road without warning and their smaller size can make it difficult to spot them. Usually, they are found close to civilization and it is best to keep the speed low in such places. Avoid colliding with them as they start wiggling if you run over them which will lead to a crash and the last place you want to be after injuring a dog is on the ground hurt and in close proximity to the rest of the pack. Even if you do not collide with one, they will try to intimidate you. In their eyes, you on your motorcycle represent a threat to their territory. Thankfully, they usually limit their defence to barking at you. Occasionally they will lunge at you but this is just a scare tactic. Keep riding like normal and avoid the temptation to rev the engine or to charge at them. They will leave you alone once you are out of their territory which is generally limited to a few yards.

Large cats:

These are the least dangerous animals you could encounter as long as you are not injured or your motorcycle is not working. They will actively avoid you and their quick reflexes allow them to dodge you even if you do not spot them in time. In case it is too late when you spot them, keep riding on your original path as this gives the animal the best chance to steer clear of you. Generally, areas having large cats will have highly visible signs informing you of their presence. Rev the engine and blow the horn repeatedly to alert them of your presence and usually they will stay away.

 

1 thought on “Avoiding animals while riding

  1. I live in a rural area where I encounter a lot of animals and fowl. I have had to avoid dogs, cats, deer, elk, bear, opossums, raccoons, skumks, chickens, ducks, turkey and owls. I enjoyed reading your tips for encountering animals on the road. I hope everyone will read the tips and ride safely.

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