Let me start by saying I didn’t always dislike deer. I saw Bambi as a child (yet another Disney orphan story) fine film, cute skunk, etc. So I began life as a admirer of the gentle woodland creatures. Then one day I bought a motorcycle and the suburban rats, as I like to call them, suddenly became my nemesis. Leaping and running beside and in front of my bike as I wind my way down rural and even suburban roads. I found I wasn’t alone in this new found hatred for the wide eyed vernon. I have enjoyed musings of all things motorcycle by the fine gentlemen at the Pace Motorcycle Podcast. They relayed encounters both hilarious and hair raising on the unpredictable, and often dangerous, actions of deer. It’s from them that I borrowed the title of this post “They should all be gloves” which is a phrase that seems to pop up from time to time on the show. I have begun to agree with them and hope to soon protect my palms with a patch from the posterior of one of these pesky pasture pouncers.
This new found deer dislike was brought into focus this evening when I decided to unwind with a relaxing sunset run down some of my favorite country roads. I know that deer are more active at this time of day but the road called and I wasn’t going to let the gangly grass munchers ruin my chance for a good drive. I geared up and got underway. Here is a run down of my deer encounters; Two running next to the road in some strange “I’m afraid and forgot how to turn” race, one crossing the road in front of me, one lurking in a driveway, two in a field just stairing blankly, one at the top of a rise standing in the middle of the road watching me approve like I was an old friend coming at 50 miles an hour to give it a hug, 6 feet out it decided I was not a long lost friend and bolted, rather embarrassed, into near by bushes. And lastly one that started to run across the road, changed its mind and did a 180, nope maybe I do want to cross, did another 180, got half way a cross, nope, nope did yet another 180 and then bolted back to the woods. It was like a new age dance routine. Or a drunk dog on stilts chasing a squirrel. Whatever it was I slowed down and waited for it to reach its final act before speeding up to put distance between me and the impromptu stage.
I love evening rides, I really do, I love the sunsets, cooler weather and abandoned roads but I have to say this Cirque du Soleil of acrobatic deer has me rethinking when it’s best to ride. For safety sake I hope other riders will do the same. For those of you that are interested, I have found some helpful tips for avoiding the doe eyed dopes listed here on Ride Smarter USA
Here is a handy map that lets you know how likely you are to meet a deer on the road, by state.
Ride safe, and buy gloves
(preferably deer skin)
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