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Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?
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Huey
Posted 11/26/2004 9:20 AM (#5443)
Subject: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


I have watched various boards discuss this topic at times and find it interesting in how many people riding motorcycles have had close encounters with critters of all sorts. As a matter of fact, one site was just discussing the death of a motorcyclist who was hit by a bird on his helmet and then crashed. Although most of what I have viewed related to solo motorcycles, I am sure there are experiences in the sidecar world as well. Anyone with some unique experiences to share? Seems like helmets and full face shields are not the absolute answer, but some helpful tools along the way, huh? Does it always seem to happen so quickly that there is no way to react in time to prevent it? What would the normal tendancy of the rig be if one lost control immediately as in being stunned by a bird wapping you in the head or is that too difficult to predict and too many variables to predict?
Huey


Edited by Huey 11/26/2004 9:24 AM
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herwing
Posted 11/26/2004 2:33 PM (#5446 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Veteran

Posts: 209
100100
Location: Fairfield, VA
I killed a deer with my rig in '99. I had no reaction time; I saw her and I hit her! I was very lucky and wasn't hurt at all, well, except for those ten years that it took off of my life. It wouldn't have been as happy an outcome for someone on two wheels. I had been toying with the idea of getting rid of my sidecar until that incident completely changed my mind.
Watched a bald eagle fly overhead carrying a snake once (I could see it wiggling). Asked my friends on the CB if anyone else saw it and said, " I sure hope he doesn't drop that snake!" I don't like snakes.

Connie
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fhunteman
Posted 11/26/2004 2:34 PM (#5447 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



0
Location: Mooresville, IN 46158
We were riding through downtown Atlanta several years ago when a big black bird landed on my wifes right leg and sat there for what seemed like half a minute or so. She riding behind me and my 3 kids were in the sidecar. She was frightened it would get into the sidecar with them. It must have wanted a ride and suddenly it flew away.
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Posted 11/26/2004 6:36 PM (#5450 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


In my part of the planet we have to be constantly scanning for roos and cattle. Night travel by bike is a serious no-no except for the pathologically insane.

Case in point? When I rode my K100 back from Perth (1100 miles of 'outback') in August '03, I was within 100km (62 miles) of home at dusk. It had been raining for the whole day and I'd already covered just under 1000km. As well as animals, we have to deal with 'road trains'. These tractor/trailer rigs have up to four trailers, are 53.5 metres long and weigh anything up to 190 tonne. One was approaching me and creating a lovely stream of water to it's sides. Half way past him a 'lump' appeared on the road directly in front of me and I hit it at about 120kph (75mph) somehow staying upright! I have no idea how. It was a dead kangaroo, the carcass would have weighed...100kg? To this day I have no idea how I didn't end up under the wheels of that truck.

In twenty five plus years of riding I've hit two roos (one already dead) a cow and a fox. In trucks and cars I've lost count of how many roos/bunnies/cane toads I've hit as I travel that way at night.

cheers
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Huey
Posted 11/26/2004 7:28 PM (#5451 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Hitting a wall of water is an interesting topic as well. How bad does it get in driving a hack when it is raining? I hate passing trucks in my car, but don't really know what to expect in a hack. How about some comments on that as well?
Huey
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claude #3563
Posted 11/26/2004 9:02 PM (#5452 - in reply to #5451)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Expert

Posts: 2480
2000100100100100252525
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Have hit a deer ... have had a bird hit me in the chest...had a friend hit a bird with a sidecar and feathers covered his wife's lipstick tube.
Riding in the rain with a hack is a lot safer than riding in the rain on a solo machine. Passing trucks etc can be a little excitiong dependant upon the road conditions etc. ...STILL SAFER THAN ON A SOLO.
JUST OPINIONS OF COURSE,
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sidecarLenny
Posted 11/27/2004 7:59 AM (#5454 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


I've hit a rabbit, and a squirrel(several times), Once in Northwestern NJ
I was driven my hack and a Black Bear cub was near the side of the road
(behind some trees), as we noticed each other he just stood up and watched
as I went by.
Iam sure some others in the Northwestern NJ/PA area have encountered/seen a
black bear while driving/stopping in this region.
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claude #3563
Posted 11/27/2004 8:14 AM (#5455 - in reply to #5454)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Expert

Posts: 2480
2000100100100100252525
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Have seen a few bear while riding but never hit one. Had two cubs on our front posrch this past summer.
Claude..in central Pa.

Come to the ISOK Sidecar RON-DEE-VOO AUG 5-7, 2005 in Central Pa.
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hdrghack
Posted 11/27/2004 8:57 AM (#5456 - in reply to #5455)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Expert

Posts: 1346
100010010010025
Location: WESTERN NEW YORK
Had a bird wack me in the face on a solo bike about 20 some years ago.Pulled over to regain my thoughts and remove the mangled glasses side of my face was cut and slightly swollen have had more bees than I care to remember go up a jacket sleeve and sting me,june bugs to the face can create a pretty good impact had that experience a few times missed a large buck to,that one would have won unlike the bird. As for sidecars ran over a raccoon no room to swerve and miss him with on comming traffic he lost. Skidded BETWEEN to deer with my new rig two years ago as they ran across the road in the nite I would have lost that one completely. Riding in the rain on three is by far safer in my mind depending on how well you can see in the rain at that time from any wind,tire spray etc. providing that you use common sense and caution when riding.
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Jimbosidecar
Posted 11/27/2004 8:35 PM (#5464 - in reply to #5456)
Subject: RE: any near misses?



Regular

Posts: 57
2525
Location: Beijing, China
I got hit by a big bird on the side of the (helmeted) head 2 summers ago. Bird lost. I've (religously) worn a helmet ever since.
Regds,
Jim
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Hack'n
Posted 11/28/2004 1:40 PM (#5470 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
When my bride and I were riding at the "Cowchip Boogie" rally a while back, a hornet got up my sleeve and gave me a good sting. Thinking it was a bee, I ignored it until it worked it's way to my back and started stinging again several times. I stopped the bike and started taking off my jacket, vest and tee shirt while it was still stinging me. Some following riders thought I was having a seizure and asked my wife if they should call 911 as I was gyrating around and cussing in the road. I got 22 stings from that insect and we have had a lot of laughs about it since. After the swelling went down.

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claude #3563
Posted 11/28/2004 7:01 PM (#5473 - in reply to #5470)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Expert

Posts: 2480
2000100100100100252525
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Used to wear goggles a lot when riding. When I would take them off I had had bugs get in them from time to time. One night a bug got in during a stop at a restaurant. It was right at dark...we headed on down the road and I could see him moving around in the goggles on my head every once in a while. Really didn't want to stop though..no big deal. Well I tell ya what ... all of a sudden the world lit up. I mean is was almost like looking at a welder...The little critter was a lightning bug and if you ever had one of them light up 1/2" from your eye on a dark night..it will get your attention. No harm done THOUGH..lol.
Claude

Edited by claude #3563 11/28/2004 7:03 PM
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retro-rig
Posted 12/4/2004 9:03 AM (#5516 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Haven't caught any animals yet but I've only had the side hack for three years.

As for other road debris, I was going north through a construction zone doing the posted speed or a bit lower when a south bound tractor trail running in excess of the reduced speed kick a highway cone towards me. The initial though was awe F' followed by brake and hold direction of travel.

As for my rig its an antiquated design with no brake on the third wheel and very little weight. The 500cc single for motive power dictates I ride conservatively.

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Posted 12/5/2004 10:35 AM (#5529 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Spring 1998 - outside of Orasje, Bosnia.
As the Police Trainer for the Army in that sector of Bosnia I often rode with the local Constables in their daily duties.
One day I had the outstanding opportunity - or so I thought - to patrol the countryside with the Orasje Chief of Police on his Russian Ural side-hack rig.
As we are happily motorin' about down a country lane we rounded a curve and there, dead center in the middle of the very narrow road, was a farmer walking his cow. Now this whole "cow walking" routine is a for another day's story - just suffice it to say that we now had 2 options.
#1 Hit the cow at approx 40 mph or
#2 Leave the road and fly out into the pasture at 40 mph.

Chief Dominkovic - the Police Chief at the helm - chose option #2.

We flew 38 feet through the air (I measured it!) and landed to a rolling stop smack dab in the middle of a minefield. With over 2,000,000 - yep that's with an M as in million - mines scattered throughout the country this is not that uncommon an occurrence.
After checking everything over and finding the rig buried up to the frame/tub in the soft ground we VERY GINGERLY stepped out the back of the rig and walked back through the wheel ruts until they disappeared - remember the 38 ft flight?
So I go back to the rig - pull off one of the broken spokes - and spend the next hour sloooowwwlllyyy probing a narrow path for things that go BOOM until we make it back to the road.
2 hours later we are back at Marko's office celebrating life with a brandy and large ring Cuban cigar!
The adventure in Iraq with a captured old thumper bike is another story....
Happy Motorin'
Dean & Betty
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normpottruff
Posted 12/5/2004 11:00 PM (#5541 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Good Day,
Happily, I've only had a few near misses with dear but many years ago I was travelling up the Alaska Highway which was at that time just a bad dirt road. I was near Fort St. John in northern B.C. when a rider a few miles ahead of me hit a bear. The rider was slightly injured and still lay on the road when the bear got up and began exhibiting some wilderness road rage. Hitting a bear just ticks him off and he attacked the hapless fellow but, fortunately, this was before all the gun laws and a pickup truck that had been coming down the road behind him had a rifle in the gun rack. The truck driver jumped out of his vehicle and shot the bear. The rider was hospitalized but recovered. By the time I arrived the excitment was all over but a local reporter was interviewing people to get the story.
Regards,
Norm
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Posted 12/20/2004 12:15 AM (#5712 - in reply to #5454)
Subject: near misses with critters & varmints


Originally written by sidecarLenny on 11/27/2004 7:59 AM

I've hit a rabbit, and a squirrel(several times), Once in Northwestern NJ
I was driven my hack and a Black Bear cub was near the side of the road
(behind some trees), as we noticed each other he just stood up and watched
as I went by.
Iam sure some others in the Northwestern NJ/PA area have encountered/seen a
black bear while driving/stopping in this region.


Just remember - when you see "Baby Bear," it more than likely means that "Momma Bear' is nearby. Odds are she wont be takin' much of a shine toward you *or* your rig. Best to use that throttle and git the hell outta Dodge.

I once hit SOMEthing w/ my '90 R-100 GS/PD in the middle of Nowhere, NV at dusk. I pulled over, did the cursory look-around, neither saw, heard nor smelled anything, and cautiosly got underway. At about 30 mph, I started to hear a "whap-a wahappa-whap-whap," coming from somewhere in front of my right boot. It sounded like when a piece of brush gets caught in the skid plate.

I stopped again, dug out my 3-C Maglite, and crawled over the bike from bow to stern. Nuttin'

Corn-fuzed, I started to leave again, until I noticed what turned out to one gi-huge-ic desert bat inside my right handguard, lodged between the brake lever and the plastic. He must have just got up for his early evening bug munchin' Evidently what I had been hearing was his wings flappin' in the breeze.

I scooped him out (wearing gauntlets) set him on the ground near a bush and watched while he shook off what must have been one sumbitch headache, clumsily took off and woozily flew into the twilight.

I mulled over this for the next 200 miles until I reached my destination of Cedar City, UT
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Huey
Posted 12/20/2004 1:54 PM (#5718 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


I too have hit dogs in my many travels in an automobile. Invaribly, they always were in a lane where I had no choice but to continue straight ahead or they jumped out in front of me when I could not possibly reduce my speed to avoid them. I mull over them every time and can't begin to say how it plays on my mind afterwards. However, my travels were always through the back roads and long winding roads of open plains, sagebrush and mesquites. I told myself that if I ever hit a wild animal I'd just keep on going. My natural instinct is to go back and examine the hurt animal, but a wild cyote, mountain lion, wolf, skunk or so forth is not necessarily going to treat you as a humanitarian or such. I suspect they are quite dangerous and have little regards for your act of kindness in returning to help them. Never hit one of those yet, but I'll have to fight the urge to be a good guy if it ever happens. I only have a finite amount of hands and legs in the first place and I don't need to go missing one because a wounded animal ate it for lunch.
Huey
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tronairweldor
Posted 12/21/2004 11:15 AM (#5725 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Once I was riding home in a light rain with my daughter and I hit what I thought was a leaf. It was flapping off the side of my windshield at a closer glance it turned out to be a BAT!! So I just spead up and waited for it to slip off. She was actually pretty calm! I have hit several road kill COONS but thats it!
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Huey
Posted 12/22/2004 12:54 AM (#5726 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


I once hit a bird in the rain, myself. However, it was in a car and not on a motorcycle. It was pretty horrible, as the kiddos, who were about 6 and 8, were in the back seat and the darn bird hit the windshield and jammed right into the wiper. The wiper blade kept swishing it back and forth across the windshield as the kiddos hooted and hollered in the back seat. The wife and the kiddos were all upset. I had to pull over and remove the thing which was a real mess. Yeash!
Huey
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Hack'n
Posted 12/22/2004 1:39 PM (#5729 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
Back in the forties I had 1/2 partnership in a 1929 Model A sedan. One night on the way back to the farm, I swerved and hit the brakes to avoid hitting a skunk in the road. I drove the car into the garage/woodshed and closed the door. When my partner opened the door in the morning the smell was overwhelming. It was several days before we could get back in the building to see what had happened. The skunks carcass had lodged in the front radius rods. So much for evasive maneuvering. If you look at you're going to hit it.

Lonnie
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Scrubs
Posted 12/22/2004 9:23 PM (#5731 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


Hit & killed a large deer in Sept of 2003. Wife & I were riding on my 03 Road King. Bike was pretty much totaled and we had some road rash. The very next time my wife got back on a bike was during Bike Week in 04. We were riding my new 04 Ultra (replaced the totaled RK) down on Alligator Alley heading toward the Keys when this large black bird came horizonatally at me like a missle and hit the fairing. Scared the living hell out of me. All I could think of was if we laid this bike down we were going to wake up all these alligators that were 10' off the road. We now have the hack on the Ultra, and the wife feels alot safer.

Scrubs
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JerryR
Posted 12/29/2004 3:12 PM (#5770 - in reply to #5443)
Subject: RE: Any near misses with birds, bees, animals or so forth?


I've been pretty lucky in the 44+ years of ridding 2 wheelers and Hacks. The most troublesome non miss was catching up to the East End of a West Bound Wasp at 60mph. Hit the bugger on the side of my cheek just under the edge of the helmet and drove the stinger in about as far as it could go before hitting bone. The Luck thing was that I didn't have a severe reaction to it as many do. One buddy up north caught up with one much the same way just above the eyes at the Mouse Trap on I-25 in Denver. He wasn't so lucky and just bairly made it to the side of the busy hiway before his eyes swelled shut. You never know when you will have a reaction to a Bee or Wasp sting untill you have one. which is one reason I always have a windshield on the bike.

As for larger critters there have been any number of Close Encounters with Deer & Elk but having grown up in their terratory I make allowances for them around every corner and especially at night. Elk arn't as much of a problem as Deer but when they start crossing the road or Fence Line it is One At A Time untill they are all across no matter how long it takes.

Big Birds can be a problem and having spent many years in Farm Country, where we are moving back to, I have had many Close Encounters with them and just last fall one actual Hit. The Eagles, Hawks, Owls etc all tend to swoop down on Road Kill thinking that they will get away just in time. Well sometimes they don't! We caught one while it was comming inbound toward us at 65 MPH. It was mostlikely an Owl or Hawk, couldn't tell with the twilight. Anyway it hit between the Sidecar and Bike square on the 1/4" Plexi Airfoil I use for Wet and Cool Weather driving. Distroyed it too but lucky for us and the dogs none of the parts his us. I was going to leave the Airfoil off but thought about it and built a new one.

As for Big Birds and Snakes. Yes they do drop 'em to Kill 'em. Sometimes they will do it over the hiway but most of the time I've seen them do the Drop It 'Till It's Dead thing has been away from the roads over open country. Years ago I worked at a Very Remote Micowave Repeater site in SE CO. We had an Owl that loved to drop Snakes in the Tower Yard because it was filled with a nice rough gravel and it was just below it's nest. Needless to say we were very cautious going into the Tower Yard.
Never have heard of anyone getting one dropped on 'em but there were more than a few visitors that wouldn't go out back.

Jerry
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