Ride Reports > Just For Fun Ride Reports

Twisty Roads and Wildlife


doug mcpeek:
Wild wildlife!
  Previously I had never struck an animal larger than a song bird when riding a motorcycle.  A few near misses with turkey vultures in the road and one with a deer were years prior.  The odds caught up with me big time last weekend.

Early Friday one of the many squirrels we saw ran under my Yamaha FJ-09 only to be struck by my left foot peg and boot heel. Not long after that a small black snake slithered very quickly into my path. I was unable to avoid running over it. I’m not overly fond of squirrels in the road, but I am a fan of snakes and their effect on rodent populations, an inadvertent benefit to humans. I felt bad about the snake all afternoon until I saw the bear.

 On VA 311 west of New Castle I topped a small hill within 20 yards of a bear that seemed to have just crossed the road. It was small, about the size of a large dog. I saw the bear look at me, stand halfway and dash into the woods. Jim Goody behind me saw nothing but the plywood silhouette of a bear in a driveway across the road. I'm not sure he believed me. 😉 The bear sighting was the most memorable moment of my weekend until I hit a deer.

 In the twilight of Sunday evening, when I still had my sunglasses on and was thinking I should stop and take them off, a smallish doe jumped from the dim verge into the road in front of me. I had time to brace for impact and picture myself flying over the handlebars before the solid BANG of the collision whacked the bars into my hands. The front wheel did not deflect from its course.  The forks did not dive.  I had the cruise control engaged and the bike did not slow perceptibly. 

Over the Blue Tooth communicator Jim asked, “You all right?”  I said I was and he reported that the deer was spinning in the road as he passed. We both figured the bike had struck the deer’s hind legs – almost a near miss. Under the lights of a gas station a cracked front fender with fur sticking to it was the only damage we found.  In my garage I also identified a lost plastic rivet from a side panel of the fairing.  I washed, inspected and rode the bike on Monday and found everything else to be normal. I know I got off lucky

I guess it is the time of the year.  Returning from the Fall Colors event I encountered a large bear.  I was on VA 100 at the Giles Pulaski line on the north side of Coy Mountain at about 10:20 in the morning, about 1.5 hours due south of Lewisburg.  The bear crossed from right to left about 100 yards in front of me.  He proceed to the guard rail on the opposite side of the road where he looked back over his shoulder at me just before climbing over the guard rail and disappearing.  It has been at least 10 years since I last saw a bear while riding.  The last one I saw was at night in SW Pennsylvania.  This bear was between 300 and 400 pounds, I would estimate.  It was good to see one again.
Rick B. ;D

Whoa... Doug you won the lottery! That’s how I felt when the deer hit the side of my ST1100 year’s ago. I didn’t go down but insurance totaled the bike.

Which reminds me... it was great seeing Harry Deal (sp?) this weekend. He is on the mend but it shows what hitting a vulture can do. He still has recovery and OT but he is on the way to recovery. The biggest thing is tha Harry has a very positive attitude!


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As mentioned in another post our group also saw a bear cub on Saturday, not far from where Doug reported seeing one, also in heavily forested land. Was probably about 50 yards in front of me, crossing in front of the car we were behind. Unfortunately I did not have my Go Pro running, or I'd have some decent footage. I've seen bears on some trips to Yellowstone, but they were further away and the hoards of people around made the experience different. I did know enough to look for others, including momma who look out for those cubs. Didn't see many deer, but the day after I got home commuting to work (through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Akron Ohio) one came darting out of the woods on a full sprint right across the road. I commute thru this area regularly and deer are common but usually more slow in their movements. I talked with some hunters I know and confirmed it was not yet the rutting season, but it is possible something startled this one and sent them running. Reminds me of the one that hit my car some years ago running rapidly from the trees out onto the road.  Glad to hear coach came out OK.

Brick, yes it was nice to see Harry (Dill) at the event, I heard about his incident during Mail Pouch when I asked another member where he was as he's a regular at the event. I almost hit a vulture once myself, one of about 5 that took off from the road in front of me, this one kept flying along the road and I got the near miss on film (I even ducked as I was thinking it would contact me head). And yes Harry has a great attitude about it.


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