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Old 04-17-2013, 05:28 AM   #31
jnclem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Pheasant View Post
Excellent.

Copped a blow to the helmet from a pigeon once in south London as it took off. Even at only 30mph it was a hefty if muffled impact.

Was attacked by a buzzard a few years back while cycling in wild west Wales. First I knew of the bird was a massive blow to the top of the head as I rode along a dead-straight, quiet lane in the mountains. I thought someone had thrown a piece of wood at me until I spotted the buzzard flying on ahead. Carried on riding and about 30 seconds later received a second, even harder blow to the top of the head, hard enough to make me stop. Lacerated scalp from the talons, plenty of blood...

The bird was circling above the trees lining the road so I removed my front wheel for use as a shield if needed and walked to the end of the line of trees. When it, presumably, recognised me as a human it flew away. My guess is that it mistook my brown-haired head for a rabbit - the European buzzard's usual prey. I had a job explaining the cause of the injuries to the Spanish locum doctor at the local hospital later.
Seriously, a lot of these encounters where a bird actually dive-bombs you are territorial, not the bird looking for a meal. No matter what people might say, these birds really aren't stupid. They know you're not a rabbit.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:46 AM   #32
Plaka OP
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Originally Posted by Xtremjeepn View Post
Um..........

It must just be you.

When I first saw this thread I passed it by. Thinking that the OP must live somewhere with a crazy amount of birds because I've ridden for 33 years and hundreds of thousands of miles in Colorado and never had this issue.

Then out of curiosity to see where all these bird strike problems are I opened the thread to see that you live just miles from me Colorado isn't exactly thick with birds.

So, my conclusion.......it's you. You are some sort of bird magnet




Out of curiosity. What bike are you riding? I did feel like birds dive bombed me and were generally "more in the way" when I was on my 2007 R1 than any other bike. But never had any contacts.
All of those were on a black 75/5
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:04 AM   #33
Benesesso
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Back in the stone age (1964-5) I was riding my awful Honda 305 Dream at night near Pensacola, doing ~42 MPH. That's as fast as that POS would go in high gear (4th) unless I laid on the tank.

No helmet, just goggles of some kind (read KLR cheap). Some kind of bug hit me right between the eyes. Made a very loud CRACK, didn't fall off but wobbled a bunch. Painful crap got in my eyes. Not a fun ending of the ride.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:21 AM   #34
Montague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaka View Post
I've had three bad experiences with birds. The first time I was attacked by an owl. I was doing maybe 10mph on the road to the Cheyenne Mountain zoo and this little owl-with-attitude attacked my helmet, two passes from the front, screeching, talons out, the whole bit. Ducked twice and gassed it to lose 'im

The second time doing 60ish on some urban freeway I drove through a flock of low flying sparrows. Caught one in the throat (MY throat), it stuck for a second, then tumbled aside. I didn't stop.

The third time was running across South Park two up at 90. A little black bird was playing with the cars ahead. It would fly across the road in front of a car (and everybody does 90 on that stretch) and then pop up into the air on the wave pushed by the car. It did the two cars in front of me then tried with me. It hit me high in the chest. Felt that one through the leathers. I stopped and walked back. Very daid boydy.


So what do you do to keep 'em off of you?
Not sure what you can do proactively to avoid birds (other than duck....hee hee) but I have experienced a few heart stopping encounters.

Many years ago on the back roads of northern New York where forest came right up to the edge of ditch on either side, a very large turkey burst out at about 3 feet and slowly climbing across my path.

I swerved and ducked and swear I felt his feet scrape my helmet! Turkeys are very big and even more so when closing at 60 mph.

On another occasion, a friend was in the lead when a ruffed grouse pulled a similar take off. He (the bird) wasn't so luck as his bigger cousin, he hit the fairing square on.

A literal explosion but when we pulled over, there were feathers stuck in every possible place on the nose of the bike.

Not enough actual bird left to notice. Grouse are definitely lightly built.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #35
atomicalex
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I haven't hit a bird yet, but I've hit enough large bugs to really not want to hit anything bigger. I took out something cicada-sized last summer with my visor, and damn, that was mess enough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:50 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
I haven't hit a bird yet, but I've hit enough large bugs to really not want to hit anything bigger. I took out something cicada-sized last summer with my visor, and damn, that was mess enough.
Grasshoppers, June bugs, and dragonflies really really really hurt. I can only imagine something the size of a cicada would hurt just as much.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #37
J_White
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Popped over a hill running 60ish, surprised this fellow on side of the road.
All I had time to do was brace and duck...
Hit left fork tube, then somehow rolled up and caught left mirror, spinning it
around, then down my back.
Chunks of meat all over left boot and pants leg, bird crap down my back.
Wobbled a bit but kept it under control. Funny part was, about five miles
down the road stopped at a red light and a really comical pirate dude
pulled up right beside me on a cruiser. Chrome novelty helmet, loud pipes
the whole deal. I just looked over at him and nodded, smiled - but know
he must have been thinking WTF? cause I'm telling you, I REEKED!
Took a month and several washings to lose that smell.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #38
jnclem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_White View Post
Popped over a hill running 60ish, surprised this fellow on side of the road.
All I had time to do was brace and duck...
Hit left fork tube, then somehow rolled up and caught left mirror, spinning it
around, then down my back.
Chunks of meat all over left boot and pants leg, bird crap down my back.
Wobbled a bit but kept it under control. Funny part was, about five miles
down the road stopped at a red light and a really comical pirate dude
pulled up right beside me on a cruiser. Chrome novelty helmet, loud pipes
the whole deal. I just looked over at him and nodded, smiled - but know
he must have been thinking WTF? cause I'm telling you, I REEKED!
Took a month and several washings to lose that smell.
What kind of bird is that? Looks big.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:26 AM   #39
J_White
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnclem View Post
What kind of bird is that? Looks big.
Buzzard, yep was a pretty good sized one!
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:30 AM   #40
larryboy
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I almost got clobbered by a turkey on a gravel road doing about 100 mph, hung over the side of the bike so it wouldn't hit me in the head...those things don't fly very good.

Caught a quail to the face at 3 AM in Death Valley once. Note to self: Wear goggles at all times.

Had my goggles on for this one, gravel road down near the CO/NM border doing 'bout 60 mph, caught 3 or 4 of these little birds to the chest, one or two to the shins and a few to the head.





Don't get me started about bees.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:37 PM   #41
Mgbgt89
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This is my girlfriends helmet after striking what i think was a female peacock, but may have been a turkey, in west virginia.

We were riding two up and came over a hill and a group of 3 peacocks were crossing the road. I thought to myself, those can't fly, and gunned it to beat them through. No way would i have stopped it in time if i tried, just would have closed my hole faster.

Well upon hearing the mighty LC4, apparently they decided they can fly, but not well. Made it to about head height, Which i ducked under easily. My girlfriend on the back took it square on.

Full face helmets rock.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #42
the Pheasant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnclem View Post
Seriously, a lot of these encounters where a bird actually dive-bombs you are territorial, not the bird looking for a meal. No matter what people might say, these birds really aren't stupid. They know you're not a rabbit.
Fair point and one I originally assumed myself. However, there have been instances in that area of buzzards dive-bombing cyclists and their behaviour is more of a flapping attack from the front designed to drive the person away. In this case, the flight path was from behind me and the talon strike to the skull similar to the sort of thing you see in film of sea eagles catching fish - ie. a very hard downward blow hard enough to stun prey. FWIW, at the time my hair colouring was very close to that of a rabbit... In any case, it hurt.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:46 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the pheasant View Post

fwiw, at the time my hair colouring was very close to that of a rabbit...



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Old 04-18-2013, 07:10 PM   #44
bush pilot
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Probably not doing triple digit speeds in country when you can see birds flying would be a a reasonable avoidance technique.

Certainly concentrate on maintaining control of you machine if you do hit one.

Years ago somewhere near Winchester VA, (before Agatt) I had big old bumblebee fly into my loose fitting button down short sleeve shirt and sting me. Damn; it hurt so bad I nearly wrecked my little Kawasaki enduro.

Here in rural Thailand they have these great big Rhino beetles. When one hits your helmet it sounds like a rock hitting you.

But mostly I'm afraid of a deer jumping into you. Riding through eastern Texas can be terrifying with all those stupid fuckers lurking about.
Ya probably want to avoid riding through Wisconsin during deer hunting season too, not only could a deer take you but you might get shot as well! Them folks ain't much smarter than the deer.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #45
DOGSROOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bush pilot View Post

... riding through eastern texas can be terrifying with all those stupid fuckers lurking about.

Ya probably want to avoid riding through wisconsin during deer hunting season too, not only could a deer take you but you might get shot as well!

Them folks ain't much smarter than the deer.










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