About 15 miles in to a 135 mile trip early 5 am yesterday morning, I got to see some nature up close an personal. Some sort of small game animal darted under my front wheel, my GPS says I was going 22 at the time. The collision made my front wheel jump up and I lost control. I came down hard on my side and slid down the asphalt trail. After coming to a stop, my immediate instinct was to look around to see if any angry injured animal was about to attack. It either got thrown off the trail or hobbled off to die. Then came the damage assessment. The wheels were true and the gears shifted. My clothing was in tatters and my right knee and elbow hurt but I and my bike were road worthy. I decided to keep going. Getting back on my bike, I noticed that my right handlebar was bent inward enough to make going in the drops and riding on the hoods feel wierd, but that was about the extent of the damage. After the sun came up, I stopped for a refill and in the restroom I took a better look at my injuries. I had significant rash on my elbow, I tried to clean it out but the black from my shirt and or the road was worked in pretty well. My knee was injured as well but not as bad. Anyway, I kept going and made it to my destination. The ride ended up being great after that one episode. I dont know exactly what I hit, it had a ringed tail but appeared more slender and ran faster than a raccoon. Has anyone else had close encounters, if so please share!