scary animals

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Jim Flom, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do it,
    right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like, "look out
    for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that bears and cougars
    are real issues in the backcountry, even close to town, and
    I'm curious what others who are blessed to ride in similar
    settings do to deal with the risk. I have checked the FAQs
    and archives and not seen anything on this topic, so sorry
    if this has been addressed here recently. Thanks.

    Jim
     
    Tags:


  2. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Jim Flom wrote:
    > I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    > it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    > "look out for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that bears
    > and cougars are real issues in the backcountry, even close
    > to town, and I'm curious what others who are blessed to
    > ride in similar settings do to deal with the risk. I have
    > checked the FAQs and archives and not seen anything on
    > this topic, so sorry if this has been addressed here
    > recently. Thanks.
    >
    > Jim

    There was a (adult-ish) cougar spotted in a tree at the
    mouth of City Creek Canyon last Sunday. That's within about
    500 yards of homes and the Utah state Capitol building,
    surrounded on three sides, as well as very near a very
    popular biking/hiking route. It drew a crowd as well as TV
    cameras that got good shots. Having never seen one in the
    wild I was tempted to join the lookey-loos but didn't.

    Cougars often want a meal, bears usually want to be left
    alone. Neither much likes humans so aren't often seen.

    There will be much more information in the
    rec.backcountry archives.

    I've always thought about carrying CS spray (for use on
    myself) should a cougar want to join me for a snack. But
    what the heck, I could think of no better use for my carcass
    than to feed a superior predator down on its luck. It'll
    have to prove its superiority first though.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  3. no

    no Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Jim Flom <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    >it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    >"look out for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that
    >bears and cougars are real issues in the backcountry,
    >even close to town, and I'm curious what others who are
    >blessed to ride in

    A mountain lion attacked a couple of mountain bikers in
    Southern California recently (killing one). I've never heard
    of a bear attacking a cyclist. I still think SUVs are much
    more dangerous.
     
  4. >Locals affirm that bears and cougars are real issues in the
    >backcountry, even close to town, and I'm curious what
    >others who are blessed to ride in similar settings do to
    >deal with the risk.

    I've seen a total of six bears while bicycle touring in
    BC and the Yukon. In five cases, the bear heard me
    coming, looked once or twice and decided to run away. In
    the sixth case, the bear stood absolutely still as I
    walked past [my bike had broken down on Alaska Highway, I
    was walking for a bit].

    I haven't done anything special for bears other than the
    obvious: (1) stash food away from where I camp, preferrably
    in bear-proof containers provided at campgrounds (2) if I
    see a bear, start making some noise. I haven't carried any
    weapons (I don't really want to get close enough to a bear
    to see if bear spray works :)).

    During summer of 1997 a few months after I bicycled the
    Alaska Highway on a trip across Canada, two people were
    killed at the Laird River (around milepost 500), where I had
    seen three bears. So, I know enough to be cautious, but
    haven't had problems yet.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen
     
  5. "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    > it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    > "look out for cougars and bears."

    I don't bike where there's likely to be cougars, but there's
    been bear sightings on a relatively easy trail that I do
    with my kids, and will be doing a "family ride" for our
    local bike club this summer.

    Here's the rules I plan to tell them:

    Make lots of noise. What is most important is for the bear
    to hear your approach long before you are within its
    personal space.

    Travel in groups of 6 or more. Larger groups tend to
    make more noise, and thus reduce the chances of
    encountering a bear.

    If you see a bear: Never approach a bear, or attempt to feed
    a bear. Be defensive - never surprise a bear. Remain calm.
    The bear is likely just passing through and, if it doesn't
    find food, will simply move on.

    If a bear approaches: Do not run. Remain calm, continue
    facing the bear and slowly back away. If the bear continues
    to approach, try to group together and pick up small
    children. Try to scare the bear away by shouting and acting
    aggressively.

    If a black bear attacks: Fight back using everything in your
    power: fists, sticks, rocks.

    You might want to post your query to alt.mountain.bike or
    r.b.off-road, too.

    --
    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

    Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm
    Email me re: the new Tiferet CD (http://www.tiferet.net)
     
  6. Dick Durbin

    Dick Durbin Guest

    "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    > it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    > "look out for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that bears
    > and cougars are real issues in the backcountry, even close
    > to town, and I'm curious what others who are blessed to
    > ride in similar settings do to deal with the risk.

    I was brought up short a few years ago by a small log that I
    was going to ride over when it raised his head and held his
    mouth open. It was a Cottonmouth. Riding in Florida is
    always an adventure. Check out the picture of me and the
    gator at http://www.ctinsley.com/phr/index.htm

    Of course, some of the wildlife around here is a little less
    intimidating: http://www.ctinsley.com/fun/badday/index.htm

    Dick Durbin Tallahassee
     
  7. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    Good stuff, Claire. Thanks. I should have said in my
    original post that this is for mountain biking. I'm not
    worried about it for road riding (per some other responses).
    Now what I heard for black bears is this: everything you
    said (which is actually more than I thought of), except that
    if a black bear attacks for the first minute curl up and
    play dead. Then, only if it keeps gnawing on you after that,
    fight for your life. Browns and grizzlies are another story.

    I am more likely to stumble upon the beasts when trail
    riding than road riding. So what I have so far is that I am
    hanging my keys from the shifter cables off the handlebars
    so they jingle jangle jingle, although I should probably
    upgrade to bells. Other options that have been suggested are
    pepper spray (which is fine unless it's windy) or flares.

    Any thoughts about bringing my dog along (80# black lab)?

    Jim

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]_s01...
    > "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:eek:[email protected]...
    > > I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    > > it, right?) and
    I
    > > am seeing signs at trailheads like, "look out for
    > > cougars and bears."
    >
    > I don't bike where there's likely to be cougars, but
    > there's been bear sightings on a relatively easy trail
    > that I do with my kids, and will be doing a "family ride"
    > for our local bike club this summer.
    >
    > Here's the rules I plan to tell them:
    >
    > Make lots of noise. What is most important is for the bear
    > to hear your approach long before you are within its
    > personal space.
    >
    > Travel in groups of 6 or more. Larger groups tend to
    > make more noise, and thus reduce the chances of
    > encountering a bear.
    >
    > If you see a bear: Never approach a bear, or attempt to
    > feed a bear. Be defensive - never surprise a bear.
    > Remain calm. The bear is likely just passing through
    > and, if it doesn't
    find
    > food, will simply move on.
    >
    > If a bear approaches: Do not run. Remain calm, continue
    > facing the bear and slowly back away. If the bear
    > continues to approach, try to group together and pick up
    > small children. Try to scare the bear away by shouting and
    > acting aggressively.
    >
    > If a black bear attacks: Fight back using everything in
    > your power: fists, sticks, rocks.
    >
    > You might want to post your query to alt.mountain.bike or
    > r.b.off-road,
    too.
    >
    > --
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    > Claire Petersky Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato
    > and .net for .com
    >
    > Home of the meditative cyclist:
    > http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm Email me
    > re: the new Tiferet CD (http://www.tiferet.net)
     
  8. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Any thoughts about bringing my dog along (80# black lab)?

    Yeah. The dog will die defending you.
     
  9. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > > Any thoughts about bringing my dog along (80#
    > > black lab)?
    >
    > Yeah. The dog will die defending you.

    And then you'll die after the bear's done with the dog.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return
    address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  10. Any of you Yanks ever met a mother-in-law??????????
     
  11. Ddb

    Ddb Guest

    don't wear garlic and butter scented aftershave?

    "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    > it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    > "look out for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that bears
    > and cougars are real issues in the backcountry, even close
    > to town, and I'm curious what others who are blessed to
    > ride in similar settings do to deal with the risk. I have
    > checked the FAQs and archives and not seen anything on
    > this topic, so sorry if this has been addressed here
    > recently. Thanks.
    >
    > Jim
     
  12. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:c2mfm3>
    > There will be much more information in the rec.backcountry
    > archives.
    >

    You don't happen to have a link for the archives, do you?
    I'm on the list, but I'm not finding the archives.
     
  13. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    "Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Any of you Yanks ever met a mother-in-law??????????

    Heh! American mothers-in-law must not be as scary as the
    Irish version, I guess.
     
  14. [email protected] wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, Jim Flom
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>I moved recently to British Columbia (somebody had to do
    >>it, right?) and I am seeing signs at trailheads like,
    >>"look out for cougars and bears." Locals affirm that
    >>bears and cougars are real issues in the backcountry,
    >>even close to town, and I'm curious what others who are
    >>blessed to ride in
    >
    >A mountain lion attacked a couple of mountain bikers in
    >Southern California recently (killing one). I've never
    >heard of a bear attacking a cyclist. I still think SUVs are
    >much more dangerous.
    >
    >
    Not off road.

    I saw a TV documentary about bear attacks in which a
    forest ranger (Alaska?) was riding on a trail and a pissed
    off mother bear (cubs in site) threat/charged him a few
    times (I'm guessing it was a black bear). He was going too
    slow to get away, so he held the bike up in the air in
    front of him, thrusting it towards the bear and
    threatening the bear vocally ("get away bear!") By the
    third charge he was getting pretty damn scared, but the
    mother finally moved off.

    --
    *****************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com
    Integrity is obvious. The lack of it is common.
    *****************************
     
  15. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Jim Flom wrote:
    > "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:c2mfm3>
    >
    >>There will be much more information in the rec.backcountry
    >>archives.
    >>
    >
    >
    > You don't happen to have a link for the archives, do you?
    > I'm on the list, but I'm not finding the archives.

    groups.google.com, in advanced search select rec.backcountry
    as the group.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  16. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote ...
    >
    > groups.google.com, in advanced search select
    > rec.backcountry as the group.

    Nice.
     
  17. Jim Flom <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I am more likely to stumble upon the beasts when trail
    > riding than road riding. So what I have so far is that I
    > am hanging my keys from the shifter cables off the
    > handlebars so they jingle jangle jingle, although I should
    > probably upgrade to bells. Other options that have been
    > suggested are pepper spray (which is fine unless it's
    > windy) or flares.

    > Any thoughts about bringing my dog along (80# black lab)?

    Here's some information about mountain lions:

    http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lion/

    I think having a dog along might be more likely to attract
    a lion's attention. Your best defense is the deterrent fact
    that you are bigger than the lion. Riding a large
    mechanized object probably helps. The man who was killed in
    Socal recently was probably crouched down fixing his bike
    when attacked.

    Lion and bear attacks are very rare. Use sense, but don't
    be paranoid. I have seen a lion while riding; it was more
    interested in avoiding me than eating me. Most people
    never see one.

    ------------ And now a word from our sponsor ------------------
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  18. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    "Benjamin Weiner" <[email protected]> wrote
    > Here's some information about mountain lions:
    >
    > http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lion/
    >
    > I think having a dog along might be more likely to attract
    > a lion's attention. Your best defense is the deterrent
    > fact that you are bigger than the lion. Riding a large
    > mechanized object probably helps. The man who was killed
    > in Socal recently was probably crouched down fixing his
    > bike when attacked.
    >
    > Lion and bear attacks are very rare. Use sense, but don't
    > be paranoid. I have seen a lion while riding; it was more
    > interested in avoiding me than eating me. Most people
    > never see one.

    This is a good website. I heard a mountain biker was killed
    on Vancouver Island or some such by a cougar not long ago
    too, but the word was that he was squatting over his lunch
    (thereby appearing smaller and becoming lunch in the
    process). I did the rec.backcountry archive search in the
    middle of the night last night and there was so much BS and
    conflicting info to wade through on there it mostly helped
    me get back to sleep. If I see anything out on the trails, I
    expect to ride quietly around some quiet corner, stumble
    upon it and surprise it. That's my only real concern. They
    say that July-August are the worst times for bears around
    here, that this time of year I am unlikely to encounter much
    of anything. All the fun stuff seems to be more upcountry
    here, so I'm hoping to hook up with some other riders here
    pretty quick. The blacks are supposed to be the only bears
    close to town, and are not regarded as much of an issue.

    JF
     
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