riding solo in predator territory

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11/28/2019 6:05 AM

just curious if solo riders in mtn and pac time zones find it easy to put the potential dangers out of your minds. in Austin, I ride without even a thought given to things that lurk in the forest but in 2020 I'm looking to explore some of the mountain and west states a lot more. seems mountain lion encounters have risen pretty sharply in the last few years, but whether it's a puma or a bear, do you carry a knife, a gun, maybe a jersey with bright yellow eyes on your back? i guess the question is, to what lengths do you go to get to the point, mentally, where it's not even something you think about?

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11/28/2019 7:57 AM

Well considering a lady was killed and eaten by feral hogs in Chambers County this week, consider yourself on the menu now too

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11/28/2019 8:11 AM

Yeah that we pretty bizarre.

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11/28/2019 8:39 AM

At our local trails near Calgary we regularly have bear sightings on trail and this summer someone even spotted a cougar hanging out in a tree over a busy blue trail. Bear spray is a must and unusually have a knife with me, but I'm not sure how good it's going to do lol.

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11/28/2019 9:15 AM

Mountain lion sightings are fairly common in my area and I've had an encounter myself in the early morning. If I'm solo and it is early I have brought a big knife on my hip but for regular riding I don't really think about it. Just be aware of your surroundings and know what to do in an encounter to keep yourself safe. For the most part you can encounter a bear or mtn lion and be just fine if you act appropriately but if you're going deep into the bush solo I would most certainly bring bear spray and/or a hand gun.

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11/28/2019 10:16 AM

One of my favorite trails here in Colorado is called "nice kitty" because of all the big cats they saw while building the trail system. When I moved out and saw stuff like that I read up on what to do when you encounter different wildlife. I also carry a pretty big knife, but I really don't think I'll have to use it, I pray I never do.

For me once I read about how to react if you encounter a Mountain Lion or bear has helped a lot. Sounds like most problems can be easily averted if you just act right. I don't get too crazy with my rides though, usually 10-20 miles single day and I don't really leave main trails. If I were going farther or deeper or longer I'd defo look into a bear spray or even a small hand gun. I have heard a few stories of guns having to be used and being effective.

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11/28/2019 11:29 AM

I'm more worried about a homeless person leaving a shopping cart on a blind landing than I am about getting attacked by a wild animal.

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11/28/2019 12:25 PM

w4s wrote:

I'm more worried about a homeless person leaving a shopping cart on a blind landing than I am about getting attacked by a wild animal.

LOL

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11/28/2019 4:36 PM

Riding in Australia, I try and keep snakes out of my mind, but carry a bandage and a mobile phone.

The current thinking is: If you don’t move after being bitten, the venom doesn’t move and you have almost unlimited time to get to universal antivenin. The venom moves in the lymphatic system, not the blood.

The recommendation is “don’t even move enough to roll your pant leg up”.
If someone else is there, binding the limb in a firm bandage (over any clothing) further reduces the chance of the venom spreading.

We have something like 7 of the worlds 10 most deadly snakes in our patch of paradise.
Including the aggressive “Brown Snake” - those bad boys will chase you!!

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11/29/2019 6:02 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2019 6:03 AM

Having ridden "out West" for 20 years I probably have over 2,000 days on trail. I've encountered snake, large spiders, scorpions, (black) bear, badger (my favorite), aggressive deer/elk (seriously), coyote, wolf, moose and seen plenty of cat prints (but never one in person). The only wild animal that has ever attacked me was a really upset grouse (not joking), another bird that I could not identify, and a jogger who was clearly doing some sort of PED cycling.

In all seriousness this is a problem in the lower 48 (outside of griz territory) that is a fraction of what surfing in the ocean is, and you don't see surfers carrying harpoon guns "just in case".

I think the statistics suggest for every 10 rides on the front range of Colorado a mountain lion will see you once. That's frightening, being I have probably 1000 days of riding on the front range and have NEVER seen a cat, but that also goes to show how reclusive they really are.

If you live in Griz country, I could see packing bear spray and maybe a real gun depending on season. I did a 50 mile race in Big Sky that took us pretty far off the beaten path. I had nothing and did think "if I consistently rode here I'd pack".

Otherwise, don't waste your time (or money). The odds are in your favor. A homeless person, aggressive hiker, hippy on acid or similar is going to be a lot more your problem than any animal.

PS - all that said, does anyone remember this really old MTBR thread where a guy asked the exact same question? People were flaming the dude left and right and low and behold a mountian lion ended up KILLING A DEER IN HIS FRONT LAWN! It was pure internet gold.

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11/29/2019 7:33 AM

Riding in bear country, I honestly don't think bear spray is a good option... If it's that close, bear spray would likely just anger it.
I much prefer bear bangers. I keep a loaded pen launcher in an easy to reach pocket. Keep the eyes up and practice firing one, and that makes me feel a little safer

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11/29/2019 10:17 AM

I live in Colorado and grew up riding the front range where we get a bunch of coyotes, mountain lions, and bears. I do think about the predators getting me, I’ve been stalked by a mountain lion on Apex before, that thing got within ten feet of us before I saw it. It’s definitely scary but you can’t let something that scares you stop you from doing what you want. There’s always gonna be something scary to keep you from doing something, but if it’s what you love you need to do it regardless. I’ve never carried a gun or knife while riding. Especially because a mountain lion attack would come from behind most likely. They would grab your neck and try to break it, if I get jumped there’s probably not enough time to grab a gun and cock it, cause there’s no way I’m riding with a round in the chamber. For bears I just make a shit load of noise and hope they move out of the way, same for snakes. Coyotes tend to leave people alone. I also prefer to ride slightly more trafficked areas in the hope that the more people the better.

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11/29/2019 10:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/30/2019 3:00 PM

I’ll always remember that time in the Blue mountains of Oregon when I spontaneously decided to ride a unfamiliar forest service trail. Beautiful day on a beautiful trail and about 5 miles in, the forest opened up into a big clearing with sheep......and half way across the field I hear barking in the distance. And here comes this big ass white dog running right at me. I thought- “it will just bluff charge me“ but instead it goes after my pant leg and was viciously trying to bite me. I got off the bike and only putting it between him and me stopped him. It basically kept attacking me the next 150 yards of trail till I was near the woods again. Walking away I remember thinking: if I had a gun I would kill that dog. Then it occurred to me I was packing a can of gel BEAR mace !! I pulled it out........started walking back to the field like I was Dirty Harry. And here comes the dog again, and I sprayed that gel straight onto it’s snout and it was game over for that dog. That dog knew it was game over too, after letting out a few feeble barks it whimpered retreating, tripping over bushes as it went. I could have let it go right there but big doggo needed at least one baseball size rock to its rib cage and several screams of “You DONT F*CK With HUMANS!!”

FYI- That dog was lucky I didn’t go caveman on him. I could have took him out completely and threw his ass into the ravine and let the crows eat him.


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11/29/2019 11:06 AM

This year in Oregon we have recently had a female hiker killed by one and it was proven by medical examiners. Also one MTBer became victim to an attack in Washington also after he decided to run from it even though he was with another rider. You cannot predict when and where this will happen. Expert say if you are in the outdoors a lot hiking and biking most likely you have been seen by one and were not aware of it. On a night ride in Hood River Oregon a friend of mine and I were stocked by one, but it never engaged us and we had a fire arm with us.

I have spoken to a park ranger about this due to all the sighting and attacks and the fact they are getting bolder and coming into towns and neighborhoods more often. He informed me that this is happening because of the way they are hunted and the adults are being killed off to soon so they are not teaching their young how to hunt and be afraid of humans.

I try not to ride alone often but when I do I carry two knifes one on each side of my pack. I also purchased a Springfield arms XDS compact .45 holds six one chambered its small light and fits in my pack. I also before I ride I think through what I might do if a bear of a cougar approach me so I am in the mind set of what to do.

All animals have a certain time they hunt cougars mtn lions usually do it at dusk or dawn. Large cats like to grab their prey by the neck and use there back legs to dig in and if you think a small house cats claws are sharp. Most adult cats can drag up to 700lbs.

So always try and use your bike as a shield, try and look larger than life and never never run and fight back.

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11/29/2019 12:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2019 12:52 PM

My wife is always concerned about animal attacks so went to the local ranger station and posed this exact question. They said and I quote “it’s the two legged predators you really need to worry about” We smiled awkwardly....and left

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11/29/2019 2:36 PM

TPL Racing wrote:

My wife is always concerned about animal attacks so went to the local ranger station and posed this exact question. They said and I quote “it’s the two legged predators you really need to worry about” We smiled awkwardly....and left

And automobiles being driven by someone updating their Facebook status is going to kill more cyclists than all the wild animals combined.

That’s one reason we ride off road.

That, and the fun!!

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11/29/2019 3:01 PM

I think the biggest consideration with your question would be when you are riding. Along the front range of Denver, I'm reluctant to ride at night given that's when these predators are most active. You can make sounds like music, hoot and holler with friends, or by yourself, plus adding a cowbell to your bike. This can be a big deterrent, but is it really worth it? Dawn and dusk can also be risky especially in remote areas. But yeah, besides that, it's hakuna matata out on the trail for me given I'm typically riding during the day pretty near Denver.

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11/29/2019 3:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2019 3:17 PM

In case people don’t think the sheep dogs are really a problem, just google it and you’ll find many news stories like these:

https://www.vaildaily.com/news/mountain-bike-dog-attack-case-ends-with-1-million-settlement/
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www.denverpost.com/2014/08/24/guard-dogs-continue-to-frighten-hikers-on-high-mountain-trails/amp/

They are way more likely to attack you than a cougar - cause they are trained to attack. The dog that came after me was a Cujo like monster dog.

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11/29/2019 4:37 PM

To be honest predator animals are very opportunistic feeders when we come by on our bikes quickly we are a large target because body size and bike that’s what they see, but runners especially females are at greater risk of the sniper cat’s the 1st person comes by the second one gets it, rattlesnakes & bikes the 3rd one gets it. I almost always ride alone but I’m always quite prepared bring it on kitty!

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11/30/2019 6:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/30/2019 6:42 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Having ridden "out West" for 20 years I probably have over 2,000 days on trail. I've encountered snake, large spiders, scorpions, (black) bear, badger (my favorite), aggressive deer/elk (seriously), coyote, wolf, moose and seen plenty of cat prints (but never one in person). The only wild animal that has ever attacked me was a really upset grouse (not joking), another bird that I could not identify, and a jogger who was clearly doing some sort of PED cycling.

In all seriousness this is a problem in the lower 48 (outside of griz territory) that is a fraction of what surfing in the ocean is, and you don't see surfers carrying harpoon guns "just in case".

I think the statistics suggest for every 10 rides on the front range of Colorado a mountain lion will see you once. That's frightening, being I have probably 1000 days of riding on the front range and have NEVER seen a cat, but that also goes to show how reclusive they really are.

If you live in Griz country, I could see packing bear spray and maybe a real gun depending on season. I did a 50 mile race in Big Sky that took us pretty far off the beaten path. I had nothing and did think "if I consistently rode here I'd pack".

Otherwise, don't waste your time (or money). The odds are in your favor. A homeless person, aggressive hiker, hippy on acid or similar is going to be a lot more your problem than any animal.

PS - all that said, does anyone remember this really old MTBR thread where a guy asked the exact same question? People were flaming the dude left and right and low and behold a mountian lion ended up KILLING A DEER IN HIS FRONT LAWN! It was pure internet gold.

Couldnt agree more! Living in northern cali i ride alone frequently and sometimes deep in the woods. I have seen every type of predator (including bobcats) except for a mountain lion. I have accepted the fact that if a lion did happen to take its chances and attack me then i most likely will have not seen it beforehand and have zero chance of getting a weapon out in time to combat it. Best bet is to just use your bike to separate yourself at that point. Carrying knives or a gun around here would just show you are uneducated as every other type of predator is incredibly skiddish when encountering humans.

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11/30/2019 8:03 AM

g0shj0sh10 wrote:

Couldnt agree more! Living in northern cali i ride alone frequently and sometimes deep in the woods. I have seen every type of predator (including bobcats) except for a mountain lion. I have accepted the fact that if a lion did happen to take its chances and attack me then i most likely will have not seen it beforehand and have zero chance of getting a weapon out in time to combat it. Best bet is to just use your bike to separate yourself at that point. Carrying knives or a gun around here would just show you are uneducated as every other type of predator is incredibly skiddish when encountering humans.

Good points through and through.

I think a more useful thing to bring into this thread would be: "I encountered __________, what do I do now?"

I know for a mountain lion you are best to use your bike to look big, make noises, yell, scream etc. The same seemed to work on my badger encounter (lol).

I did forget, I actually ran across two mountain lions many years ago...but they were cubs! That was a terrifying one. Never saw mom.

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11/30/2019 2:32 PM

On this topic humans concern much more than the animals in hand to hand with animal I will win I’m very confident of that it’s humans that are my biggest concern when riding alone a big cat can’t pick up a rock and beat me with we humans are the worst!

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12/1/2019 7:29 AM

And speaking to one of the California state park rangers about shooting a bear for defense in case it attacks, you gotta have a compelling and convincing reason why the bear is dead and not you. If you're the dead one, it's a win-win for the bear.

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12/1/2019 9:02 AM

T-Dawg wrote:

I’ll always remember that time in the Blue mountains of Oregon when I spontaneously decided to ride a unfamiliar forest service trail. Beautiful day on a beautiful trail and about 5 miles in, the forest opened up into a big clearing with sheep......and half way across the field I hear barking in the distance. And here comes this big ass white dog running right at me. I thought- “it will just bluff charge me“ but instead it goes after my pant leg and was viciously trying to bite me. I got off the bike and only putting it between him and me stopped him. It basically kept attacking me the next 150 yards of trail till I was near the woods again. Walking away I remember thinking: if I had a gun I would kill that dog. Then it occurred to me I was packing a can of gel BEAR mace !! I pulled it out........started walking back to the field like I was Dirty Harry. And here comes the dog again, and I sprayed that gel straight onto it’s snout and it was game over for that dog. That dog knew it was game over too, after letting out a few feeble barks it whimpered retreating, tripping over bushes as it went. I could have let it go right there but big doggo needed at least one baseball size rock to its rib cage and several screams of “You DONT F*CK With HUMANS!!”

FYI- That dog was lucky I didn’t go caveman on him. I could have took him out completely and threw his ass into the ravine and let the crows eat him.


You are absolutely awful.

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12/1/2019 11:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/1/2019 11:42 AM

T-Dawg wrote:

I’ll always remember that time in the Blue mountains of Oregon when I spontaneously decided to ride a unfamiliar forest service trail. Beautiful day on a beautiful trail and about 5 miles in, the forest opened up into a big clearing with sheep......and half way across the field I hear barking in the distance. And here comes this big ass white dog running right at me. I thought- “it will just bluff charge me“ but instead it goes after my pant leg and was viciously trying to bite me. I got off the bike and only putting it between him and me stopped him. It basically kept attacking me the next 150 yards of trail till I was near the woods again. Walking away I remember thinking: if I had a gun I would kill that dog. Then it occurred to me I was packing a can of gel BEAR mace !! I pulled it out........started walking back to the field like I was Dirty Harry. And here comes the dog again, and I sprayed that gel straight onto it’s snout and it was game over for that dog. That dog knew it was game over too, after letting out a few feeble barks it whimpered retreating, tripping over bushes as it went. I could have let it go right there but big doggo needed at least one baseball size rock to its rib cage and several screams of “You DONT F*CK With HUMANS!!”

FYI- That dog was lucky I didn’t go caveman on him. I could have took him out completely and threw his ass into the ravine and let the crows eat him.


Mike_Scubadog wrote:

You are absolutely awful.



Lol-
This is RJ......he’s scared to ride his mountain bike in the woods cuz he thinks a cougar might get him.....HTFU!!

This is Mike.......he’s upset that I maced a vicious dog on a trail and threw a rock at him .....HTFU !!
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12/2/2019 4:07 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/2/2019 4:09 PM

Yeah, holy crap:



I never ride alone out in the wilderness. Closer to town, no problem. (I hope.)
I hear you are supposed to lift your bike over your head to look larger and more imposing when faced with wildlife. Never run.
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12/3/2019 12:54 AM

T-Dawg wrote:

I’ll always remember that time in the Blue mountains of Oregon when I spontaneously decided to ride a unfamiliar forest service trail. Beautiful day on a beautiful trail and about 5 miles in, the forest opened up into a big clearing with sheep......and half way across the field I hear barking in the distance. And here comes this big ass white dog running right at me. I thought- “it will just bluff charge me“ but instead it goes after my pant leg and was viciously trying to bite me. I got off the bike and only putting it between him and me stopped him. It basically kept attacking me the next 150 yards of trail till I was near the woods again. Walking away I remember thinking: if I had a gun I would kill that dog. Then it occurred to me I was packing a can of gel BEAR mace !! I pulled it out........started walking back to the field like I was Dirty Harry. And here comes the dog again, and I sprayed that gel straight onto it’s snout and it was game over for that dog. That dog knew it was game over too, after letting out a few feeble barks it whimpered retreating, tripping over bushes as it went. I could have let it go right there but big doggo needed at least one baseball size rock to its rib cage and several screams of “You DONT F*CK With HUMANS!!”

FYI- That dog was lucky I didn’t go caveman on him. I could have took him out completely and threw his ass into the ravine and let the crows eat him.


Mike_Scubadog wrote:

You are absolutely awful.

T-Dawg wrote:



Lol-
This is RJ......he’s scared to ride his mountain bike in the woods cuz he thinks a cougar might get him.....HTFU!!

This is Mike.......he’s upset that I maced a vicious dog on a trail and threw a rock at him .....HTFU !!

This is t-dork...... I feel really insecure about myself as a person so I smash up and scream at animals that I have already incapacitated. It makes me feel big and strong.

Dude, mace it yeah you were protecting yourself but smashing an animal with rocks who now poses no threat makes you look like a tiny tiny man.

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12/3/2019 2:22 PM

Mike_Scubadog wrote:

This is t-dork...... I feel really insecure about myself as a person so I smash up and scream at animals that I have already incapacitated. It makes me feel big and strong.

Dude, mace it yeah you were protecting yourself but smashing an animal with rocks who now poses no threat makes you look like a tiny tiny man.

Mike - that’s cuz your a cream puff.......do you know how fast the Fish and Wildlife would euthanize any other animal that did that? What if the person that came down that trail was your grandma -and not me? That sheep dog needed a lesson called RECOGNIZE - you don’t fuck with humans. Case closed - go back to the PETA website and you can cry about it there.

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12/3/2019 2:51 PM

T-Dawg wrote:



Lol-
This is RJ......he’s scared to ride his mountain bike in the woods cuz he thinks a cougar might get him.....HTFU!!

This is Mike.......he’s upset that I maced a vicious dog on a trail and threw a rock at him .....HTFU !!

Mike_Scubadog wrote:

This is t-dork...... I feel really insecure about myself as a person so I smash up and scream at animals that I have already incapacitated. It makes me feel big and strong.

Dude, mace it yeah you were protecting yourself but smashing an animal with rocks who now poses no threat makes you look like a tiny tiny man.

T-Dawg wrote:

Mike - that’s cuz your a cream puff.......do you know how fast the Fish and Wildlife would euthanize any other animal that did that? What if the person that came down that trail was your grandma -and not me? That sheep dog needed a lesson called RECOGNIZE - you don’t fuck with humans. Case closed - go back to the PETA website and you can cry about it there.

T-Dawg allow me to apologize for the others. Had they known they were talking to a bonafide dyed-in-the-wool badass (and let's be honest, there ain't many) they would never have dared to provoke you with something so offensive as compassion for animals.

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12/3/2019 4:12 PM

T-Dawg wrote:



Lol-
This is RJ......he’s scared to ride his mountain bike in the woods cuz he thinks a cougar might get him.....HTFU!!

This is Mike.......he’s upset that I maced a vicious dog on a trail and threw a rock at him .....HTFU !!

Mike_Scubadog wrote:

This is t-dork...... I feel really insecure about myself as a person so I smash up and scream at animals that I have already incapacitated. It makes me feel big and strong.

Dude, mace it yeah you were protecting yourself but smashing an animal with rocks who now poses no threat makes you look like a tiny tiny man.

T-Dawg wrote:

Mike - that’s cuz your a cream puff.......do you know how fast the Fish and Wildlife would euthanize any other animal that did that? What if the person that came down that trail was your grandma -and not me? That sheep dog needed a lesson called RECOGNIZE - you don’t fuck with humans. Case closed - go back to the PETA website and you can cry about it there.

First of all, it you're not your. Also it's recognise not not recognize. Because not cuz. What's because I'm a cream puff? I can barely understand your monster energy fueled bro screaming, you think a dog would be able to?
To be honest with you I doubt this even happened, it seems like macho posturing by an insecure little boy.
RECOGNIZE

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