Nonstandard Hazards

We’re well versed in the potential hazards of road and city cycling. We’re prepared to deal with flats, slipped chains, heavy traffic, riding in the dark,  car doors flung open in our path, sudden weather changes, rough pavement, oblivious pedestrians, right hooks, left hooks. We make up our minds about wearing, or not wearing helmets.  That’s all standard stuff that we learn to handle.

I’ve run into some nonstandard hazards in the past few years.

Here’s a few and how I have handled them.:

1. Flying downhill only to have a rogue squirrel dart into my path, forcing me to brake hard and swear;

2. Bees flying into my helmet vent and tangling in my hair. This has happened x2 so far this spring. I dealt with it by stopping abruptly, snatching off my helmet and running my fingers through my hair until the bee flew away. Luckily both times the bee was more interested in freedom than in stinging me. Time to start wearing a cap under the helmet,  I think;

3. Catching the hem of a wool jacket on my saddle and almost toppling over. I try to remember not to wear that jacket. If I do, I unbutton the 2 lower buttons;

4. A car driver turning the wrong way onto a one way street, on a collision course with me;

5. Near-dooring incidents from the left while in a bike lane. I keep a sharp eye out for disembarking passengers.  Bike lanes is they do increase awareness of cyclists but not enough. You have to stay very alert when using them.

Last year, a friend told us of riding along at a goodly speed on a busy road and finding his immediate choices were a) hit a bloated groundhog carcass, or b) hit a car. You know how that one ended. Oh, horrible!  What have you encountered in the way of nonstandard hazards?



3 thoughts on “Nonstandard Hazards

  1. Ha, definately gross when the carcass is your best route. A near miss of strategically placed dog business on a trail finally convinced me of how crucial fenders were. Not all splashes are created equal.

  2. I’m twitching at the carcass and dog business collisions.

    I get a lot of kamikaze rabbits and groundhogs (live, semi-thankfully) on my commute, but the worst hazards are the deer. I’ve lost count of how many have bounded out of the darkness on the edges of the W&OD causing me to shriek and skid.

  3. @melaniesuzanne A bike-deer collision would be bad and shrieking while braking is the right response! @ bicyclebug you’ve given me a new reason to cherish my fenders.

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