I saw a deer in the city on Friday, what's the most unexpected thing you've seen on your commute?

by Tony Farrelly   May 8, 2012  

Riding home from work on Friday I met a young roe deer walking along the road in front of me - this was about a mile from the centre of Bath on a relataively busy suburban street. I've seen plenty of deer before out riding my bike, but never in the city - it was a special sight to see and It made me wonder what's the strangest, most out of the ordinary thing you've seen riding to and from work?

(the deer was okay btw, it legged it in to a large garden just as the people in the car behind me got their phones out to take pictures)

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This snake crossed my path on the towpath near Aldershot last Friday.

OK, it's a slowworm but they can dislocate their jaws you know!

snake 007 cropped.jpg

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
10th May 2012 - 10:24

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I saw a BMW driver using the indicators once. Liar Badoom tish!

Many years ago back in my London days I was riding back at night through a quiet road in Highgate and encountered the road completely covered in randy frogs en-route to the ponds of Hampstead presumably. I stopped and tried to shepherd and transport as many of the amphibians across as I could between passing Range Rovers but eventually had to give up and head home. Rode past the next day and it was not a pretty sight. Sick

Hopefully this has given me a small stock of karma because unfortunately I have had a grouse and a pigeon meet an untimely demise in my front wheel. And a vole.

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posted by joemmo [779 posts]
10th May 2012 - 22:00

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Saw a dead badger recently, which is a bit unusual.

posted by Alan Tullett [1432 posts]
10th May 2012 - 22:05

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Due to living and working in a built up area i dont get to see much wildlife whilst commuting but we do get a boat load of Foxes running about the streets.

Best i've seen, outside the nick was a tom cat with a large fox either side of it - the cat was not happy !!! it possibly got to close to the foxes den and pups Thinking

At work though seen a load of deer and a badger in the nearby park during the night.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2674 posts]
11th May 2012 - 7:48

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no ones mentioned squirrels yet, they're probably my most common near miss, they seem to panic and run alongside my bike, had to bunny hop one recently. Not very odd I know, especially in London. Have had races with various small birds though, they top out at about 25 ish =)

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

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posted by zzgavin [205 posts]
11th May 2012 - 9:39

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To add to the commute dramas.
There I was tumping down the hill from the A370 Long Ashton by-pass (Bristol) when suddenly from out of the hedgerows comes a pidgeon at high speed and as straight as an arrow for me. Due to the proximity of this suicidal bird there was nowt I could do - as I hear the sound in my head, BRACE, BRACE, which I did.
Thud was the horrible noise from the impact, lucky for me (not the bird) it hit me square on the stem/handlebar junction and just exploded. There was feathers everywhere and bodily bits and fluids abound - Sick I was covered. I pulled in where a car stopped to see if I was OK (I think) as he was laughing like hell and said he had never seen anything like it, just a huge, feathery explosion in front of him when I was engulfed by bird.
I was in hell of a state and looked a picture when I got to work - my colleagues thought I had been beaten up until the still stuck feathers in my helmet gave the game away. I did have some 'strange' looks from others whilst navigating my way through the city.

There is something 'eery' though - I dread to this day what could have happened if it had been a few inches higher.... I go cold at this point.

Regards

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

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posted by trikeman [348 posts]
18th May 2012 - 13:35

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Once again on the towpath in Aldershot on Tuesday I witnessed a male swan attack a man and woman in a canoe 3 times as they passed his mate and 5 cygnets on the opposite bank. I've been bitten on the thigh by a dog but, if anything, this looked more frightening because of the persistence and other-wordliness of the attacker. I don't think much damage was done. The swan basically flew at the man's back (he was in the rear position) with much wing-flapping and squaking - 3 times. Still, I don't expect man will get much of a response to his next 'I've got an idea. It's a nice day...why don't we...'

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
24th May 2012 - 14:28

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I was cycling back from the gym a few months ago when I saw a purpley piece of paper on the floor. I wouldn't even usually have come on that particular route except for the fact I didn't need to call at the supermarket on the way home.

"Is that a 20 quid note I thought? Can't be. Must be just a leaflet" - it was near old street where there is a lot of flyers on the floor."

at the risk of looking stupid, i got off the bike and picked it up. as i unfolded it, i realised it was an extremely scrumpled up new £20 note.

well worth the stop and the risk of looking like an idiot. first time in 10 years i've ever found any money on the floor whilst cycling in London.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
26th May 2012 - 17:46

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Was riding through moorland and then woodland (via the road) on Saturday and nearly ran over what I think was a snake. It was about a foot long and brown. I would of went back and had a proper look but I was struggling to get up a 20% gradient at the time and just managed to swerve out the way before running over it.

1st time I have seen a snake Nerd and think it might have been a Grass snake.

posted by Marauder [237 posts]
28th May 2012 - 9:11

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I saw my own soul leaving my body during the last 10 miles yesterday...

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
28th May 2012 - 21:03

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Wild boar, while riding around the cotswolds early one sunday morning, it was in the road, but turned and moved into a wooded area next to the road before I reached it.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
30th May 2012 - 7:05

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Found a frozen chicken in the road once; prepped and packaged up on a country lane, 4am in the morning. But best was I had a large moth heading towards my helmet light; big enough that I thought it would hurt if it hit me in the face. Suddenly a bat came from nowhere and took it; result! Made my day!

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
30th May 2012 - 8:57

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I used to cycle round chicken farms to lock them up at night and often found bats would perform flypasts and generally fly alongside me. They weren't particularly careful though: I twice headbutted one, although I'm not sure the extent of the injuries I caused it...

posted by samg123 [16 posts]
30th May 2012 - 12:02

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I saw a llama, a labour MP and Bradley Wiggins - all last week - it was like a david lynch movie. Crying

posted by viveLaPants [88 posts]
2nd June 2012 - 19:20

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I once had a pheasant fly out from the hedgerow and bounce off my helmet.
...and also had a small bird (finch, I think) fly thru my front wheel as I cycled along a country lane...I guess having low spoke count helped...still don't know how it didn't get hit/caught...was doing >20kph at the time...(me not the bird...)

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FREEEEEEEEDOM!

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posted by The _Kaner [375 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 9:05

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Rolling On The Floor **2 year old thread revival** Rolling On The Floor

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

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posted by The _Kaner [375 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 9:24

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In no particular order I've spotted squirrels, rabbits, hares, foxes. Also encountered badgers which are much bigger in than I expected, it was the claws I heard before I saw it. I was followed by a bat briefly on one night time commute judging by the shape I saw, not an owl shape object above me, could it have been the LED pulses it was 'hearing'?

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posted by Redvee [61 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 10:10

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dogging, probably.

On my ride home last night, it was gratifying to see that the concept of 'hedge pornography' still exists in this digital age

posted by andyp [804 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 10:55

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Muntjac deer by Cabot Circus in Bristol, at 07.15 on a wednesday.

posted by brooksby [85 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 11:01

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Not on a commute, but when I did the Dunwich Dynamo last year I was cycling through some godforsaken village at 3 in the morning and saw a guy out wearing nothing but speedos and swimming goggles walking his dogs!

posted by Dunluce [59 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 16:45

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viveLaPants wrote:
I saw a llama, a labour MP and Bradley Wiggins - all last week - it was like a david lynch movie. Crying
I like it! Let's put some fun back into this forum!
Banish dreary disputation about drivers and their bad habits!

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posted by harman_mogul [115 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 17:25

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Saw another commuting cyclist once...
Seriously though, some of these are leaving me in stitches

posted by argotittilius [22 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 18:09

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Most unexpected thing?

A dog, on a lead!

posted by marcswales [3 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 19:55

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Most surprising thing I saw was one morning an Owl disembowelling a rat on a gravestone (I used to commute through a cemetery). The owl was then attacked by two crows and I stopped to watch the ensuing aerial fight as bits of rat flew about the place, the Owl eventually got away with its breakfast.

posted by gmac101 [25 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 20:14

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Not quite on my commute (stupid home office!!!) but local enough to me all the same: dim-witted low-flying buzzards who like to cross roads at car-windscreen height or cyclist-head height. Not fun in situations where the close proximity of the cyclist's head to the windscreen of a car was a worry even before the sudden and unforseen arrival of the buzzard.

There are also lots of dim-witted bunny rabbits who live on the unloved and waste ground and in the fields around the local sewage works, the city compost heap and the municipal incinerator. That's a fairly deserted area at night, and the rabbits haven't learned yet that they have a shiny new five-star cycleway traversing their salubrious accomodation. I've had two of them hop onto it from one direction right at the precise moment when another one had just decided to cross - also right in front of my nost - from the other side.

I've yet to run into wild boar, although it may be just a matter of time before a herd of them run into me: I have run into the man who shoots them, and he says that there are a lot of them about and that they keep him busy (when he's not - sigh!!! - tending to stricken mountain bikers again.)

So far my encounters have mainly been with deer, hares, rabbits, hedgehogs, foxes, and toads. And men with chainsaws, and Nordic walkers (or, at the right time of year, actual Nordic skiers), and the usual doggy-horsey people and biker gangs on beer tours. At night, I sometimes also meet the kindhearted people who help toads across the road (toads attempting to cross have to hop along a fence until they fall into a bucket, and them twice a day somebody comes and carries the bucket across the road.)

Malevolent inanimate objects: mainly apples. I don't like suddenly hitting a large, hard apple (or being hit by a falling one) when cornering downhill at dusk. But sometimes also falling rocks.

The animal encounters that stick in my mind the most are the point-blank ones with deer in a hurry. Especially the deer who sprang into my path and then - with it's next leap - into the canal, which was fairly wide at that point and had very big chunks of ice floating around in it. I mentioned it to somebody afterwards; she segued off into a tale of woe that involved finding an unconscious cyclist who had been taken out by a deer in the same place. The person who came upon the deer victim didn't have her own mobile to hand, so she started scrabbling around for the victim's to call for help. Upon which the victim suddenly came back to life and discovered herself alone in a lonely spot with a potentially violent stranger who has busy stealing her phone...

posted by bambergbike [84 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 20:27

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Saw a big fat wild rabbit (not a hare) in central Manchester a couple of months ago. It was just hopping along the pavement at about 7am. Odd.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1026 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 21:51

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Most morning suicidal rabbits, bats and the odd Roe deer. A duck that last year took to sitting down in the middle of the cycle path but the scariest has to be a huge badger that would charge at me in the dark. All of this takes place between Bath and the old Warmley station on the cycle path.

posted by BigAl68 [30 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 22:14

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Bus windscreen spontaneously shattered into a million bits in front of me. Country road, no one else around, just an older double decker bus coming towards me. With no more than 50m between us the windscreen disintegrated, and the bus came to a halt just past me. Glass everywhere.

I did see not one but two deer today, sadly killed by the de facto rural motorway that is the A40.

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posted by PJ McNally [580 posts]
4th May 2014 - 22:27

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Quote:
Saw a dead badger recently, which is a bit unusual.

I saw a live badger 9 weeks ago. Just a split second as it shot out of some undergrowth and took my front wheel out. Result = fractured pelvis. Think the badger was ok..

D Oh

posted by bikerdavecycling [71 posts]
5th May 2014 - 21:55

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Whilst out Sunday I saw; a dead sheep (bad lambing prob) a dead brock at side of road (bad driver prob) and loads of red faced sweaty cyclists.

Dead Ewe.JPG Dead Mr. Brock.JPG
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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [572 posts]
6th May 2014 - 8:49

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