If you think bird strikes are only a problem for planes, spare a thought for six Spanish cyclists who were injured when a vulture flew into their riding group, putting one of them in hospital.
The riders from the Club Ciclista Mirandés were off the front of a ride in Spain’s Burgos province when they rounded a corner and encountered the bird.
“The vulture was flying very low along the center of the road, and was coming straight at those at the head of the group.”
“Some of the group smacked into the wings, others against the bird’s body and other into the cyclists behind them,” one of the riders, Javier Sagarribay, told El Correo.
The bird was “trying to take flight and we couldn’t see it because the curve was so tight,” said Sagarribay.
“We weren’t going that fast, but there was no time to hit the brakes,” he added.
When other riders arrived they found riders and feathers everywhere.
“There were even feathers embedded in the bicycles and scattered on the floor,” a spokesperson for the group said.
They called the emergency services and attempted to locate the vulture, but it had fled the scene and was not seen again.
Most of the group had minor injuries, but one rider, Mario Sánchez, sustained seven broken ribs, a fractured shoulder blade and collar bone and a punctured lung. He was rushed to hospital in Miranda de Ebro but is reported to be out of danger.
Close encounters and collisions between wildlife and cyclists are not unusual in some parts of the world. In North America alarming encounters with bears happen now and then and if you're going to venture into the woods you need to look out for deer. Or a buck.
Thanks to Adrian Korte www.artikelwissen.info for the vulture pic.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.