Animal/cyclist interactions

A quickie about an animal interaction I had years ago while riding my bicycle. I remembered this little incident after reading about another unfortunate racoon-related crash.

American Striped SkunkI still can’t believe this happened to me…

When I was 16 I worked at Kmart in Roseburg, Oregon, on evenings/weekends. On one particular summer evening I was riding my bike home at twilight (no headlights) along a bike path through Stewart Park. A skunk came out of the bushes and tried to cross the path from left to right. I hit my brakes and shouted, “HEY!” It stopped in the middle of the path, juked left, and then kept going right across my path going between my wheels. I thought for sure I was going to hit it but miraculously I didn’t go down. I had to stop to catch my breath and let my heart rate come down before continuing home.

Was I going to fast in low light conditions? Yes.

Did the skunk really go between the wheels? Yes, it did.

I wasn’t going more than about 8-10 MPH by the time he did, since I was hard on the brakes and trying not to fall over. There is no way it could have gone from one side of my bike to the other like it did without going between my wheels. 

At least the skunk didn't try to do a victory dance on my head. And it wasn't a bear. Or a Red Hartebees (AKA antelope).

Anybody else with a fun animal/cycling interaction to share?

Keep the rubber side down, folks!