The outdoors always offers a sufficient ambiance to unwind. Whether taking a break from work or riding as part of a team activity, bike riding is a thrilling experience. However, this comes with its challenges. From rough terrains to meeting a few animals on your trails, take care when bike riding.
A riding trail will have animals, birds, and even bugs, given the outdoors is their natural habitat. While most of the animals you encounter are harmless, it’s not unusual for some to attack during the ride. In defense or from mere agitation, a few animals can cause injury through bites, pecks, and stings. As you prepare for your next biking adventure, below is a list of a few animals you’ll likely encounter and how to avoid them.
Spiders hardly bite unless provoked. Most spider bites are non-venomous and will only cause swelling, redness, and pain. Spiders are everywhere and almost all year round, meaning you’ll likely encounter them during biking. Even though most of them will let you pass without incident, caution against spiders is key to a safe riding experience.
To avoid spiders, look for signs of their presence, the spider webs. These will be visible in your trail, especially when no one else has passed down your trail. If you come across these spider webs, check your bike frequently. Another precautionary measure is to carry an air blower, which can effectively remove these spider webs and stray insects from your bike without you coming into contact with them.
Sometimes, spotting a spider web when cycling at top speeds is hard. Therefore, knowing the type of webs you could encounter on your bike trail is essential. These range from wooly, sheet and funnel-shaped, orb-shaped, and tangled webs.
The spider webs are designed to trap bugs, thus making them sticky, transparent, and spread out to cover a large surface area. It’ll give you a rough time maneuvering and swerving to avoid a face full of the web while trying to enjoy the exhilarating feeling of a bike ride.
It’s also fascinating to know that you could avoid a lot of spider web encounters. According to research, spiders are most active during the early autumn season. You might want to avoid riding during the ‘spider’ season. Also, ride on well-traveled trails to minimize the chances of encountering spider webs.
You’ll likely encounter a spider web while riding on trails. Therefore, stay at the back if you’re riding with a large group. Don’t forget to wipe your face as you ride, and repeat this process to stay safe from stumbling over due to temporary blindness from a face full of spider webs.
Snakes are among the few animals to avoid on bike trails. Coming across a snake on a trail during your bike ride can be frightening. It’s important to know that biking trails could be ideal places for snakes. You’re likely to come across them in the mornings as they rely on the surroundings for thermoregulation.
Not all snakes are venomous, but although not fatal, a snake bite will likely ruin your bike ride. To be safe, hire an injury attorney to protect you and your bike, just in case. If they’re not cyclists, it might be hard for an injury attorney to understand your encounter with a snake during a bike ride. A good injury attorney is one who ‘speaks bike” and enjoys an occasional bike ride from time to time.
Your injury attorney should understand that some accidents could result from coming across snakes during an enjoyable bike ride. How about considering an attorney who could fight insurance companies and ensure you’re treated fairly and brought back to your original state after suffering poisonous snake bites, collisions, road crashes, clotheslining on poorly marked barriers, and hitting a porthole while trying to dodge a snake on the path.
Your injury attorney could get you back to riding in no time since an encounter with a snake is an unforeseen event, whether you were repairing your bike or replacing your bike’s frame when the incident happened. Replacing carbon parts could be expensive. If your bike is brought down while trying to swerve past a snake on your trail, who better to assist than a competent injury attorney who has dealt with such cases before? Pick a good attorney to get you back to cycling as soon as possible, who can get you the compensation you deserve. Furthermore, injury attorneys should be able to help you avoid co-pays and out-of-pocket payments as you recover.
3. Wild Dogs
Dogs are the most common animals to encounter on bike trails and roads as you cycle. Paying close attention to your surroundings helps avoid accidents. Puppy classes are essential in understanding the behavior of dogs. Most stray dogs hardly walk alone; the mother or the father could be nearby, and they’re highly protective of their young ones.
Be careful while riding past some wild dogs to avoid painful bites and wild chases from older dogs. Some accidents, such as collisions with other riders and with motorists in some cases, could be fatal. Having your wits up to avoid stray dogs that suddenly appear across your path could save your life.
There are tactics taught in puppy classes, which, if you apply them, could ensure total safety for you and your bike. Stay alert, be as quiet as possible, avoid attracting unnecessary attention, and pray they won’t catch your scent, hear, or see you. If they spot you, accelerate to break their line of sight and avoid danger.
4. Mountain Lions
You’re advised to avoid a few animals on bike trails; few are as ferocious as mountain lions. Stay alert as you bike to avoid or survive close encounters with these creatures. One of the things you don’t want to do as you ride is to vape. Suppose you’ve been vaping and suddenly encounter a mountain lion. In that case, you may not be able to act quickly and expeditiously since vaping can cloud your judgment. It’ll take much effort to notice signs such as scratch piles and claw marks, clear signs of the presence of a mountain lion not too far from the bike trails. You’ll need a clear, sober mind to avoid these cats or survive encounters with them on your bike trail.
Vaping dulls your senses and decreases your reaction time. Thus, a close encounter with a mountain lion while riding your bike will likely not end well. When you spot one, change your route. Alternatively, give the mountain lion a wide berth and cycle away from it quickly.
Wolves can chase down moving objects along a trail, from cyclists to hikers and joggers. A few animals rarely chase people, but wolves are among the few that do, and you need to be vigilant and careful upon encountering them. Their bites are ferocious and could be fatal. Keep your distance if you spot a wolf, and pray that today is one of those days it’s not in the mood for games.
A bear spray is useful for repelling bear attacks but could also be a lifesaver should you encounter wolves on your bike trail. In case of injuries, seek treatment from a medical clinic as fast as possible. The insurance and the medical billing can follow later.
Even though a moose is not a predator, it’s one of a few animals to avoid on bike trails as you ride in the countryside. They’re overprotective over their territories and could easily lead to one’s funeral. They rage when startled, especially when their young ones are nearby. Although the sight of a moose charging is usually a warning sign to keep your distance, taking precautions is still important. In the unfortunate event, an enraged moose knocks you down from your bike, curl up in a ball, and protect your head and chest from its stomping. Steering away is also good to avoid close encounters.
A few animals are to be avoided on bike tails, wasps more so. You can call them excavators due to their digging behaviors. Their sting is painful, and when provoked, they’re very aggressive. Have an antihistamine cream with you to control the swelling.
In case of difficulty breathing, get help immediately. It could be a sign of an allergy. The best advice is to stop when confronted by such insects to avoid accidents. Avoid poking or destroying their homes, as these ferocious excavators could cause a retaliatory reaction.
The next animal to add to the list of a few animals to avoid on bike trails is the coyote. They mostly keep to themselves, but if attacked by one, the poor animal’s interest in the raucous is to defend its territory. If a coyote bites you, look for an animal clinic immediately after the attack. The correct range of rabies boosters could forestall further complications from a coyote bite.
While it’s advisable not to cycle with a pet because coyotes tend to chase them down, if your pet is attacked and bitten by a coyote take it to the nearest animal clinic where it’ll be placed in solitary confinement. Upon admission, the right rabies vaccine should be administered to the pet. Upon encountering a coyote, use your air horn or whistle to make noise and appear authoritative. Don’t turn your back to the coyote or run away if you descend from your bicycle. Waving, clapping with your hands, and banging on surfaces to make noise should be enough to ward off the coyote.
If this were a short list, bears would make it to the top of a few animals to avoid on bike trails. Although bear chases are rare, an encounter with one could be fatal. Startling bears could cause several bear attacks as you ride past them. Fully equipped first responder bags are vital in an attack, but only if you survive it.
If you’re riding through bear territory, make noises rather than ride in silence. This action tells the bear that you’re moving past; thus, they’ll get out of the way or move to a different location. Conversing loudly with your team if you’re riding in a group is a good idea.
Your first responder’s bag should be stashed with a full bear spray, a vital accessory that could be the difference between a fatal bear encounter and escaping with your life. Ensure your bear safety kit is within easy reach. You could attach it to your belt or holster for easy access. The sprays are effective because they eject in a spray rather than a stream. With a coverage of up to 30 meters, you’re assured of safety at a distance. Compare this with pepper spray, which is only helpful in close encounters.
We’ve looked at a few animals that can knock you off your bike. The mosquito is a different creature altogether. They may not knock you off your bike, but they bite. Although they don’t immediately pose much of a threat to cyclists, they’re carriers of viruses and diseases.
Continued exposure to mosquito bites could cause diseases ranging from malaria and dengue fever to Rift Valley fever. These diseases could be fatal if you don’t seek immediate medical attention. Mosquitoes are easy to come by since solid pollutants from a medical waste company make good breeding grounds for them, where they lay and hatch their eggs.
Always carry a good mosquito repellant such as picaridin. As a precaution, wear loose-fitting clothes with a long-sleeved top and keep your legs covered. Medical checkup is also advised to avoid potentially serious medical complications. In case of infection, get medical attention as soon as possible.
These are just a few animals and pesky insects you should know as you bike on those trails. Some are dangerous when startled, and most encounters are costly to treat. Be alert and quick to react when you encounter them. Cycling during the day is advised as it lessens your chances of coming into contact with dangerous animals. So ensure your excursion is over by the time dusk falls.
Prevention is always better than having to seek a cure. Sometimes, taking control of your spirit of adventure is best, as having the zeal for adventure comes with uncertainties one may not foresee or plan for. If the worst happens, and you get injured by any of these, or as a result of trying to evade them, an injury attorney will get you the compensation you deserve, both for you and your bike.