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Discussion Starter #1
Just a friendly reminder to new riders and long-time riders alike. Keep those eyes scanning the roads and roadsides ahead of you.

I live in a rural area - southeast Iowa.

Yesterday on the way home from work (in broad daylight on the 4 lane at 65 mph) I got relaxed and wasn't scanning. 2 deer came up in front of me and I breaked VERY hard (was right on the line of locking them up as I heard the rear tire squeal on/off three times). The second deer was right in front of me - maybe 2 feet - I could have slapped it on the rear as I went by it.

1. Had I been going even a tick faster than I was I would have creamed it
2. Had I been scanning the terrain I would have seen them running through the field and had MUCH more time to slow down. There is no doubt in my mind they were running through the field to the road as they were full speed when they came out of the ditch.

That is my first deer encounter on a bike in 6 years of riding and as close as I care for it to be. Luckily I USUALLY keep my cool in those situations and I did. And the bike did its job of holding a straight line with just a bit of fish tailing.

Please learn from my mistakes. It only takes a split second to ruin your day.

Jon Miller
 

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Yes, should be common practice with all, but sadly it is not:(
I have had the same situation as you had, very hairy:eek:
Scan left right forward full time. THINK. May just save your ass:cool:

Ride Safe
 

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Good advise.
Also don't linger on a subject to long. I could have had a close call at a intersection the other day if the car didn't see me as I was starring at a nice chick on the other side. I looked back at my lane and my eyes were like WOW glad that cager seen me and did not turn in front as I was traveling straight threw.
 

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Thanks for the reminder. It's easy to get comfortable and complacent.

I'm really glad your close encounter didn't end up worse for you. Shiny side up, my friend.
 

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This is a topic near and deer (lol) to my heart as I live and ride around lots and lots of deer.

Without turning this into a science project, I'm interested in discussing best practice in terms of dealing with deer.

Jon, you say if you were going a bit faster this would have turned out bad. What if you had been going faster and didn't slow? What we, as riders, are trying to avoid is the intersection of two lines; our path and that of a deer. Our path is our speed and stopping or accelerating potential as well as what little maneuvering could be done in the time between recognizing an oncoming deer, if any, and potential impact and the deers same potentials.

I have had it told, not suggested, told to me by one rider with well over 100,000 miles and some 20 years riding that when you see deer, you speed up. This guy is an engineer and his point is that, like hitting a bullet with a bullet, the goal is to reduce the chances of collision with speed. You are giving them less time to react, less time on the 'X' that point where you could hit them, or they you.

I've heard other riders say to just try and not react to the deer, focus ONLY on what is a safe path for you absent the deer meaning don't take action that WILL result in you running off the road or washing the bike out or crossing the center line when you can't see if the way is clear of oncoming traffic. The point was to operate the bike so that it will stay on the rubber and hope the deer is gone or, at least hope for the best in a collision with him, when you get to it vs. taking action that will cause you to lose control whether you hit the deer or not.

I haven't had any close calls yet with anything bigger than a squirrel and, to me, part of the battle is the mental preparation of what I should be trying to do when the time comes, akin to entering a corner too hot and working your skills with certain actions in mind, to save it rather than just panic, unload the suspension and guarantee a crash.

Discussion?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all.

Larry, not sure I can make much of a discussion about that, but I will reply anyway. I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post.

I hear what you are saying and the idea behind it. I come from a racing family and it's a similar idea of drive through or to the wreck because by the time you get there the cars will have slid down the track.

However, in my specific incident it would not have worked. Most importantly because I was not paying attention. When I saw the deer they were hopping out of the ditch and almost immediately in front of me. I was literally staring at the eyes of the second deer. So if I had hit the gas I would have hit the first deer. And hitting the brakes happened by instinct, no thought at all.

What saved me and surprised me the most (and you will know what I am saying since you are around deer a lot) is that neither one of them hesitated. I actually thought as I was staring at it, "if you hesitate we're not going to make it." It did not hesitate a bit and that is what let me squeak by them while mashing on the brakes.

I kept going straight because I knew it was the only chance of not going down. With such force from braking, I really felt like I couldn't turn the bike if I tried anyway.

My second point would be that had I been really watching, I would have seen them so far back that I would have slowed safely and they would have crossed the road plenty far ahead of me.

And thankfully it's not a really busy 4 lane road. The next car was quite far back from me (and may have seen the deer the whole time) so they stayed way back which made one less danger I had to worry about.

You should've seen the smoke cloud behind me, the black mark is still there. Saw it on my ride home tonight.
 

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Remember.....Deer will hit you as easy as you hit them. They tend to have tunnel vision and just run right into the side of you. They are stupid!
 

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What saved me and surprised me the most (and you will know what I am saying since you are around deer a lot) is that neither one of them hesitated. I actually thought as I was staring at it, "if you hesitate we're not going to make it." It did not hesitate a bit and that is what let me squeak by them while mashing on the brakes.
It seems you get more hesitation out of deer at night. My theory is that the sudden change of light (your headlight(s)) stuns or confuses them. Does not seem to happen as much during the day.

Squirrels on the other hand. :rolleyes:
 

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Well let me tell ya my story ;). Coming back from my friends place, I noticed a big brown rock on the side of the road ahead of me. to my great surprise the rock flew off and touched my helmet on the way by. The rock was a nice big wild turkey :eek:

I'm sure we all have had an experience or two about keeping your head on a swivel. It's good to share our stories on this so that we can all learn from our experiences.

Thanks again for the reminder.
 
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