MikeB Posted November 12, 2007 Share Posted November 12, 2007 I was out on a ride today, a splendid ride. My plan was to ride a big loop from Burney to Alturas, Lakeview, Bonanza, Bieber and back to Burney. It would take most of the day and the day's sun light. I was in the later stage of the loop, north of Bieber on the Bieber cutoff road (A2, I think) when the sun was getting very low in the sky. I was trying to make good time and I was traveling at a pace north of the speed limit. I was in a clear area of forest when I came around a sweeping right hand turn and to my left on the shoulder of the road was a big buck deer. He was right at the edge of the pavement pointing to the field area to the left of the road. In an instant he turned around and leaped for my side of the road. I was damn lucky that I missed him, but I also had something to do with missing him. Some of the things I did come because of rules I abide by, some because of the number of encounters with deer driving in these areas, and some due to my experiences driving race cars for a number of years. Here's what happened. First of all, I was riding too fast and I will admit that up front. Had I been traveling the speed limit, this experience would not have been near as dramatic as it was. I was not riding the speed limit or close to it. The first thing I did right and something I try to practice all the time, was to brake the very instant I saw the deer and not wait to determine if he was going to jump in front of me or go the other direction. I grabbed a lot of brake and I grabbed it quickly, I BRAKED! Second, I thought I felt the front tire start to lock up (it shouldn't because I have ABS) so I eased up just enough to free up the lock up and then returned to full threshold braking. The bike stayed upright and never wiggled a bit (I can't say enough about my BMW RT). Third, I didn't panic and continued with an instant game plan to go left or right around the deer if I needed to. The deer continued across the road to my right, all the way from the left side of the road to the right side and off into the field. From the beginning of this event I thought I was going to hit the deer, but in the end I slowed the bike enough that I didn't need to make a deviation of my course of direction and the deer was fast enough to get out of my way. I never looked back to see where the deer went, I just down shifted and continued on. Eventually I let my breath go, exhaled and sucked in a big gulp of air. My heart was pounding so hard that my chest hurt. I told myself to relax so I tried to breath deep and slow for the next minute or so and soon relaxed to continue on. That is the closest I have come to hitting a deer on my bike. I can't say enough how impressed I am with the BMW and its brakes. If I was on my Rocket I would have hit that deer without question. Needless to say, but from this point on I decided that the probability of riding home in the dark was not worth the risk of riding faster than the conditions allowed to do so safely. In conclussion, I felt stupid for using poor judgement about my rate of speed, but felt great for having the skillsets to save myself from hitting that deer and for being lucky. Link to comment
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