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 Motorcycle Safety
 Sharing of Lessons Learned
 First deer sighting on the bike;
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2260 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 06/20/2016 :  12:59 AM                       Like
10:15 pm and just a few blocks from home the other night, I was heading to work and happened upon large bodied, shadowy creatures crossing the road very slowly about 50 feet ahead. Deer !!
This is an area I frequently travel through and never seen them around here before. First just the one and then another followed.
I was traveling my usual route to work and the speed here is usually a tame 40 mph as posted. I usually run around 35 or so as it can be a busy few blocks with a park on one side and related traffic leaving on occasion at this hour. I also turn at the upcoming intersection that has a traffic light and most often, I don't make it for the green light.
Probably as an automatic default, I ride pretty conservative as the bike and I are just warming up in our first few minutes on the street and this is my normal routine. I figure my eyes need a bit to adjust to the night. The streetlights along there are working but sometimes that park is brilliantly lit as with most baseball fields and this can be a bit tricky on vision. My commute at night is most peoples version of the morning commute to work thus I've netted some sleep and feel awake/alert enough to ride the motorcycle. There are times I don't feel quite up to the 100% mark and I just take the car feeling it's not worth any added risks.

Seeing the first deer slowly trot out caused me to slow and be ready to stop but I wasn't right up on them and didn't need or try for a complete stop. I flashed my brake lamp a few times dramatically fast in hopes of slowing other motorists that might whiz by me in the 2nd lane going east and also to warn any following me I was slowing and maybe stopping. By then, deer # 2 was crossing and I was still back a ways, rolling slowly. I can't say with much detail what deer #2 looked like because I was evaluating traffic around me and this area was busier than most nights.
Everything turned out well and these deer apparently trotted through the park, crossed a busy street and waltzed into a multi-unit apartment complex.
I'll remember this as my first front-row encounter with deer on my motorcycle and be grateful to those before me that shared their fears, tactics, or rationale regarding these beasts and random places and times they can bolt into our path. Were I just 2 seconds ahead on the pavement, I might have had a far different encounter.

The most impressive thing that sticks with me is their size. I'm still not sure if that first one was really big or if my sense of size and proportion was skewed by being on the motorcycle. At first thought; "Damn ... that's a huge dog".

~ Brian

Edited by - bachman1961 on 06/20/2016 1:02 AM

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6883 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 06/20/2016 :  9:00 AM
You get the big deer in Colorado, they're pretty small in Northern California.

Sounds like you did everything right. I'm not sure I would have been thinking about traffic behind me like you did.

My general rule is that when there are any animals in or near the road, slow right down. And expect more of them.

Good job.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2260 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 06/21/2016 :  1:00 PM
Thank you.
I think I was set up for a good tutorial and thankful for that situation.
I can easily picture how a rider could be mesmerized gliding down a two lane country road at 65 mph having been touring a while and have that PDR tactic demanded of them while covering 90 fps or something.

Speed really can be a great equalizer and I'm starting to realize how happy I am to not have a big commute along highway areas or speeds.
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Texasphotographer
Male Advanced Member
896 Posts
[Mentor]


Copperas Cove, Texas
USA

Honda

2006 GL1800 Trike

Posted - 08/20/2016 :  9:24 AM
I never (never is the appropriate word) leave my home or drive my road without seeing a bunch of deer. Although they are used to seeing vehicles use the road and I am used to seeing them, they still cross directly in front of me practically all of the time. I just am super cautious and always slow down. Having hit one at 70 MPS about 6 years ago I give them a wide berth The deer whistles are a decent investment as they frequently look up when I am passing them by. I do not know if they hear me until I pass, but feel the $20.00 investment cannot hurt. Your best offense is a good defense. Just be extra careful -slow down when they are around. In my case, it is always.
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