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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guy,
So I'm about a month or so into my riding career (on a 2006N) and last night I had my first "oh **** moment." For those familiar with the Los Angeles area, I was riding in Chatsworth (NW San Fernando Valley) near Box Canyon, doing about 20-30 on some easy twisties, just getting some practice in. It was dark (no street lights) and on a 2-lane "country road" if there is such a thing in LA.

Out of the left corner of my vision I see a fast-moving blur. Within a fraction of a second I realize that said blur is a very large buck (large for the LA area at least), bounding across the road right in front of me! I pull my front brake hard and slowed from ~25-30 down to ~15 in what felt like a fraction of a second. Did not swerve, although I opened up my right-hand turn a little bit to try to veer left of the buck as it was running left-to-right. I think I instinctively knew there was no one in the oncoming left lane at the point, which is one benefit of a dark road at night (you can safely assume that if you don't see lights ahead of you there are no cars, right? Gulp.)

There was someone relatively close behind me who must have also seen the buck, because the first thing I did as soon as the deer was out of my line of travel was glance in my side mirror to see if I was about to be hit. Luckily, the driver must have been paying attention and he appeared to be about the same distance behind me as he had been before (which, granted, was not more than a few car's lengths.)

I pulled over to the shoulder, got off the bike, and walked it off for a minute or two before continuing on.

Just thought I'd share. I feel like I did everything right, given my limited experience and skill set. Anything I could have done differently, given what I described? I know if I had been going much faster it could have been substantially worse.

It's almost sorta cool to get that first holy crap moment out of the way. Certainly gives me more understanding & respect of the hazards/dangers of our sport!

Ride Safe,
JK
 

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Glad you didn't punch it!

I hit one on a cycle on the Interstate back in the day - not a soft landing.

Always need to be ready to react to something...

Good choice on the '06n BTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just one? It's usually the second or third one that gets stuck in the headlights:naughty:
Ha! It was just the one! (at least, that I saw...)

Apparently it's mule deer rutting season ... so the male was probably prancing around looking for some action ;)

-JK
 

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Like you say, it's good to get through those 'holy sh*t' moments and still be shiny-side up. You braked hard without locking a wheel or skidding, which is great. Hard braking like that is something you can also practise on a quiet road or parking lot, so you can further develop your 'feel' for it, and for just how hard you can brake when you really need to.

In terms of what you might have done differently, I don't think there is ... apart from being ready for more unexpected stuff to happen at any time when you're riding!
 

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One reason why we stick to city night rides. I have to take a country
road home 3-4 miles, and the speed limit is 55. At night, I do 35-40!
Deer is the only thing that scares me on my bike.
 

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Yeah, they're pretty scarce in the city of Raleigh. It's the outskirts
where I worry to most. I need to get up there to get that parking
meter tag! LOL
 

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you can safely assume that if you don't see lights ahead of you there are no cars, right? Gulp.
I wouldn't rely on that assumption. You'd be amazed how many vehicles i've seen driving at night with no lights on. Glad to hear you're alright, definitely a learning experience. Don't forget to keep an eye for critters during the daytime too.

Also, it's not always the deer you see that you should be worried about, it's the ones coming up behind it you don't see because you're staring at the first one.
 

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When the deer rut here it sucks, because that's when I do
most my riding. It can last from October, until January. If
you see 1 deer, there are more deer. (most of the time)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't rely on that assumption. You'd be amazed how many vehicles i've seen driving at night with no lights on. Glad to hear you're alright, definitely a learning experience. Don't forget to keep an eye for critters during the daytime too.

Also, it's not always the deer you see that you should be worried about, it's the ones coming up behind it you don't see because you're staring at the first one.

Good advice, thanks!
-jk
 

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Chatsworth, huh? That's just south of DEER LAKE HIGHLANDS, right?


To be fair, deer are just about everywhere. Glad you didn't bin it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hahahah. Holy crap, it is indeed! I've lived in Los Angeles for basically my whole life (30+ years) and I've never actually heard of Deer Lake Highlands. LA is a big place, apparently ;)
Nice Googling skills, Fatass! lol.

-jk
 
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