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Former Roadbikereview Editor
Steelman Eurocross bike
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This is a great read from my friend Dave Watt.

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First off, I'm ok. No broken bones, joint injuries, or brain damage.

Funny, it was only a couple weeks ago that I had a conversation among some friends where all of us agreed that road riding was way more dangerous than mountain biking. However, I also made the comment that I hadn't really even come close to crashing since buying my first road bike about two years ago. Ok, my last one had was trashed 1981 due to a broken frame.

So yesterday, the day following the Skegg's ride, and I decided to get in a nice 75 minute ride on my Lemond Zurich riding around Lexington Reservoir. I have a regular out-and-back course where I start from LG, ride the creek trail up and around the dam to Alma Bridge road, the after a few miles of gentle rolling hills I turn left on Aldercroft Heights road and ride it until it dead ends, then head back. The only significant climb/descent is a 1/4 mile hill on the first part of Aldercroft Heights. On the way back, going downhill, is where I my top speeds for the ride occur. I'm usually pretty fearless on the descents and last night was no exception as I let it loose on this narrow stretch of road cut out from the side of a steep hill. It was just starting to get dark when I started down this main descent. I wanted to get home fast, so I put it in the big ring in the front and tiny one in the back and started to accelerate. After about 15 seconds, I wasn't near top speed, but was probably doing well over 30mph when out of no where a medium sized deer jumped onto the road in front of me. What happened next was a slow motion dream that I still can't believe happened if were not for all the road rash, cuts, and limp I now have. What I remember was that at first I thought the deer was just going to watch me go by (it was a few feet off to my right) and that braking might spook it. Then, a split second later the medium sized dow bolted forward ahead of me. At this point I started to brake, but I was going too fast and started to over take it on the left. When I got almost even with this crazed animal, it started to really panic and decided it wanted to get to the other side of the road (to my left) to jump down the hill. There was now a tall fence to the right and I think it felt trapped. The beast had it's head about 2 feet ahead of my front wheel and its hind quarters against my right thigh when it became a pushing match. In an effort to get to the downhill side, it was also trying to push me into the oncoming traffic lane. However, my weight was already leaning to the right and I wasn't going to let this happen. Because the deer's center of gravity was lower than mine, it was able to push my wheels out from under me and cause me crash on top of it. At this point, the front half of my bike came down on it's flea infested back, causing it's legs to give out and my body slamming hard on the pavement. For probably about 15+ feet, me and the deer slid down the hill to a stop. The whole event probably lasted about 2 to 3 seconds. For a second or so we both laid still, stunned and in shock. Once the deer figured out I wasn't a mechanical mountain lion that wasn't going to kill it, it jumped up and bounded off into the brush. I was relieved that it was ok and decided not to lunge back and bite me on the leg. The rest of the story is pretty typical crash reporting...<wbr>I laid sprawled out in the middle of the lane for a few minutes cursing to the world but happy inside that I wasn't seriously injured. A nearby resident drove by and offered help. I declined and rode home slowly. Didn't dare drink from my water bottle and for the first few minutes I was brushing off imaginary ticks from my legs (there might have been one or two). I sustained a huge road rash / bruise on that spot just below the hip on the side of my butt...$100 worth of shredded clothing...I got off cheap. Oh, there was one funny thing--while on the ground and on my back, I remembered looking at my bike and seeing it covered with fur, especially the on the big chain ring.

-Dave Watt
 

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sometimereader
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1,202 Posts
Animals seem not to be traffic trained. They aren't polite.

Wednesday evening I was coming down Soquel-San Jose Rd. (at about 25 mph) when I saw a large buck ahead of me right in the middle of the road. I could have avoided this guy, but he cleared out on his own. But then right before I reached that area, another one, well endowed in the antler department, stepped right out in front of me! I couldn't have avoided it without help, but fortunately he went to my left and I went right. No collision.
 

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Glad you're OK. I've had several deer incidents coming down Mt. Hamilton. Scariest was descending and then coming across three deer. I spook them, and so they start running, but instead of going off the road, they run downhill. No traction for them on the pavement, so it's like a cartoon with legs flailing but not much motion. Anyway, I managed to weave between the deer peloton, though we were in a pack for a couple of seconds...
 
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