25 October 2018

What Should You Watch For? A Horse, Of Course!

In previous posts, I've written about close encounters with animals.

As Steve A pointed out, it's pretty rare for cyclists to get hit by a deer because we're "a lot easier for a running deer to avoid than a large, speeding car."  I would imagine the same could be said for other animals.  Even so, it's pretty scary to see a deer dart across a path or a road 10 meters in front of you--especially if you're speeding down a hill!

One scenario that most of us rarely, if ever, imagine is a horse galloping into our path.  That's pretty odd when you realize that, at least here in North America, we are riding in proximity to our equine more often than we are to, say, Alpine Ibexes or macaques (or elephants--I saw one not far away but I think I might've scared it off!).  This is especially true in urban parks, which often have designated bike paths and horse trails not far from each other. 

Well, about a week and a half ago, a woman lost control of the horse she was riding in Gates Mills, an affluent village near Cleveland.  She and the horse careened into a couple riding a tandem bicycle.  I couldn't find many other details about the crash except that the cycling couple suffered "non-life-threatening" injuries.

Oh, and the woman riding the horse was found to be at fault for the crash, but she wasn't charged.  Hmm...Maybe she should get points on her license.  


  1. You are capable of scaring away elephants??? Now set down, and think hard, and try to remember exactly what you did on that occasion. You should not have any more problems with lesser beings like goats and horses.

    I do avoid riding behind horses and not because I might spook them. I have experiences with the piles of organic matter they tend to leave behind them on the path. It does no good for drive trains, my shoes, cycling shorts or my popularity at coffee shops.

  2. In one suburb i often ride through it's not uncommon to encounter horseback riders and the occasional horse-drawn wagon. These encounters are more commmon in rural areas. It makes me nervous to have to ride past horses (although Amish carts are always under good control.) i will sound my bell from a distance to alert the rider and have been thanked for that. i love horses, but know that it's not hard to startle them.

    Also, it's good to have fenders when riding where one may find "road apples!"

    i recently met someone who on a ride in rural Texas was rammed by a wild boar and seriously injured in the crash.

  3. Leo--I've been told that elephants are actually easy to scare. As for other creatures, I agree with you: As much as I love animals, I, too, don't like what their refuse does to drive trains and such.

    Mike W--I've ridden by Amish carts only on a couple of occasions. From that limited sample size, I'd say you're right: the drivers usually have the horses under good control. In fact, the Amish have most things in their world under good control. I admire them, but I don't think I'd want to be one of them!

    A wild boar? I'm getting the shivers thinking about it!