This video has been making “the rounds” lately and I thought I’d write about. Mostly, this one of my biggest fears when riding. Luckily for me, I live in south Florida so this is not an issue except for the low-lying gators relaxing in the middle of the road while riding through the Everglades. Add turtles to that list as well. And as bad as the cagers are in Miami (the worst in the country), I prefer them over deer. Cagers are predictable most of the time, but deer?
In 2012 while riding at night from Sturgis to Spearfish on I-70, I saw several deer on the side of the highway grazing. For a city boy, I was surprised that deer would come out of nowhere and hang out by the side of the road. I slowed down to about 45 mph. A few days later when we were leaving South Dakota for Nebraska, we were behind schedule, so we rode day/night. A lonely stretch of road in Nebraska at midnight had deer everywhere. I even saw one in town standing in between two gas pumps at a gas station, just hanging out.
Luckily, I have had no incidents. The one time there was an animal in the middle of the road, it was riding through the Black Hills and I had plenty of time to react. I’m also not speeding which helps in case I do have to react quickly. On my cross-country trip, the only time a deer jumped in front of me was while riding through Mark Twain State Park, but I was in first gear since I was riding through the campground.
Now, I know there are “deer detection devices.” I’m not sure how effective they are, but I welcome your thoughts as well as any suggestions, hints, or clues when riding in these parts. I do know and have read from expert motorcycle riders never slam the breaks, “when in doubt, throttle it out.” One article I read written by a motorcycle instructor, he turned the corner somewhere in Tennessee and he didn’t have time to react. He continued and the deer moved at the last fraction of the second, hitting the side-rear end of the deer. He throttled out and was able to gain control of his motorcycle.
Ride safe and have a good Sunday.