Sunday, September 7, 2008

White Tailed Deer - The Bane of Ohio Riders

Ohio has an abundance of rural roads that provide riders with beautiful scenes of rolling hills and farm land. A group of seven bikes and two Burgman scooters got to see some of that yesterday on a ride to the Akron area.

Ohio also has an abundance of white tailed deer and near the end of yesterday's ride, two of them crossed the road and were struck by the lead Burgman and the scooter went down. The second Burgman, following too closely, also went down. Teresa and I, bringing up the rear of this leg of the ride, watched it all transpire with amazing clarity.

Donna, riding the lead Burgman, separated from the lead pack by about a half a mile, was thrown from her scooter and landed on her side. Ron, her husband, riding the second Burgman, swerved left to avoid hitting Donna and also went down.

Donna left black skids marks on the roadway for about 20 feet before she lost control. Ron also left skid marks but his were blue and they stretched for nearly a hundred feet. The skid marks were blue because they were left by his jeans.

Both Ron and Donna were taken to the local hospital. From there Donna was flown to a trauma center in Columbus about 40 miles away. When I left the ER last night, word was that the docs wanted to have Donna checked out properly for any internal injuries. It looked like Ron would stay for a 23 hour observation.

This is twice this year that friends have gone down because of deer and it has to be obvious that deer are a major hazard for rural riders.

One "what if" question popped into my head then and I still ponder it now:
What if they had louder mufflers? Would that have made a difference? The 400cc Burgman is almost silent. Dunno.

Of all the regular readers and the 'just passing through' visitors of this blog, what wisdom can you offer?

What remedies and precautions do you use use against deer?

Has anyone had success with a particular product?

I'll keep you updated as to Ron and Donna's recovery. The ride report for the trip to Stan Hywet Hall near Akron may take a few days.

Ride Safe


Conchscooter said...

Hurricanes make the Key deer hunker down in the mangroves. Try strong, very strong, winds.

Earl Thomas said...

I read in my Saturday paper that a local motorcyclist was killed Friday night when he hit a deer.

Deer are strange critters, all summer long they will graze peacefully along the side of the road during my commute to work, and then by Autumn, they seem to spook over any little thing. Maybe it's because of mating season/hunting season? I don't know.

Over the years, I've just learned to slow way down and keep a vigilant eye.

Here's hoping for a full recovery for your freinds.

Ride Well


Micah said...

The threat of a deer strike is always on my mind. I always slow down and try to keep my head on a swivel. Always looking for them in the shadows.

I hope that everyone has a speedy recovery.

Doug C said...

Conch - I'm afraid I don't have enough huff and puff in me for the task.

Earl - Yep, the late summer and autumn are the worst times for deer. The rut, farmers harvesting crops and hunters all cause them to be more active.

Micah - might need to borrow one of your radar units and calibrate it for white tails!