Oregon Commute

Joined: 2006-09-15
User offline. Last seen 16 weeks 4 days ago.

There I was, minding my own business, riding along at 4:30am on my way to work. It was clear when I pulled onto Hwy. 223 but I hit patchy fog within a couple miles. I left my PIAA driving lights on because they actually burn up the fog as I'm riding through it.

Up over a hill, slight turn to the right and then there's a short straight section down the other side. Fog is getting a little thicker. I'm about halfway down this straight section when all of a sudden all I can see is a herd of elk running across the road in front of me.

They are coming from my left. Jumping a fence, then off a 5ft. bank and landing on the road in the other lane and running across my lane. As soon as I see them I'm all over the brakes. The rear tire is locked up and starts to drift to right. My next bike will have ABS cause I really wanted to clamp down on that front brake. The elk are crossing single file and I'm thinking to myself, I'm gonna hit those elk. There is no space between them and I'm gonna hit those elk. I wunder if my buddy has filled his tag yet cause I'm gonna hit those elk.

As I'm closing in on this line I see an elk launch off the bank and then fall when she hit the road. That was just the opening I needed as I past through the line.

Heart rate is 190, respiratory rate zero, and I can't believe I just skidded through a herd of elk. I continued on down the road, shaken but still on 2 wheels. As I passed the fire station in down town Philomath I looked down at my speedometer and I'm doing 50mph. On the brakes again. I don't think I have ever been so happy to get to work.

On the trip back home I stopped at the scene of the encounter and it was obvious that those elk had crossed there before. Next morning the fog was about the same and I slowed down to 15mph, paradoid as hell.

I'm over it now, except when it's foggy.

Ride Safe!

- Paul