Overcoming Fear! - VTXOA
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I usually don't ride when it's really cold and especially early morning on the dark back roads going to and from work at 5am. I've always slowed way down and have the bike decked out with led pods for added sight in an effort to avoid deer and hogs. About two months ago, I hit a deer at 4 am in the ambulance and actually put an antler through the bumper and destroyed the front of the ambulance. After that, I really didn't want to ride these backroads.

This morning I put aside my fear, geared up and made the journey. I kept my landing lights on bright and kept my eyes opened and really paid attention way down the road. The deer that I hit came straight out if the woods and there was no time to slow down, so all that I can hope for is to see them in time. This morning was uneventful and the ride was smooth. Temp was 50 degrees F and it was a good ride. I was nervous as hell, but I have to get the worst out of my head. Most wrecks are avoidable and we can mitigate most of the dangers, but hogs and deer are a whole other danger. The thing that gets me is that I've hit seven deer in 11 years with different ambulances. This last incident was by far the worst and the first to put my ambulance out if service. If I had been on the bike, it probably would have been my death.

I'm glad to be facing my fears, but part if me feels like I'm taking a very unnecessary risk riding through the deer woods when it's dark. Anyone else refuse to get on their bike in a scenario like this?
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Last edited by unit505; 04-22-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:11 AM
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take advance riding classes..... an practice, practice...

I hit an oil spill in 38 degree rain... totaled a 3 year old goldwing...
I was on a borrowed Wing the next day..
for a 2,400 mile round trip..

skills, control, both yourself and the "FEAR"...

head on a swivel.. and eyes trained on ANYTHING that moves...


OK, bragging...


50 years of riding.. no missed years..
390,000 motorcycle miles... and still riding 6-7,000 per year.. and 67 years old.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:05 AM
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I hear you. I try to avoid riding after dark in the fall because of the deer. I see deer every day on my way to work, I live in the country and ride into the city. I have had several run across the road in front of my truck, but to date, have never hit one. I know most of the spots they tend to cross, and am certainly more vigilant in those spots, but we all know they can come out of nowhere. Of course reading of our fellow member on hondashadow.net doesn't help.

Can't let it get in your head.

Here's an interesting link: https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/bi...s-hitting-deer

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:38 AM
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Yep, arm yourself with knowledge and take a MSF Advanced class every other year. It keeps your tools sharp just like Continuing Ed. Find a class near you here; https://www.msf-usa.org/
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smurfy71 View Post
I hear you. I try to avoid riding after dark in the fall because of the deer. I see deer every day on my way to work, I live in the country and ride into the city. I have had several run across the road in front of my truck, but to date, have never hit one. I know most of the spots they tend to cross, and am certainly more vigilant in those spots, but we all know they can come out of nowhere. Of course reading of our fellow member on hondashadow.net doesn't help.

Can't let it get in your head.

Here's an interesting link: https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/bi...s-hitting-deer
Interesting. Louisiana is 1 in 3200 or so. They need to factor in time of day and rural vs. city. I do rural EMS on a 96 hour shift M-thu. Most of our 911calls are after dark with an average of 45 minutes to the hospital. I usually dodge the deer pretty successfully but the majority of my time is spent dodging deer. So over populated. Thanks for the link.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:53 PM
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some fear is good and normal if you have some common sense.
no fear is not good
never think you have the right of way and never trust the other guy
defense always
being alert is all you can do for critters and deer,sometimes they come from the side and there is little... if any time to react.
backroads...50mph for me where i am comfortable and can react quicker.
i never ride at night
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:05 AM
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Im hearin ya loud and clear! Here in Australia it is kangaroos. They are on the move dawn and dusk and have suicidal tendencies. If I am caught out and it is getting dark when I am travelling home through the hills I am very slow and very aware. Wombats are a 30kg lump of slow moving speed hump also. At least if you get a deer through the windscreen that causes you damage you have saved 40 minutes by being in the ambulance already, so step one, waiting for the ambulance is over with! Why risk it, save bike riding for daylight hours.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:16 AM
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I live in the suburbs of Louisville, but have a 22 mile drive to work in a neighboring "small" city, so most of the ride is through the country between the two towns. If I ride my bike to work (I go in at 6:00) I usually only do so during the time of year that it is at least starting to get light when I leave home. Around here, the woods come to within about 10' of the side of the roads, so reaction time is down to minimal. There have been times that I've driven home at lunch, just so I can bring the bike back and have a longer, leisurely ride home after work.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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So glad that I'm not alone with the night time riding issues. Thanks for the replies. It's usually daylight or close when I leave work on Friday mornings and it gives me a chance to ride the backroads and unwind from these long shifts. I wish we had a later start time to the shift than 6am, but we usually pick up doctors appointments and such starting at 7am. I was a few minutes late getting here yesterday because I was slow poking along. I just need to leave earlier if I do ride. My truck gets 15 mpg and it's nice to ride the VTX at 40 mpg and save some Mula as well. Be safe out there and thanks again for the tips.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:23 PM
bdm
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I was hit by a deer years went down hard i don't ride at night or during the rut season
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