While heading down to Roanoke Thursday morning for some medical tests, I braked my Harley Super Glide when five deer came out from behind a house on U.S. 221 just north of Little River and crossed the road.
The rest of the ride down to the Star City brought no more animal distractions.
On the way back a couple of hours later, the driver of a pickup flashed his lights just before the turnoff to the Parkway on top of Bent Mountain and I came around a curve to find another pickup stopped in the southbound lane with a couple of boxes from its bed on the road and its four-way emergency lights flashing.
Then I saw the dead deer on the side of U.S. 221. The pickup struck the deer as it tried to cross the road at the last-minute. Luckily, no apparent injuries for the driver and the ride the rest of the way home allowed me to cruise at a comfortable 55 mph without any more animal sightings.
Generally, I see deer and an occasional bear crossing the road before 5 a.m. each morning on my daily trip to Floyd Fitness. We have a bear that crosses the bottom on our driveway each morning on its daily sojourn and a half-dozen or so dear munching on our front yard later in the day but I mowed Thursday afternoon so it may not seem as appetizing as before.
Wild animals pose daily threats to drivers here in the mountains. I hit a doe on on my motorcycle on U.S. 221 in 2008 but it went down and my bike stayed up. As readers know, it was a cow that brought down my Harley in 2012.
My Wrangler took out three deer before I parked it earlier this year and our Liberty could be declared an “ace” with five deer kills since moving here in 2004. It’s not unusual to see a deer carcass on the side of U.S. 221 or Virginia Rte. 8 in Floyd County and I passed the tattered remains of a deer struck by an 18-wheeler on Interstate 81 south of Dublin recently.
My 2009 Harley Super Glide took out one deer in 2008 and it fell to a cow in 2012 but is still on the road. The 2012 Switchback purchased to replace it hit one dog, sideswiped a bear and left rubber on the road several times to avoid various animals during it’s time with us but an encounter with a neighbor’s dog in September of last year sent the bike crashing to the newly-surface treated Sandy Flats Road and Geico declared it a total loss, so it was good thing I held on to the Super Glide.
Haven’t decided yet if I’m going to replace the Switchback. With Amy’s Can-Am Spyder, we have two bikes in the garage along with her John Cooper Works Mini-Cooper convertible and there isn’t room for another bike anyway.
I’ve had enough encounters with animals while driving or riding and am more cautious on the road now.
Still, we play a dangerous game between driver and creature every time we venture out on our roads.