I have a “Share the Road” sticker on my car. It reminds other drivers to do their bit to help make our roads safer for cyclists.
During last Sunday’s ride up Genting Peres I was reminded that cyclists share roads and bike paths with more than just vehicles. I have encountered enough birds and animals while on my bike to stock a small zoo.
Dogs are of course everywhere. Fortunately I haven’t been chased by any. Though I do recall a particularly ornery dog that used to lie in wait on Sylvan Road in Houston for us to ride by. Our Taco Rides would be enlivened by this dog barking furiously as it burst onto the street. I keep a wary eye on the feral dogs that roam the back roads of Hulu Langat and Genting Sempah, though I have yet to hear even a whimper out of any of them.
I expected to see more cats than I did in the Netherlands. A lot of our riding was through villages and towns, but I guess the majority were house cats and therefore weren’t out and about.
Ducks, geese and swans were another matter. Water birds are everywhere in the Netherlands. I had to stop frequently for various birds as they ambled across the bike path. More infrequent were pheasant bolting across the bike paths when we passed too close to their nests.
In Malaysia we come across the occasional chicken trying to cross the road. The challenge with chickens is that they often change their minds about the direction they want to head in. I haven’t seen anyone hit a chicken yet, but there have been some near misses.
I’ve had a few near misses with rabbits. The dunes along the coast north and south of Den Haag teem with baby rabbits in the spring. The best tasting greenery always seemed to be on the other side of the bike path. Like chickens, baby rabbits often don’t have the courage of their convictions, and turn around mid-path. Much to the alarm of cyclists.
The dunes are also home to foxes, which don’t like to be out in the open and move very quickly when exposed. I saw very few foxes, and when I did it was late in the evening.
The same is true of hedgehogs. Out late in the evening I mean. Not moving very quickly.
It was broad daylight when the Not Possibles got the shock of our lives. A large deer appeared out of nowhere and ran beside us for a good fifty meters or so before veering off into the bushes and trees of the dunes.
Many bike paths in the Netherlands are shared with people on horseback. Although to be honest we spent much more time dodging piles of manure than we did skirting around horses and ponies.
I’ve mentioned the monkeys on the roads in Malaysia in previous posts. Monkeys feature on this sign at the summit of Genting Peres. It warns road users that this is an area where wild animals cross the road, and lists what drivers should do when animals are on the road..
I’ve yet to encounter the other two species on this sign. It would be quite something to share the road with a tapir.