Cows.

gozzy
gozzy Posts: 640
edited October 2013 in Road general
A herd of big hairy highland cattle, the ones with horns, in the middle of a lane walking towards you.
Ride through or double back?
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Comments

  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Stop & stand still ?
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    loose or under control of the farmer.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Loose, ambling down a lane, no one else around.

    Sideways option is a 6ft dry stone wall with 2 rows of barbed wire on top.
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    i would get out of the way.

    if under controll I would just move to the side.

    any calves then dont get between them and mum.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ManOfKent
    ManOfKent Posts: 392
    Was this a hypothetical question or were you standing eye-to-eye with the herd when you posted it?
  • KMC1993
    KMC1993 Posts: 101
    Ride away as fast as possible.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Non hypothetical, past tense question. Encountered at about 30 yards when they appeared over the brow of a hill.
    I think we can all guess which option I chose.
  • adr82
    adr82 Posts: 4,002
    I'd get out of their way and hope they don't decide they dislike me enough to have a kick on the way past . I'd love to see someone "ride through" a herd of Highland cattle with the size of the horns they have! What could possibly go wrong there? :P
  • tedmaul
    tedmaul Posts: 31
    I've only encountered a single cow in the road while out on the bike and chose to slow right up and keep to the opposite side of the road as i went by. She didn't seem fussed. If it was a herd and the road was narrow i'd be turning round and finding a spot i could move to so they could get past.

    Now sheep on the other hand, i've seen loads of all over the road. In fact i've ended up doing a bit of bike shepherding on a few occasions. A couple of months back heading over the Mennock Pass and there must have been 20 of them all wandering in the middle of the road when i came over the hill. I ended up herding them about 500 yards back down the road and into their field, all whilst still clipped in. Got a thumbs up off of some drivers who had been stuck trying to get past as well. :lol:

    The joys of cycling somewhere rural. 8)
  • adr82
    adr82 Posts: 4,002
    tedmaul wrote:
    I've only encountered a single cow in the road while out on the bike and chose to slow right up and keep to the opposite side of the road as i went by. She didn't seem fussed. If it was a herd and the road was narrow i'd be turning round and finding a spot i could move to so they could get past.

    Now sheep on the other hand, i've seen loads of all over the road. In fact i've ended up doing a bit of bike shepherding on a few occasions. A couple of months back heading over the Mennock Pass and there must have been 20 of them all wandering in the middle of the road when i came over the hill. I ended up herding them about 500 yards back down the road and into their field, all whilst still clipped in. Got a thumbs up off of some drivers who had been stuck trying to get past as well. :lol:

    The joys of cycling somewhere rural. 8)
    I think they're actually quite dangerous if you happen to encounter them roaming around on descents like that, because you can never predict what the silly buggers will do when they panic! They might decide to try and outrun you without realising that getting off the road would help, or worse they'll suddenly decide to veer right across the road in front of you when you're doing 30+mph.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    The OP doesn't say... Could have been Central London?

    Had a herd of sheep a few weeks ago... Fortunately with a farmer and a dog as escort... The next half mile after they had gone was kind of interesting
  • I hate cows with a passion, taste great on a bun...people complain about gel wrappers on the road side, but cow crap all over the road is disgusting.
    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
  • ben@31
    ben@31 Posts: 2,327
    Buy some seeded bread buns and get the barbecue out.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • tedmaul wrote:
    I've only encountered a single cow in the road while out on the bike and chose to slow right up and keep to the opposite side of the road as i went by. She didn't seem fussed. If it was a herd and the road was narrow i'd be turning round and finding a spot i could move to so they could get past.

    Now sheep on the other hand, i've seen loads of all over the road. In fact i've ended up doing a bit of bike shepherding on a few occasions. A couple of months back heading over the Mennock Pass and there must have been 20 of them all wandering in the middle of the road when i came over the hill. I ended up herding them about 500 yards back down the road and into their field, all whilst still clipped in. Got a thumbs up off of some drivers who had been stuck trying to get past as well. :lol:

    The joys of cycling somewhere rural. 8)
    the secret to getting past sheep is to ride/drive through them as a sensible speed,whilst being careful.

    sheep are cowards and will run out of your way at every opportunity,when you get along side them they will stop and run the opposite way.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • the secret to getting past sheep is to ride/drive through them as a sensible speed,whilst being careful.

    sheep are cowards and will run out of your way at every opportunity,when you get along side them they will stop and run the opposite way.

    Ha, not here in the Lake District they don't, sneaky buggers they are, they stand around looking stupid, lulling you into a false sense of security...then, before you know, it they are playing chicken in front of you, and having a damn good laugh, the b'stards. Now chickens on the other hand...
    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
  • the secret to getting past sheep is to ride/drive through them as a sensible speed,whilst being careful.

    sheep are cowards and will run out of your way at every opportunity,when you get along side them they will stop and run the opposite way.

    Ha, not here in the Lake District they don't, sneaky buggers they are, they stand around looking stupid, lulling you into a false sense of security...then, before you know, it they are playing chicken in front of you, and having a damn good laugh, the b'stards. Now chickens on the other hand...
    :lol::lol::lol:
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • kwi
    kwi Posts: 181
    Herd of cows, definitely move out there way, away from them. I have worked with cows in the past and they can be funny at times with the odd ill intentioned kick.

    Sheep on the other hands, keep an eye on them, most around this way just watch you sail by, some dart away if you change gear/sneeze or stop next to them with a jar of mint sauce.
    (I find they tend to play chicken with the odds firmly against them, 3 over 2 years with my white van and 1 in an eighteen tonner.)
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    I'd be cautious but I wouldn't turn round unless they seemed determined not to move. I definitely wouldn't try riding amongst them and you do have to be careful not to spook them. Cows are very rarely aggressive unless (as nicklouse quite rightly points out) they are with their calves.

    I'd dismount and walk slowly up to them at the side of the road and gently shoo them. I've never had to chase off a whole herd but I have had to chase away a few at a time and a bit of gentle arm waving and shoo noises was enough. Cows are placid but not that hard to spook and you really don't want to be trodden on by a few frightened cows.

    I've spent a lot of time in the Highlands and the hairy ones with horns don't seem to behave any differently to English monochromatic cows.
  • kwi
    kwi Posts: 181
    http://www.ibtimes.com/trampled-death-c ... ink-844859

    Apx 60 people injured by cows annually reported to the HSE. Though most incidents involve dogs.
  • gezebo
    gezebo Posts: 364
    Tell them to moove along...

    Whenever I've encountered them I've just cycled through them slowly. If there are lots and they are close together then maybe walk slowly. If you feel really threatened then shouting and waving your arms will shift them along.

    However definitely don't get between a mother and young calf.as Even though it was very funny when I saw a group of people getting butted and chased by some cows, by all accounts, they found the experience quite traumatic!

    Cow's are generally pretty timid but are nosey and due to their size be quite intimidating.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I spit in the face of danger... You do mean the ones with big ears and white fluffy tails?
  • A local farmer told me they don't like the helmets, as it reminds them of the man who comes to put them down with a shot bolt to the head.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • jordan_217
    jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    A local farmer told me they don't like the helmets, as it reminds them of the man who comes to put them down with a shot bolt to the head.

    Cows are resilient creatures. If someone put a bolt in my head I doubt I'd be able to remember to inhale/exhale, never mind that the ba5tard that did it was wearing a Kask Mojito. :D
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Cows or sheep I would stop and move to the side and let them past you. Both are more afraid of humans than you could be of them, despite their size advantage (and sometimes horns) in the case of cows. If you get out of their way they'll just all walk past you calmly - try to go through the middle of them and you'll cause chaos and probably end up getting covered in brown stuff. As others have said, be wary of them if they have calves with them but even then, unless you have a dog with you, they still aren't that bothered about you.

    If they are being herded by the farmer and you go through the middle of them - you may find its the farmer you need to avoid more than the cows! I have found though that cows seem to be scared of bikes - I find that if they're stood by the wall (in the field) cars drive past and they don't notice, but fly past them on a bike and they run off - maybe just that they don't see bikes as often so its just a fear of the unknown.

    Oh, and if it is a loose herd of cows, or even just one loose cow - if you've got time, a call to the local plod might be a good idea. If Grandma in her Nissan Micra is the next person to come down the road and meets a cow on a blind corner, it wont do her or the cow much good.
    A local farmer told me they don't like the helmets, as it reminds them of the man who comes to put them down with a shot bolt to the head.
    - was he drunk? If any cow has a 'memory' of the man who comes to put them down, then that man should find a new job because he clearly isn't very good at it. My brother-in-law is a farmer and in my experience on his farm, the vets that have visited haven't worn helmets anyway.
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • Schoie81 wrote:
    My brother-in-law is a farmer and in my experience on his farm, the vets that have visited haven't worn helmets anyway.

    Why would a vet be using a captive bolt device?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Schoie81 wrote:
    My brother-in-law is a farmer and in my experience on his farm, the vets that have visited haven't worn helmets anyway.

    Why would a vet be using a captive bolt device?

    Dunno? Don't know what one is. I stay out the way at 'end of the road time' with all animals, so don't know what they use to do it. You said "put them down" so I assumed it would be the vet doing the deed. So who would use one?
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • I have this issue on a daily basis, with my commute through the New Forest, along with horses, donkeys, pigs and once a stag with massive antlers staring at me as I came down the road.

    Assuming there is a gap between them I slow down and tell them to move out of the way, so they know I'm there. There are quite a few calf’s around at the moment and cows can be quite protective , so stay well away from them.

    Only once did I come across a herd of cows totally across the road but a car drive in front of me was out ordering them around, so you may have to dismount start shouting at them.
  • adr82
    adr82 Posts: 4,002
    A local farmer told me they don't like the helmets, as it reminds them of the man who comes to put them down with a shot bolt to the head.
    How could they be reminded of being put down?? Zombie cattle? :shock:
  • lakesluddite
    lakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    the secret to getting past sheep is to ride/drive through them as a sensible speed,whilst being careful.

    sheep are cowards and will run out of your way at every opportunity,when you get along side them they will stop and run the opposite way.

    Ha, not here in the Lake District they don't, sneaky buggers they are, they stand around looking stupid, lulling you into a false sense of security...then, before you know, it they are playing chicken in front of you, and having a damn good laugh, the b'stards. Now chickens on the other hand...

    Yup, just like the three I came across coming down 'The Struggle' in Ambleside, just stood there looking gormless as I hurtled towards them, only moving when I shouted at them (which is now my default with sheep, just shout at them and they soon get the message).

    Cows? One recent experience left me in a right funk a month or so back - me and t'other half were going down country lane when we were stopped by a young lad who told us there was a herd of cows on their way coming towards us. We moved our bikes and ourselves onto the grass verge, about two or three metres away from the road, and about five or six minutes later they came trotting towards us. Some went straight past, some stopped for a bit, looking a bit nervous, others sped up to get past - it all took quite some time as there were loads of 'em.
    After the last one passed, the farmer came up the rear, then got out of his car to manoeuver a gate around, and proceeded to give us a right gobfull of abuse - for not going to the other side of the road where there was the entrance to a side road! Admittedly that would have gotten us further away from the herd, but had this been suggested by the young lad, the farmers helper, at the time then we would have gladly moved, but he seemed happy to let us stand where we were. The farmer didn't seem to want to listen to this argument, and seemed hell-bent on venting his spleen at us. Tosser. The people in the tail-back behind him just looked out of their car windows, raising their eyes as if to say 'what can you do?'.
    AND we had to ride back home through the resulting 'droppings'! (saying that, at least it's biodegradable, unlike gel wrappers).
  • jordan_217 wrote:
    A local farmer told me they don't like the helmets, as it reminds them of the man who comes to put them down with a shot bolt to the head.

    Cows are resilient creatures. If someone put a bolt in my head I doubt I'd be able to remember to inhale/exhale, never mind that the ba5tard that did it was wearing a Kask Mojito. :D
    if he's getting a bolt in the head he's hardly gonna be walking down the road the next day unless he really is a resilient b45tard :wink::wink::wink:
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida