Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dog Chases Cyclist...Let's Call it Sporting, But a Cougar?

Fair warning:
Don't share this with anyone who is concerned about your cycling safety.

I don't like being chased, hairy eyeballed, or even barked at by a dog any more than the next cyclist. And while it can be dangerous to woman/man and beast, it is at least sporting. The dog can only go so fast, and they're bored because nobody plays with them. We cyclists at least shouldn't be surprised; we're cycling right into their territory.

But being stalked by a cougar. Did somebody change the rules of the game here?

This Seattle Times story tells about how mountain cyclist, Brian Klass, thought he was being stalked by a dog only to discover on dismounting that it was a cougar!

Stop. Think about that a second. Can you imagine it? He said it seemed to be in "hunting mode" and came within six feet.

Now I'm guessing he may be exagerating here. Six feet is close. Let's assume his adrenalin is coursing and it is double that: 12 feet. Can you imagine that?

A few days later we learn from another Seattle Times story that a rancher in the Leavenworth, Washington area where the cougar had been stalking, shot and killed said cougar while it had a pig snout in its jaws.

Stop. Imagine shooting a cougar in your pigpen when it has your pig's snout in its jaws.

Too much for me. Just this week I posted about how I ran over what might have been a weasel and had a bobcat cross my path during my 400k. I kind of thought those two encounters were kind of interesting.

If you're out there Brian Klaas, I'm offering you a free post if you'll "tell all" about your close encounter of the cougar kind. For that matter, Mr. Rancher, same offer to you.

Both photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

For a more in-depth story about a variety of encounters with the same cougar prior to the pig incident see this Seattle Times story.

Secret confession: though my Bobcat sighting was my second ever, I've yet to spot a cougar (seen cougar tracks in snow) and I'm just dying to. Er, I mean I'd love to...someday.

Lastly, if you'd like some fascinating reading about a huge variety of cyclist-critter encounters and other wild things that cyclists happen upon (nude couples well, coupling, for example) check out the Fat Cyclist's post and his 144 comments.

Keep it out of your pigpen,



  1. you saw spectacular big cats in india. stay away from the locals

  2. That's true. We did see a Tiger in India my first trip. We were in an open-aired Jeep-like vehicle. And we were looking hard--five days--to find him. Fabulous encounter!

    This last trip we did cycle through a bird sanctuary, and we did happen upon a mongoose. Also some large herbivores like Nilgai, see Wikipedia at

    No potential cyclist-eating critters, though.

  3. Howdy,

    At about mile 300 on this year's San Francisco Randonneurs 600km, I saw a mountain lion in the hills above Occidental, CA. A really long cat, a tawny brown color just loping along a trail where it became exposed. On this same ride/route several years before a rider faced one on Highway 128 in the dark. A lot of yelling and screaming and the cat decided to move off. Both of these sightings were in rural Sonoma County.


  4. I live on top of Redmond Ridge and commute to work in Woodinville. Back in the spring I was on my way home, coming from Woodinville-Duvall Rd through the Reserve Glen neighbourhood and a rabbit, followed by a cougar, darted out of the woods and across the road in front of me. The cougar looked around as if to say "Oh crap, where did the trees go?" and then took off without bothering me (thankfully.)
    I'll be plenty happy with never seeing another one again.