Mountain bikes and cows

Mountain bikes and cows


(Music overlay.) When cattle, or horses, or sheep see a bike it’s a brand new experience for them. They just do not have that background. They’re used to people moving slowly, moving with horses, or moving with other herd animals. Well, you always have to remember that they’re, you know, a herd animal, and a grazing animal, not a predator. So, one assumption always is, is this something that I should run from or be afraid of, or if I’ve got my calves with me, I might need to defend. I think in most cases, is try not to surprise any cattle or other wildlife that you might encounter. If you do, the best thing to do is slow down, stop, probably get off of your bike, and just be patient and most of the time they’ll just get out of your way, and you can continue on. If you encounter a group of cattle, and they’re looking at you, you know then you get off your bike, and so now your more normal human size, you’re talking to them, and they recognize that normal human voice, and then if you want to kind of complete the normalcy package, you’d go ahead and take your helmet off, and of course some people might have very mirrored sunglasses, that look kind of strange too, and now I’m pretty normal looking to a cow, in this situation. (Music overlay.) Cattle and wildlife both perceive dogs as similar to a coyote. And their first reflex of course, is to protect their young from those coyotes. So it’s very important that if you are in the backcountry, that you have your dog under control, whether its a voice control, or a leash control. But be sure to check with the area that you’re in, so that you know what the rules are. And then pull your dog in close to you, if you can keep them from barking that’s extremely important, and just let the cattle or the sheep go on by, which they should do naturally, without giving you or your animal any type of problem. (Music overlay.) The rule of thumb is, if you find a gate open leave it open. If you leave a gate open that was supposed to have been closed, you can create hours and hours of work and headache for ranchers because if cattle get out, they will get onto roads, they will get onto other properties, and with places where you’ve got so much open space, you can spend a lot of time riding and looking for your animals if they’re allowed to get into the wrong spot. If you were to close a gate that should have been left open, you could cut off a water source for animals, and that puts them at a health risk. So the rule of thumb is, if you find a gate open, leave it open. If you find a gate closed, be sure to close it. I think the biggest thing we stress, whether its share the roads, share the trail, is that, you know just to be considerate of the other user. And at some point in time the cattle, the elk, and the moose, the like to use the trails too. And so you know, give them space, let them get out of your way, you know don’t be pushy. Just take your time, enjoy the fact that you’re all out there, and you’ll get along just fine, without any problem at all. (Music overlay.)