In 4 years and more than 12,000 miles of bike commuting, I’ve had my share of close calls with critters: snakes, squirrels, rabbits, and birds especially.  I’ve never actually run over an animal, though, until yesterday.

And what did I run over?

A 300 pound doe. Of course, I’m using the term “run over” somewhat loosely. I was on the only downhill section of my commute to work, moving along at a pretty good clip when a deer jumped out of some tall grass and skittered across the road, directly into my path. I’m not sure how fast I was going upon impact, but I flipped the bike, destroyed my helmet, tweaked the stem of my commuter bike, tore major muscles in both of my legs and lost about 10% of the skin off my body. I’ll spare you the road rash photos.

A motorist behind me saw it happen and called 911 as I crawled out of the road. I’m not big on telling people they must wear a helmet, but this makes a pretty compelling case for wearing your skid lid.

There is one tiny scrape on my scalp from the plastic part inside my helmet and two little rub burns on my forehead from the foam pads. I didn’t even notice anything wrong with my head until my wife and mother pointed them out.

What’s the strangest critter you’ve run over or had a close call with?