Urban Cycling

The Strangest Things Cyclists Have Encountered on Bike Rides

a cyclist and an opera singer

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“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens.”

Those are the wise words of 19th-century New Yorker and cycling evangelist Dr K.K. Doty.

Ask any cyclist if they’ve seen something strange on their commute, and they will surely have a story that would surprise you.

I once cycled upon a crime scene that looked like something straight out of an episode of CSI, with crime scene tape, police, and a body under a blanket. To this day, I don’t know what happened, but it was definitely one of the most unexpected things I’ve ever seen while out on a ride.

We recently asked cyclists on Reddit and Facebook if they had encountered any strange things while out on a commute, and the answers did not disappoint.

Here’s a collection of just some of the weirdest sights cyclists have seen while riding.

A beaver walking down a street in Seattle

Wild Animals

Animal encounters seem to be one of the most common when it comes to strange cycling sightings.

Reddit user BlackberryHill once saw a bald eagle perched in a tree. “She let me get very close and take a photo.” While Christian Clausen saw “a little weasel dragging a mouse”.

Another Reddit user had a close encounter with a beaver, saying, “I saw a beaver walking down the street in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. Big buck teeth, flat tail, the whole deal. This is the first time I have seen one up close; all the cartoons are really accurate.”

“I saw an armadillo a few nights ago. It’s pretty common to see them where I live, but it’s different to see one moving at 12mph instead of 40mph. I could see it digging in the dirt and eating something. I was so excited and happy,” another cyclist shared.

Brownschuh, on Reddit, wrote, “A fox ran across the rail trail, and a hawk followed close behind. It was a pretty cool way to start the day, as I was commuting to work. Oh, and an albino squirrel was a weird discovery. Sadly, he was too fast for a picture or video.”

“A Rabid Great Dane. He was massive and frothing at the mouth. I was about to go under an underpass when I saw him come out of the bushes. I barely made it to the downhill and lost him. When I got to the top on the other side, I saw he had stopped chasing me, and I yelled at him. Bad idea. He started chasing me again for about five miles. The Santa Ana winds were blowing against me. He came within inches of my heels several times. I was past the point of exhaustion, and only sheer terror kept me pedaling,” Reddit user Wardrop said.

a couple emerging from the woods

Weird People

The second most common encounter is with our fellow human beings. But these are encounters of a…uhm…different kind.

Reddit user Aintaword saw “Two people coming out of the woods, giggling and still putting their clothes on.”

NxPat shared, “Years back, I was touring in Japan, a rural area. I decided to pull off in a little parking area for a break. I heard some music and chanting up a pathway, so I decided to take a look. I shouldn’t have. Four middle-aged couples were dancing naked around a giant stuffed panda. I got back on the bike as soon as I could and got out of there.”

According to Katy Le Sage, she once came across a “naked couple in bondage gear” while riding her mountain bike. “I never want to see that image again,” she added.

ThePhillyBerto also had a curious encounter: “There was a homeless guy who’d set up what looked like a living room with tables, chairs, etc. but would keep the lane clear so you’d cruise right through his ‘living room.’ I went through it twice, once on a multi-use trail and another time in a bike lane.”

One cyclist shared that they once found a person “resting on a bike trail with a pillow under his head,” while another saw a “lady singing opera on the rail trail while walking in a calico dress.”

Domino Dom saw an exhibitionist in the city park. “I think he was thrilled to see me,” Domino added jokingly.

a handgun in a bike lane

Strange Things

A Reddit user shares, “I saw a handgun in the bike lane. I stopped about 60’ away and called dispatch. I waited for an officer to show up. I later asked a friend from PD what the story was, and the gun was stolen from another town.”

Poor Barry Tungseth found dozens of mannequin heads with makeup on. “It was in the middle of the woods, at least a mile from the nearest road.”

Then there’s Rhonda Snyder, whose experience is quite unique. “I was riding in spring and noticed a set of keys melting in a snow pile on a gravel road I ride. It was my own keys to my bike lock, which I lost on a previous ride.”

While luck was on Rhonda’s side, the same can’t be said for Ben Wolf and Andrew M Hartley.

“I got hit by lightning three times,” Ben wrote, adding, “I probably should stop riding in thunderstorms.”

Andrew, on the other hand, looked a gifted horse in the mouth, and it would come back to bite him later.

“On a bike tour through Pennsylvania, I picked up a crescent wrench from the road. At my lodging the night after, I gave my host the wrench out of gratitude for his hospitality. Two days later, I needed the wrench for a repair, as the wrench I was carrying was too small. Apparently, God had put that wrench in my path for a purpose, and I missed the message.”

No matter how big or small, strange or interesting. One thing is for sure. Riding a bicycle will ensure you experience the world from a different perspective, encountering unbelievable things along the way and providing plenty of stories to tell when you return home.

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