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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in farm country, and field/crop maintenance is a machine intensive process. The weather dictates some of the finer points of what needs to be done at what time, so there is a certain random element to the transfer of equipment from one location to the next.

Case in point, this crop sprayer was doing it’s maximum road speed of 30 mph as I was on my way to a medical appointment…. Too wide to fit in one lane. Combine Harvesters are many times larger, and can completely fill this two lane blacktop, without the reel on the front.

It sucks to be running at speed, drop into a blind corner and find out you have nowhere to go. This is why I ride alone as a rule.

Plant Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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I live in a rural area as well. Spring is bad as the farmers are out doing field work and planting so you get tractors and large plough/seeding units blocking the road the same as the sprayer in your picture. After planting then comes spraying, then harvest in fall. If it's been wet at all then all of the equipment tracks piles of mud and dirt onto the road wherever they cross or travel, making for sketchy traction and requiring a lot of vigilance. I've had a few moments in intersections where I come around a corner and gas it a bit, then get sideways when I hit a patch of dirt left behind by equipment. It always gets the heart rate up.


Mark
 

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I have not stopped to snap pictures, but some of the barely 1.5 lane wide (no center divider and less than 20' width is common on the secondary and thridary roads)roads I frequent often in SW Wisconsin are farming roads and some of the machinery I encounter takes up more than road width, more than once I have crested a hill to find one "right there"

But as always my biggest threat I see on the roads I frequent.........
Wood rats and other motorcycles, one is usually surviveable (as evidenced by my 8 deer hits thus far and still up and walking and riding) and the other may not be (as evidenced by the 3 motorcycle collison in southern WI last weekend, all 3 died- not sure if the two were at fault or the one--head on though, all pronounced on the scene, all sportbikes with gear- just not great gear from the pic I saw and NOT "ALL THE GEAR".... helmet, jacket and gloves on 2, helmet T-shirt on the other, btu someone or two someones were in the wrong lane going way fast.... police estimated a 200mph combined impact speed I am told... but who knows if that is true)

I plan to ride down to that crash scene and take a look this weekend, hard to tell from what I have seen and been told if blind corner or crest/rise in the road or how tight the turn is as to why they could not avid each other...... one of my customers rode by it as they were picking up the bodies with zero urgency, all three covered in sheets and only two bikes visible, in pieces he said, both way off the road
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forest rats are both unpredictable individually, and predictable as a breed.

Because they are prey animals, when their flight response is triggered there is a tremendous amount of random involved in what they do. Travel in a straight line at a steady speed approaches certain death for them. Hence the sudden changes in speed and direction when they run from something.

They also oblivious during the rut. Crazy to stupid, in nothing flat.

What IS predictable, is where you’re most likely to encounter them. Deer remain concealed as much as possible. Encountering deer while operating a vehicle almost always occurs where they want to cross a road. Accidents occur at intersections……. Regardless of whether it’s a human or deer crossing.

They’re even worse at judging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle than car drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Deer can hide behind something a Rottweiler would not be able to use for cover. The closer a line of concealment comes to a road, that’s where you can expect the greatest chance of an encounter. Culverts, ditches, brush lines, even deep shadows all offer cover.
 

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my WI riding area and roads of choice for their curves and lack of other vehicles and houses makes them great places for woodrats to also frequent.......luckily most of the time this means speeds at 70 mph or so--so some remote chance of "escape" if you are hyper alert.....
and quite often the tree line is less than 10' from the roads edge, many times much closer, in the corn belt of the ARCADIA area of SE WI, there are dozens of roads the corn grows up within 5' of the roads edge.........not a problem early season and after harvest but from mid June until Oct harvest, nearly zero visibility and lots of feed for deer and other animals right there....

The MN river valley side of the border and its huge sweepers and trip digits speeds is far less forgiving even though it does have bigger site lines and typically more distance in both ditches to see..... higher speeds means longer distances to stop,swerve and evade..... and some of these roads just scream deep triples for too many - I see far too many dead deer and even more live ones on these roads, not too mention the huge amount of vehicles every time I ride them to run trips with any confidence it won't end with meeting hitting a deer or some idiot on a bike out of control or some cager with a pissed off attitude........thus I avoid Miineshithole sweeperland 98% of my miles

I was within inches a few weeks ago of making it deer hit #9, brakes as hard as I could scrubbing speed to maybe 25-30mph and the last 15' I was off brakes and swerved hard to avoid momma, then almost took out the damn fawn following closely behind...... but I'd rather hit the 50lb fawn than the 150lb momma if I have to hit one...... luckily none hit this time.....

AR trips aren't tons better, but it is usually the fuckers on 4 wheelers and side by sides coming out of the trees without looking, but I do not see nearly the density of deer in AR that I see in MN or WI....but way more suicidal squirrels which is far less cared about and much less of a threat
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah a lot of my preferred riding area has monster sight line changes depending on how tall a given crop is. Soy beans aren't much of an issue, but corn and sorghum absolutely make a difference. Once the fields are planted, most of the equipment stays off the fields, and off the roads. From May to July everything is usually short enough to allow speeds in the range I like to run.

around harvest time, the hunters start appearing.... First scouting where they plan on doing their thing, then chasing after their dog packs via the radio collars. Lots of mud on the roads, many sloppy exits and entries to the pavement..... Any deer running from the dogs are in full flight mode without any concern about anything except what's chasing them.
 

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Forest rats are both unpredictable individually, and predictable as a breed.
I don't know what species you have there, but here we have whitetails and mule deer. I have found the mulies far more predictable and less likely to run out in front of a vehicle than the whitetails. I can't count the number of times I have seen a mulie walk up to the edge of the road, wait for a car to go past (or stop) then cross the road similar to how people would do it. Whitetails seem to be near guaranteed to do something stupid when a vehicle comes past and need a huge amount of caution.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The deer in Ft AP Hill aren’t as stressed by hunters relative to the farmland surrounding the base. I know that the base is roughly 25 X 25 miles which comes out to roughly 400,000 acres. Lots of restrictions for access due to unexploded legacy ordnance. Riding through the base, I could easily reach out and slap a deer feeding at night on the shoulders of the highway.
 
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