North Park night ride / run safety?

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North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby romanik » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:23 pm

Folks,
Is there any safety issue to run or ride on North Park trails after darkness? (with good lights, etc.)

What I mean is - have there been any incidents with wild animals, wild humans, or sightings of such on our trails?
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Intense1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:25 pm

I'm sure there have been incidents... the animals live there and don't go inside when it gets dark. :lol: The park is open until midnight. If you haven't biked at night before, you should give it a try; it makes all the old trails new again. Be sure to take a second light (flashlight etc for emergency) and make sure you know the area well. It's easy to get lost when you can only see a short distance.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby romanik » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:32 pm

I did do a night riding before and do ride with two lights for backup and better visibility (one on a helmet and one on the handlebar). I also run with a bike helmet and light on it (because holding a light by hand makes too much movement) when running.

My question is really not about deer or other small animals, but rather more dangerous type of animals. I've heard coyotes have been seen in the area - not sure if this is true or not. Is it safe to run on these trails at darkness alone or am I better off running along the highway?

In other words - is there a possibility to be "eaten alive" while running or biking alone in the park at night?"
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Intense1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:47 pm

There are coyotes and black bears but truthfully, your biggest concern would be from some whacko, or a rabid bat. Pepper spray would work well and maybe provide some piece of mind. There is safety in numbers, finding someone to join you would be the safest bet, regardless of where you go.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby manhattanprjkt83 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:33 am

are you honestly worried about being eaten alive by a wild animal?

is this a joke?
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby brungeman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:31 am

I wouldn't be too concerned about the wolves in NP, they mostly keep to themselves and will typically run when they hear you running through the woods.

whatever you do, don't wear a bell of any sort. they aggravate wildlife and you never know what may happen when the wildlife gets annoyed! I have heard tales of Mountain lions taking swipes at people wearing bells.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Deluxe » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:34 am

This is indeed sort of funny, however, there were a few dens of coyotes in the park a few years ago. We do have migratory black bear but most of the neighbors' dogs are larger than the yearlings that migrate through the park. Packs of coyotes can sometimes be heard in the summer months in the Irwin Run Valley. The Eastern Coyote is a mix of Canadian Gray Wolf and western coyote. However, they are actually less aggressive than their western counterparts. They tend to become protective when humans with canines venture near their den. They typically hunt in packs along woodland borders. You may seem them solo in the wooded areas though. I would suggest going to your local library rather than this site for information about their behavior. There are several books on eastern wildlife. The only answers you will get here are anecdotal. The biggest threat to your safety in North Park is unsafe riding behavior. I hope this answers your questions. Have fun.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby manhattanprjkt83 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:22 pm

i mean the danger is there i guess if you think about it, but no one ever has any problems

this was taken on a game camera back at the sand pit area in 07'

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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Intense1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:35 pm

Oh... I forgot to mention the mountain lions. They are a huge threat to mountain bikers. If you encounter one, I recommend blinding him with pepper spray and a swift kick in the cojones, then RUN LIKE THE WIND !
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby brungeman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:09 pm

Intense1 wrote:Oh... I forgot to mention the mountain lions. They are a huge threat to mountain bikers. If you encounter one, I recommend blinding him with pepper spray and a swift kick in the cojones, then RUN LIKE THE WIND !


I am here to tell you this doesn't work. My buddy Jim sprayed one in the face with pepper spray and the mahtain lion acted like it was a condiment... Jim had to beat that thing with the empty can of pepper spray till his dog "Chewy" grabbed it behind the ear and the thing took off.

besides, what happens if it is a female mahtahn lion? Do you still aim for cojones?
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby romanik » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:21 pm

The "eaten alive" was a joke, but I am a bit concerned about safety. Thanks for all the good replies. I also called the park office today and they said there are coyotes in the park (confirmed this year), but their numbers are unknown. Last year there was a sighting of a bear.

I guess my conclusion is that it may not be a good idea to go solo after dark deep in the woods - either biking or running. I have done it few times this year and really enjoyed it, but will try to find a company for these night adventures.

Thanks folks!
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Intense1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:36 pm

Oh come on... We are mountain bikers and as such, laugh in the face of danger! I'm not saying that it would be a good idea to go out at night solo but the animals should be the least of your concerns.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Intense1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:44 pm

here is a great video that shows an effective technique for survival should you ever find yourself in a battle with a wild animal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVS1UfCf ... ata_player
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby manhattanprjkt83 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:25 pm

careful out there.

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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby ruthslp » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:20 am

'deep in the woods of north park'

i had to laugh at that....sorry! you are never more than a few feet from a road anywhere in the park! there are coyotes in general anywhere around here....i live near deer lakes and we see them all the time on peoples property & bears have been reported too. But i know what you mean, seriously, I have the same feelings when I go out alone at night....I do now wear a bell sometimes it makes me feel safer.....but after a dark 2.5 hr run in michaux last month by myself I don't think I will ever be scared around here again!! My adrenalin was so high from fear of big cats and the fact that a person was killed there this summer, but i did it to force myself to get over it. For people, I do carry spray just in case. I've never had to use, but did have a few people creep me out before. I don't remember there ever being reports of people being harmed at NP by other people....but you never know. If I have to choose, i run at night before bike alone on trails, I feel it keeps me basically closer to my start point/car than a bike ride if I needed to get back or anyone needed to know where I was. I also ALWAYS tell justin place/time I am going to be out too......and I now have a SPOT that has a direct 911 button (I know....that is SO ridiculous!!).....happy night trails:-)
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Florian » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:32 pm

A good 200+ lumen helmet headlight and a bright taillight (http://www.niterider.com/prod_cherrybomb.shtml) will keep the critters, the creeps, and the cars at bay. As mentioned by others, carry pepper-spray and a cell phone for peace of mind, but IMHO road traffic is a bigger danger than animals. E.T. encounters are for a different forum. Check occasionally if there are any group night rides posted on the PORC calendar. Frequently cyclists park at JC Stone field since it has lights on at night and restrooms. I try to ride after work on the warmest night of the week. Below is a loop I like to do at night around the golf course and north ridge. All the trails are pretty close to the roads and the only people I see on the trails are other cyclists.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/39487728

( In all honesty, my feet are usually frozen by the end and I just ride along Ingomar Rd to the car for a total of a 12 mile loop. )
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby sharp » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:36 pm

I ride at North Park at night on a regular basis, and so do a lot of other people on here. I'm not the least bit concerned about the wildlife eating me.....I'm with Billy, beavers should fear me. Cause they are tastey...
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby Naomi » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:06 pm

Actually there was some kind of person-person assault a few years back, I think the victim was hiking the Braille trail.
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Re: North Park night ride / run safety?

Postby karldion » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:35 am

Intense1 wrote:There are coyotes and black bears but truthfully, your biggest concern would be from some whacko, or a rabid bat. Pepper spray would work well and maybe provide some piece of mind. There is safety in numbers, finding someone to join you would be the safest bet, regardless of where you go.


:mrgreen: Yeah. I totally agree with that a pepper spray to be used. It would really hurt the eyes of the warfreak animals.. :lol:
Evidently theoc pepper spray had effect. Image
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