Attack of the Birds!

I went for a 5 hour ride north of Sydney and it ended up an adrenaline filled thrill outing! The first part of the ride started off normal. I rode through a quaint little national park. Then hopped onto a local highway where I did a long out and back. That’s when it happened!

As I was passing a truck pull out area, something suddenly slammed into the right side of my helmet. Shocked, I yelled out as my head was jerked to the left and my whole body shifted towards the outside of the road. What the hell was that?!?! As I surveyed my surroundings, I realized I had just been swooped by a large Magpie.

I had heard from friends that these birds will swoop and attack when they feel their nest is threatened. I guess I appeared as a threat!

Looking over my shoulder I spotted my pursuing attacker, just a few meters above and behind my head. I shifted into a bigger gear and picked up the pace in an effort to drop it. A few seconds later, to my surprise, SLAM!!! The bird threw its whole body into the side of my helmet again causing the same head and body jerking movements. I cried out in surprise and decided enough was enough. I dropped it into the biggest gear I had and blasted the pedals as hard as I could to reach top speed. I didn’t stop the leg burning pedaling for a solid thirty seconds. Looking back, I left the feathered fiend far behind. I kept turning over the gears quickly to ensure that I was indeed out of its swooping range. Down the road I eased up, caught my breath, and couldn’t help but laugh. “So that is what everyone has been warning me about!” I thought to myself with a smirk on my face. Satisfied that I had out sprinted my assailant, I realized I would have to ride right back past it on the way home!

The return ride was much different and far more exciting. I was prepared for the dive bombing bird this time. As I approached the section of road where the incident first happened, my senses where heightened. Listening for the flapping of wings, eyes aware of everything in front of me, as well as the shadows below, I proceeded along ready to spring into action. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh! I heard the bird coming! Immediately I ducked, anticipating that it was aiming for my head. Guessing correctly, the bird narrowly missed my lowered head in its failed attempt to pummel me. Faster than a gun slinger from the old west, my finger flicked the shift trigger to drop me into my quickest gear. I exploded into an all out, balls to the wall, adrenaline pumping sprint. I grunted as spittle flew from my mouth and my legs burst into of of the fastest sprints I have ever launched (you would be surprised how much faster you can go when something is chasing you with the intent to harm you!). Head tucked, with a white knuckled grip on the bars, I produced chain snapping amounts of power intending to show that bird who was the fastest. “Come on you son of a @#&$%! Whatcha got!!” I mentally screamed out. I kept my head tucked and looked to the shadows on the ground. A couple hundred meters down the road, I could still see him there. Holy crap! This birds fast! Digging deep, deep down into that well of sheer will power (pun intended) I somehow accelerated even more. Legs screaming to stop, I pushed harder and harder. “This bastard is not gonna catch me!” I thought to myself. I kept up the blistering pace for nearly a minute. Nearing the point of exhaustion, I looked back to see that the bird was finally gone. I did it! I out sprinted a swooping Magpie. I was so proud of myself. I sat up, took a drink, and finished the ride quite content.

Now if someone asks me if I have ever been attacked by a swooping bird, I will smile and say “Oh boy, have I got a story for you!”


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