The day to day dangers of cycling on the road are all too well-known and can often cause debate amongst cyclists and motorists, but recently Banbridge cyclists are having to be wary of other locals that are determined to protect their own patch of the road. There have been reports from local cyclists of some particularly aggressive and territorial birds of prey that are keen to keep the cyclists away. Up to now this has been limited to swooping low to warn riders away but on a recent training ride Banbridge CC’s James Curry felt the full force of one of the raptors talons as they grasped his head! Fortunately for the multiple national champ he was wearing his bicycle helmet which took the brunt of the attack. The picture below shows the damage inflicted by one single swoop and demonstrates the potential for injury if the bird was to connect with a face of a passer-by.
The force of the hit was described by James as “like someone smacking you hard on the back of the head”. Obviously James’ bike handling skills are unquestioned as an international off road competitor and he was able to react to the surprise attack. It’s an unusual story that no doubt will get a few laughs at the coffee stop during the next few group rides, but local riders should be aware and cautious of this particular bird on the Drumneath Road who’s quickly earning a reputation for preying on unwary passing cyclists!