Do do you worry about riding in areas with known mountain lions? Mountain biking has had its share of issues with this animal. Not a large problem but I still wonder at times what is stalking me as I ride through the woods.
They are all over the place where I live, but rarely give them much of a thought. I will say that I occasionally wonder how many of them have just watched me go by. I also have a bear bell on my trail bikes but that is more for hikers than anything else.
I live in an area with an active mountain lion population but have never run into them. The general fear with them is small children, they are generally afraid of humans. While attacks do happen it’s generally because a human has gone near their babies or where they have hidden their kill ( ML will kill and then hide it to return and feed for a few days ). General rule is the same as bears, bell for prevention, pepper spray for protection.
I know they’re out there but I don’t bother thinking about them. Like Brian mentioned, you’ve probably ridden right by a few of them if you’ve been biking in the woods for long. I’ve been all over the Western US to MTB and the only place I’ve seen a mountain lion was right in Orange County (CA) at an area named Whiting Ranch that is surrounded by residential homes. Maybe the last place I’d expect to see one. It was back in December 2003 and I crested a hill while riding solo to see the mountain lion about 30 yards in front of me…going away from me. I’m not sure the mountain lion if knew I was there. Anyway, I waited for a couple other guys and we rode down in a pack at high speed, making as much noise as possible. We got about a mile down the road and there was the mountain lion with 2-3 cubs. They turned off into the bushes as we went by. The crazy thing is less than 2-3 weeks later, a couple people were attacked in Whiting Ranch and one biker was killed.
One of the TV shows did a segment on mountain lions around LA. They tagged a bunch with GPS and tracked them They hang out beyween residential areas. Small streams and clumps of trees between houses Eye opening for sure
Where I live we have an active black bear and mountain lion population. Although I have never seen a mountain lion, I have had several bear encounters which really weren’t that scary.
Awhile back, I attended a symposium on mountain lions( after an attack in nearby Orange county where a man was killed and two women were injured). The mountain lion expert said that the mountain lion is more closely related to the cheetah than the African lion and is the second fastest animal behind the cheetah. He went on to tell what to do if you encounter a lion. A couple of things he brought were, that if you go into lion country, it would not be a bad idea to put patches or stickers of eyes on the back of your hat or helmet, since lions suprise attack from behind in almost all cases. He also stated that bells or whistles actually attract mountain lions, or any cat for that matter because cats are curious by nature.
I have never seen a mountain lion, but have seen fresh footprints and also spotted a dead, halfway eaten deer in a tree and a dead dog in a shallow grave.
I live and ride in big cat country. Never give them a thought….
…. except when night riding. Every little rustle in the woods is spooky and makes me think “cougar!”
But as noted above, you’ll never know they’re coming. They are the epitome of stealth. If they’re after you, by the time you hear them, you’re meat. So, logically, there’s no reason to jump, but instinct is a hard thing to overcome. That said, it has never kept me in at night!
We also live in bear country. Bears don’t spook me one bit.