Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
Have you seen this little bugger? He got me in right in the ear, neck and pecked at the eyes the other day. Nearly drew blood! At first I thought I got hit by a cricket bat or a bogan in a ute. Magpie nesting season is now officially underway and the carnage has begun.
There’s nothing more demeaning that being on the open road with your mates in your new kit with you legs all sheened-up looking as PRO as ever and then, out of nowhere, a magpie hits you and you’re left there screaming like a school-girl and shitting your knicks. (I find nothing more amusing when it’s not me being attacked). Not even Gerro or Lance is immune to this.
Magpie attacks are mostly a pre-emptive defense strategy whereby the magpie is simply protecting its nest. However, as with people in general, some are simply just being jerks. Like the one that attacked me.
There are a few things you can do to prevent these ruthless attacks. You see many people attaching tie wraps to their helmet and other people swear by putting plastic eyeballs onto the tops of their helmet. These defence tactics are apparently effective, but I’m sorry, I’m not going to deface my helmet and look like a complete spaz on the road. It’s against the bike racer’s code of conduct.
The one thing that you can do while keeping your dignity is this. Always remember that when riding in a group, the guy on the front never gets swooped. Like snakes, the first one scares it, the second one gets bit. From what I’ve seen the magpie will usually get the second or third rider back. It’s good training being on the front as well.
If you’ve never been swooped this video gives you an idea on what you’ll have to contend with sooner or later. Persistent little bugger isn’t he?
Ride safe this weekend and beware of the magpies.