Goose attack hospitalizes Canadian cyclist

As a bicycle commuter I’m always a little leery of the abundant Canada geese that foul the paths around Twin Cities lakes. They stand their ground and appear a little threatening, especially when they have young ones in tow. (To be sure, they probably feel the same way about me.)

It doesn’t hurt to give them wide berth. A Canadian woman spent five days in the hospital with a concussion and fractured cheekbone when a surprise attack caused her to fall from her bicycle on the Trans Canada Trail near Ottawa.

CBC News reports that Kerry Surman had come across a family of geese crossing the bike path.

“I thought, ‘If I just zip past I’ll be fine,’” Surman said. “But I misjudged how fast I was going and the goose misjudged my intentions.

“What I remember is the goose giving me the evil eye and then the goose wrapping its wings around my head, and I can’t see and I hear myself screaming,” she said.

Surman says her bike helmet and sunglasses probably saved her from more serious injuries. A photo accompanying the article shows the woman with a black eye and road rash.

The story goes on to say,

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources says goose attacks are rare, but the birds can be aggressive towards people and pets, and recommends avoiding any conflict with them.

It sounds like good advice. I remember cycling home from work along a wooded portion of Big Rivers Regional Trail near St. Paul one evening and suddenly finding myself in the midst of a dozen wild turkeys. Low light and an overactive imagination had me convinced they were Velociraptors.

No harm done, and the resulting burst of adrenalin got me home that much faster.