A deer charging out of the brush on the cross-country cycling course was not the birthday present Kevin Calhoun was hoping for at the 2015 Ski to Sea race.
Calhoun, a resident of North Vancouver, B.C., riding for the Boundary Bay Brewery Men, was in first place around the Bellingham International Airport when a deer bolted out of the brush and T-boned his bike. The doe got up and ran off, but Calhoun was left with a front flat tire and scrapes on his right leg and arm.
He still was able to finish the fifth leg and had his team in second place, despite having to go about half the 13-mile course on a flat tire.
Shawn Mitchell of Aeromech Sensible Technology, who was near Calhoun at the beginning of the leg, was the first person to complete the leg.
“It was not the birthday present I was asking for,” Calhoun said, adding that it was quite surprising to be body-checked by a deer.
He hoped his teammates could make up the lost time during the last two legs of the race. Boundary edged out Aeromech in 2014 to take the Ski to Sea overall title. But the deer incident likely cost Boundary the race this year.
Asked how he was able to finish the race on a flat front tire, Calhoun explained that you can get some speed up, but it is difficult to take turns. He had to accelerate on the straight sections and slow down when he came up to a turn.
“It certainly made things interesting,” Calhoun said of his encounter with the deer.