Watch This Ostrich Challenge Cyclists to a Race in South Africa
While preparing for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, a group of cyclists encountered an unlikely motivator that was not part their training plans. RT reports that Oleksiy Mishchenko and two of his fellow bikers were riding along a road near Cape Town when an ostrich emerged from the bush and sprinted after them at speeds as fast as 30 mph.
In the caption for the video, Mishchenko wrote that he was looking at a white ostrich to his left when a second one leapt onto the road from his right and gave chase. “It was a little scary at first, but then I thought I [was] gonna [fall off] my bike from laughter," he said. The speedy bird eventually let the cyclists go, but Mishchenko has a theory about why it pursued them in the first place: “My guess [is] he wanted to show off in front of his girlfriend, I bet she was very impressed!”
Last year, Discovery News provided tips for how to survive an ostrich attack. According to their video, running away would be a mistake; the tall birds can reach speeds up to 45 mph, and could easily catch up with even the fastest human to deliver a powerful kick to the back. More viable alternatives include hiding, standing your ground, and fighting the ostrich off with a long pole, or playing dead until the bird becomes bored and leaves. Mishchenko and his friends got away on their bikes, but considering that the average speed of Tour De France participants is only around 26 mph, they should probably choose the duck-and-hide option next time.