Master of the "Extended Thrilla", Ross Wolin, sent me the following story about a ride he did earlier in the week. Names have been changed to protect the unfortunate.
On Monday, when we were coming down the John Wayne/Iron Horse trail, Scott was getting pretty tired and was drafting me to be able to go faster. At some point we encountered a large elk or deer with a huge rack ahead on the trail. It ran.... but just kept running down the trail for miles, didn't break to the left or right. At about 19 mph we were keeping pace with it, staying mostly out of sight behind it (I wanted to go faster, but didn't want to really freak it out.) After a long stretch of this, we came around a turn and the beast was standing sideways in the trail eying me like it was considering charging. I didn't want to see that, so still a ways back I quickly stopped.... and had totally forgotten about the guy drafting me, until I heard "Oh shit", a small crash to the left as he went sailing by me, in the air, without his bike..... a fairly good Superman impression.
I've had deer run alongside me for a 100 yards. I've had a deer block the trail and not let me pass. But I've never had a deer run with me for miles then sprint ahead only to take up a ramming position! That must have been nuts. And, ahem, Scott, should feel no shame for crashing in that situation. A less noble gesture would have been to ride right up Ross' backside... which would have been good for nobody. At least the way things played out, some of us get to laugh about it.