Did my cable tied cycling helmet work?


Well did my cable tied helmet work? Having been attacked the previous week I'm not afraid to admit that I was a wee bit hesitant!

So ignoring the fact that I look like a bit of a numpty, will dressing like an echidna really work?

The time is 9am Sunday Morning, I don my dodgy disguise and set off hoping that the neighbours don't see me! "Lycra is bad enough but now Jonny looks a complete.."

Luckily I escape onto the M7 cycle path without anyone batting an eye. Now call me paranoid but I do seem to be getting an awful lot of odd looks from fellow cyclists. I don't care in 20kms I'll face my fears! 20kms comes and it's getting hotter..

I spot him sitting high on a cable and he completely ignores me!! Now this is probably not at all scientific as it is nearing 27 degrees and my guess is that even the evil M7 magpie isn't daft enough to be out in the sun let alone wasting energy chasing a lycra clad mamil!

ayob havasi picture

ayob havasi - January 28th, 2022


I have an idea for cycling that prevents birds from attacking them.

Without harming the bird

Contact me if you wish


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Rick T - August 17th, 2020

I wear a FULL FACE HELMET and never have probs. Had 1 land on my shoulder at Pine Park Victor Harbor. Tapped on helmet a few times, flew around to the front looked at me then flew off.Love those birds.
Jayson Black picture

Jayson Black - September 1st, 2019

what HTML?
Jayson Black picture

Jayson Black - September 1st, 2019

I tried Cable ties last year (2018). I believe they were black from memory. Very large ones. I put approx 20 on the helmet. IT DID NOTHING to deter the Magpie that Attacks me right out the front of the house.

Interestingly I have learned some things. I have learned their Alarm Call. The one he uses when he is going to swoop. They had already started making this alarm call in the first week of August this year. They didn't actually attack, because I haven't ridden my bike this year yet. But I was moving some things around under my carport and I think the male magpie noticed me doing this. He began making the alarm call. Even when he couldn't see me. Even when I went inside. He would change positions every 15 minutes or so to get a different angle if view on my bike. all the while making his typical Alarm call. It's difficult to describe here but its (to me) sounds something like a creaking door opening/closing. He did this for many weeks, up until about 2 weeks ago (I'm assuming he now has eggs or chicks and cant stay at my house all day). I felt very sorry for the silly thing. He would be there, making his alarm call from the first light to the last light of the day. How exhausting for him. He is clearly very scared or very angry at my bike.

While he hasn't actually made contact, he really wants to. he is super crazy-aggressive and it all seems to revolve around Spoked wheels. Not just my bike, but anything that even resembles a spoked wheel. Prams, carts etc.

I am really scared that he is going to scare me into falling off my bike and this magpie is one of the main reason I tend not to ride (not the only reason). But yeh, for this particular magpie cable ties appear to do nothing.

Oh, what's worse is that I think he is/was teaching last years chick to watch out for me and/or my bike. I have begun trying to feed them, hopefully, this cuts me some slack with them.

I am going to purchase a bike rack so that I can take my bike(s) elsewhere to go for recreational rides. I just wont be able to ride to the shops etc, so long as he is attacking. Im getting a bit older now and i dont think my body would cope too well with a fall.
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BarossaByBike - September 8th, 2018

According to the safety experts, cable ties can compromise your head/neck safety if you have a crash. Helmets are designed to slide, but the cable ties can stop this, adding to risk of neck/spine injuries. Might be better to just avoid known spots in springtime, thanks to this site!
MagpieAlert Editor picture

MagpieAlert Editor - October 5th, 2016

Les, that's why this year I'm stopping and turning around at the bubbler instead of Elizabeth Drive.. I'm a great believer in statistics, if I push my luck too often I might get more than a helmet peck.
Les Bear picture

Les Bear - October 3rd, 2016

The M7 Maggie know how to get under cable ties and hit you on the shoulder as my wife would attest. He will also swoop at the sides of your head. The trick is to dangle some longer cable ties downwards over the back and sides. If Maggie hits your helmet- usually no harm done. It's the soft bits underneath that need protecting. And wear wrap around glasses - UNDER the helmet straps.
Trevor Scott picture

Trevor Scott - September 1st, 2016

I was attacked two days ago. So returned the same cycle route three days later with black cable ties on my helmet. (That was the only colour I had) the same magpie came out of the tree, squawking and heading behind me. To my suprise he did not swoop low, came down about 4 metres from me, a couple of high swoops, then gave up and returned to the nest. So for me cable ties did not stop the magpie from swooping, but kept this bird at a safe distance from me.

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