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Deer jumps over Duluth bicyclist, grazing her arm

Jane Martin bikes home along Central Entrance on Monday afternoon. It was near this spot where Martin was the victim of a hit-and-run accident with a deer Thursday morning. Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. - It was a routine Thursday morning for Duluth's Jane Martin, as she rode her road bicycle down Central Entrance at 6:30 on her way to work. She makes the commute from Duluth Heights to Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center on most good-weather days.

She said she was approaching the area near the Minnesota Department of Transportation grounds when she saw a deer crossing the four lanes of Central Entrance ahead of her from left to right.

"I saw it coming from the other side in front of a car," said Martin, 53. "I was slowing down."

After crossing the street and being stymied by a high concrete wall, the deer bounded back into the street, headed back from where it had come. What happened next was hard for Martin to comprehend at first.

"She just jumped over me," Martin said, "over my front tire and handlebars. She caught me on my left arm. I have this bruise to prove it."

Martin thinks the doe hit her on the arm with its left rear hoof. The deer kept going. So did Martin.

"I definitely felt it," she said. "But afterward, I thought, 'Did it really hit me?' When I saw the bruise the next day, I thought, 'Oh, yeah. It did hit me.'"

Martin, who was wearing a helmet at the time, continued on down the hill to work. She said her daily commute takes her seven minutes going downhill and 30 minutes going uphill on the way home. She started riding again in March, when the weather improved.

She hasn't had any other close calls on her commute, she said.

"But this spring I've seen a lot of deer," she said.