Commuting - Well, it finally happened.
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After ducking and dodging everything from dogs to ducks to people and squirrels, I finally clobbered something on my ride in this morning. Just before the airport, as I crested a small hill, a little furry thing (probably a field mouse or rat) darted in front of my wheel just under the beam of light cast by my new headlight. I saw it too late and couldn't even manage to get a finger on the brakes-I was probably doing about 17-18 mph at that point. As I passed over it I felt a sensation similar to running over a semi-melted Butterfinger bar-first soft and mushy, then "Crunch" (as it's spine broke no doubt). I felt bad but couldn't bring myself to stop, afraid that I would see it squirming and writhing in pain, not yet dead. Would I have the guts to finish it off? Then I thought: me (255 lbs) + new/used bike with accessories and backpack (25 lbs) = instant death for mouse/rat/squirrel at .0023 lbs. I really do feel bad as I love wildlife and ride my bike, in part, to benefit nature, not harm it. Maybe I just clipped it's tail and he scurried off the trail to safety (I don't recall feeling it hit my back wheel). I'll either have a friend tell me if she sees it on her ride in later this morning, or check for it on my afternoon ride home.
Other than that; my new commuter ran great and I feel terrific after a two week absence due to a slight injury. I'm just glad to feel free again from the traffic and crowded Metro.
10-12-04, 06:02 AM
I just hope it didn't suffer. Your description of the incident makes me go *shudder*.
My girlfriend ran over this huge rat last year, same thing. I saw the headlight beam, somehow darted right into her path. I was right behind her and it got thrown back from under the front tire at which point she kicked it in her pedal stroke. We went back for it cause we just plain didn't know what it was at the time. It was spasming about 1-2 ft into the air. We didn't know what to do for it so we took off. I think secretly in my mind, I said a prayer, though I'm not a normally praying nor religious man.
The bike path is poopulated by a lot of squirrels without tails. I see a dismembered tail just about every day. Haven't hit one yet, but it's bound to happen, and I dread the day.
I did see one squirrel get sucked up into the wheel of a guy going the other way. It spun around about 3 times then ejected and ran off into the woods. Bizarre.
10-12-04, 07:52 AM
I am also an animal lover, and so I always will put a doomed animal out of its misery. It's not pleasant, but it's really the only right thing to do. The worst I've had to do was a cat who was still conscious but had just been horribly injured. As a lifelong cat owner, it was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Mice and stuff I am used to snuffing because the cats would often bring them to the house to "play" with. I'd go out and ruin their fun by killing the things.
10-12-04, 10:09 AM
The bike path is poopulated...
10-12-04, 10:14 AM
don't feel bad. it's tail will grow back.
you feel bad you couldn't swerve in time. how will you feel when the soccer mom in the suv swerves to miss a squirrel, taking a cyclist out in the process?
collateral damage is a b**ch.
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