Tandem Cycling - Attacked . . .
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07-05-11, 10:58 PM
. . . by a butterfly!!!
Yup, about a mile into our morning tandem toot209412 here in northern Utah, a huge monarch butterfly decided to attack the pilot!
Somehow this huge yellow and black monarch decided to fly just under the bill of my cycling cap and flatten intself on part of my brow and the right lens of my glasses!
Sort of startled me but was hesitant to brush it off.
The forward speed sort of plastered it to my lens for almost a minute.
Tilted my head slightly and it got itself unstuck and flying again, narrowly missing stoker Kay.
Oh, the dangers of tandeming . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
07-05-11, 11:24 PM
... this huge yellow and black monarch
Yellow? Monarchs are large, but are described as a tawny orange.
07-05-11, 11:53 PM
Well, had a *very* closeup view and this thing was bright yellow with black markings similar to the orange one you pictured. Assumed it was a monarch . . .
Then again, am not a butterly expert!
But it was a unique and bit startling experience.
We are spending the summer in northern Utah to escape the 110+ degree warmth of Tucson.
Also on today's tandem toot spotted several large flights of black ibis, one white pelican and a deer (roadkill).
The butterfly was by far the better experience than the odorous roadkill!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Glad you are ok, sounds like something from a movie.
Last off-road ride heading inbound, similar story except I got hit by a huge dragonfly.
Same trail a few days earlier, we must have startled a gator, or someone has been feeding him, since we were moving along on the doubletrack road at around 14 mph, and this gator of 5>10 feet came running across the shallow water and mud, mouth open after us. We were about 40 feet away when we heard him heading towards us. Never realized my stoker had such powerful legs to sprint like that...
Always something cars, critters, idiot people or the elements...ride must be interesting.
07-06-11, 06:43 AM
Lot's of Swallowtails in S. Utah last week, along with lot's of heat.
07-06-11, 08:12 AM
Monarch butterflys do come in a yellow variety. You could be right. ;)
07-09-11, 12:28 PM
Sounds like to us you are still riding faster than butterflys fly!
07-09-11, 02:39 PM
I have several large milk weeds growing in front of my house because they are one of the few weeds that the Monarch larvae will feed on. I hope they don't grow up to attack bicyclists.
The tandem-attacking-vampire-monarch* from hell!
* (probably a tiger swallowtail: similar size but yellow with black lug-lining)
07-10-11, 08:20 PM
Beautiful yellow with black lug lining . . .
. . . fortunately it was not double-butted!
07-10-11, 10:42 PM
Lot's of Swallowtails in S. Utah last week...
Yesterday while piloting our tandem at the Death Ride, which, like Utah, is in the Great Basin, I saw plentiful large yellow and black butterflies. I wasn't able to obtain a photo, however, as climbing a 7% grade is not conducive to stopping.
I saw more today, on my half-bike ride up to Auberry (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/98302543), in the Western Sierra. Today in our backyard in the Central Valley I saw what seemed to be the same butterfly. I grabbed my trusty camera to take a photo of it on our Agapanthus.
(It even got Lily's attention, while lighting on our butterfly bush.)
This appears to be a Western Tiger Swallowtail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Tiger_Swallowtail), which is also common in Utah (http://www.wildutah.us/index_b_thmb_swallowtails.html).
So, ZT, do you think the culprit might have been a Swallowtail rather than a Monarch?
07-12-11, 09:39 PM
I'm gonna say that is a very common butterfly in western Colorado
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