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Thread: Nature Raw ...

  1. #1
    Ol' Paint
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    Nature Raw ...

    What encounters with wildlife have you enjoyed on your rides? Maybe this topic has been covered before, but I always enjoy hearing about experiences with our natural world. There is too little of it left untouched. I spent a little time today cruising the single track near my house and ran over another copperhead, the third time I have done so in the last two months. This one was a beauty, maybe 3+ feet long (unfortunately I did not have a tape measure with me), fat, with luminous colors (it must have recently shed its skin). I stopped about 10 yards past it, turned around and watched it lazily crawl into the trees beside the trail. I'm starting to get a little nervous about these snakes since I come upon them and zip past them before I can react. I would be really nervous if I was not alone and mis amigos in the rear received the bites meant for the first bike. Of course, I would be more upset, since I ride solo, if the snake got me and I had to get back to the trailhead by myself. Shiverrrr. But the snake was not the real treat on this mornings ride ... no, I was riding in a different section and something fairly large ran across the trail in front of me. I thought it was a midsized stray dog or small coyote at first and stopped as quickly as I could. I was wrong about it being a dog. I'm used to seeing squirrels, 'possums and armadillos, but this time it was a cat, the first bobcat I had ever seen in the wild. It just stood there and gave me the twice over, very cool and collected. Immediately I called the Mrs. (I love cell phones) who is very much a cat person, and told her that at that moment I was in a staredown with a bobcat. As we talked it flicked its tail and sauntered off as if I was just a nuisance it could not be bothered with. Gorgeous! A truly beautiful animal! (I have such conflicted feelings about invading its habitat with my bike, but if I had not, I would not have been able to see it. Most of the habitat in the Dallas metro area is destroyed by development anyway. The only reason we have a single track is because it is in a flood plain by a creek and will likely never be used for anything else.) I told my beloved about running over another copperhead and she berated me for "hurting those poor innocent snakes." I apparently need to ride more carefully. Did I mention she is a snake person too? A rare women indeed.
    Last edited by ticwanos; 10-08-06 at 11:57 PM.
    "In my cathedral,
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    sunlight through trees."
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  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Hello ticwanos,what trails do you ride?I also live in Garland and ride the Duck Creek,Audobon Park trails. I have seen 1 large black snake 1 large black rabbit and squirrels.If there is another good place to ride I would be interrested in where to find it.I know the Rowlett Creek preserve is a good dirt trail but I haven't tried it yet.

  3. #3
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Here in S.E. Michigan we of course have loads of deer (too darn many!) and the usual varmints: raccoon, opossum, porcupines, skunks, etc. Some less common critters on or near the trails within a few miles of my home that I've seen include mink and beaver. A while back, someone a couple counties away saw and photographed an actual wolverine -- a rare find since they are not actually native to this state any more (not counting Ann Arbor, of course ). And there's always the legendary "cougar" that people claim to have seen, but has never been solidly verified.

  4. #4
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    From an earlier post...this was out near Mineral Wells
    A CRAZY ENCOUNTER

    A few months ago I am on a Saturday ride. I topped a hill south of the Brazos River and started accelerating on a mile or so of downhill. The road flattened a bit and then dropped down again into the river bottom. When I drop off the second downhill I see specks in the middle of a road way down at the bottom. Too small to be turkey vultures, I figure they are small dogs or something. As I get closer they appear to be coyotes, five or six in a pack and quite busy on their main course of carrion du jour. By now I am really zipping along and they are giving no indication of moving as I careen toward them at more than thirty miles per hour. They don’t even notice me on the bike. They are, so to speak, getting bigger in the windshield with no thought toward moving.

    I come closer still...and see....they are cats….big cats. Well, bigger than my house cat but smaller than an African lion. They see me….and start to scatter…..bobcats they are. The biggest of the bunch takes a few leaps in my direction and freezes. His compadres scatter, then he puts the pedal to the metal and heads directly toward me. I’m grabbing brakes and trying not to skid while I veer to the left as I think about the guy who hit a dog on his road bike and did two weeks in the hospital and six months of therapy…..when the crazy cat veers off to my right, makes a U-turn, and parallels me for about 50 yards before careening off through the barbed wire fence into the brush. I never saw that many bobcats in one place before.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  5. #5
    I may already be a weiner showme's Avatar
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    Monday night I'm riding a wooded trail and I came across a woman backtracking in here own steps...actually walking backwards, forward then sideways...very confusing for a biker to pass...I had to come to a complete stop. She was staring down a tall, red fox with a bushy tail..just a gorgeous animal, standing along side a small creek almost hidden by the autumn leaves....it was remarkable sight...I have never been that up close to a fox in the wild. It stared at us and slowly retreated..staring back occasionally as it disappeared deep into the woods.
    Squirrels and deer are common and abundant here in Kansas City. I see large numbers of each on every ride. My riding partner has run over two snakes this summer...and saved a couple of others. We have seen a variety of wildlife, including opossums, beaver, an owl, skunks and ground hogs. There are highly disputed reports of bobcat sightings along the trails...don't think I would be as fasinated with a bobcat.

  6. #6
    Ol' Paint
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    John44--
    I was on the Rowlett Creek Trail. I love it there. My wife and I frequently powerwalk/jog along the Duck Creek greenbelt so I know it well, but the Rowlett Creek trail is a different kind of experience. What do you ride? I have busted one really cheap bike and one fork on the dirt track before I got a ride sturdy enough to take the terrain, not that its has to be treacherous, I can just be stupid.
    "In my cathedral,
    colored glass holds no candle to
    sunlight through trees."
    -- Leon Briggs

  7. #7
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Here is western Colorado we are blessed with a wide variety of wild animals -- large and small. My most recent interesting encounters involved birds.

    A couple of weeks ago I noticed two small raptors in a cottonwood next to the road. As I approached, I assumed they were kestrels (a beautiful small falcon). To my surprise, they were peregrines. Probably a young pair on the move between the canyons, looking a nest area . . . a rare treat!

    Sunday I was just getting into a 50-mile ride when a flock of large birds took off from a field as I approached. Sandhill cranes (26) -- they circled around riding thermals to gain elevation as they continued their fall migration through Delta County to New Mexico. They tracked with me for 10-15 minutes, circling overhead and sounding out their unique calls. Great start to a great ride!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  8. #8
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Moose are getting more plentiful in NE Washington state. I've had three encounters (two this year) that were funny-but-annoying. Last two were young ones who had no desire to relinquish the rail-trail or fireroad to let me pass.

  9. #9
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Down in Patagonia, South America there was loads of wildlife that seemed very tame. They never ran away when I went past on my bike.

    The Guanaco ( a kind of Llama) were everywhere, saw several herds and even a creche of about 25 young ones, There were also Nandu, a kind of Rhea, flightless bird , that would run alongside you, when I stopped they would flick their heads aas if to say "come on then".
    I had lunch with a silver fox that sat about 5 ft from me, only went when a bus full of tourists stopped. And then there were the armadillos that ran acros the road .

    In the lake region a large wild cat ran ahead of me, only about twice the size of a normal house cat grey with dark stripes.

    and, of course, the Condor flying. Several times I thought I has seen a condor, that was until I went to Torres Del Paine National Park and finally saw a "real" condor for the first time, they are huge, the others I had seen were eagles and buzzards, big,,,, but not big enough.

    One of the great things about riding a bike, no noise to scare them away so you see more.

    george
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    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
    http://picasaweb.google.com/georgeidf50/southeastasia

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticwanos
    John44--
    I was on the Rowlett Creek Trail. I love it there. My wife and I frequently powerwalk/jog along the Duck Creek greenbelt so I know it well, but the Rowlett Creek trail is a different kind of experience. What do you ride? I have busted one really cheap bike and one fork on the dirt track before I got a ride sturdy enough to take the terrain, not that its has to be treacherous, I can just be stupid.
    I ride a comfort bike,a Raleigh venture 4.0.The bike is only 4 months old so I guess I should try some rougher terrain so if something does break it will break under warranty.Is it very crowded there on weekday mornings? Since I am still a newbie I wouldn't want to get in the way or get run over.

  11. #11
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Me and the gator:

    Wag more, bark less

  12. #12
    I may already be a weiner showme's Avatar
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    Me and the gator:

    nothing more needs to be said. You WIN!

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