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Old 08-05-02, 08:36 AM   #1
MikeR
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The best 4 seconds on my bike.

Sunday, (8/4/01)I had an incredible experience while on my morning bike ride.

I’m coming down a long incline, going 20 – 25 mph. On my left is a field of soybeans with a flock of small sparrow-like birds in it. On the right side of the road is a corn field. As I come up on the birds they startle and fly across the road, at an angle moving more or less with me. Suddenly a large Hawk swoops down and is right behind one of the little sparrows. The two of them are about 30 feet from me, going across the road, but at an angle that keeps them ahead of me.

The sparrow is squeaking and flapping like crazy to get away. The hawk has opened his wings, going from a dive to a fast glide. I can see his talons stretched out, reaching for the sparrow who is now only inches from his grasp.. They’re half way across the road, right in front of me. I see the hawk’s wings dip slightly as he makes a slight correction for the cross winds. That gives the sparrow a few more inches of life between him and the large talons, desperately outstretched behind him. The hawk makes a little dip in his flight path to gain speed and is almost touching the sparrows tail feathers. They’re now only 4 feet of the ground as the sparrow flys right between the cornstalks. The hawk looks up to see the corn rushing at him and his 3 foot wingspan and his objective suddenly changes. At the last minute he drastically pulls up, and his wings just clear the tops of the corn stalks as I wiz past him and the whole scene is behind me.

WOW what a 4 second rush!
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Old 08-05-02, 08:42 AM   #2
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Wow, how cool! Hawks are extreme predators. I have several that I keep an eye on but I have never seen them attack. That would be an incredible sight to see.
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Old 08-05-02, 08:48 AM   #3
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Incredible, the things you see on the bike when you least expect it.

Thanks, Mike!
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Old 08-05-02, 10:07 AM   #4
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the poor little bird must be at the last of the food chain, I have seen a couple of that sight while riding in the northern part of Toronto, and I would certainly agree that its a sight that will linger on your mind for quite sometime...:confused: :confused: :confused:
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Old 08-05-02, 10:38 AM   #5
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What an experience to have. One of the things that only happens once a lifetime, if lucky

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Old 08-05-02, 12:35 PM   #6
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One of the things that only happens once a lifetime, if lucky
If I were in a car I would have missed it. I would have been going too fast. Also, I noticed that I can get closer to wildlife on the bike because it is so quiet.
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Old 08-05-02, 02:02 PM   #7
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Wow, what an encredible 4 seconds of life and almost death to have experienced. But I have to ask, how close was your face to the talons and the wings? Were you in any danger of being hit with either?
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Old 08-06-02, 06:21 AM   #8
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how close was your face to the talons
I was close enough to see well, but not so close that I felt in any danger of hitting them. It looked just like a perfect shot from one of those nature shows.

They were traveling across the road but at an angle so that they were going (more or less) my way. When I first noticed them they were on the right side of the road right, about 20 feet in the air and 30 feet in front of me. They moved forward down the road, across my line of travel, and gradually lower as they went. When they crossed the middle of the road they were maybe 15 feet ahead of me and at my eye level. When they hit the corn they were less than 10 feet away and on my left.

All this is approximate. It happened very fast but I just took it all in and had the rest of the ride to relive it.
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Old 08-06-02, 10:25 AM   #9
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Your description is so vivid and clear, it's as if I was there.
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Old 08-06-02, 12:12 PM   #10
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it's as if I was there
Glad you enjyed it - I wrote it with that in mind.
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Old 08-06-02, 12:16 PM   #11
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Unclench your toes!!
Since I started pedaling all the way around instead of just pushing down, I find that I'm clenching my toes too! Guess I need more practice.
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