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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 06-11-14, 03:56 PM   #1
Roody
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Carfree wild times!

It's finally that time of year! Tell us about your wild experiences with the wilderness and nature:

Close animal encounters
Storms and snow
Camping trips
Trail gear
The longest you went without a shower
The beauties of nature
Why you love nature
Why you hate nature
So on and so forth....
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Old 06-11-14, 04:23 PM   #2
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On my usual route to work in New Jersey I see deer and occasionally foxes and various kinds of birds. Much of my commute is on a gravel path through Carson Woods, which is part of the Lawrence-Hopewell trail. The trail continues on the property of the company where I work. It's an awesome start and end to my day. Commuting by bike ensures that I am outside at least an hour per workday. The rest is pretty much completely inside a single corporate office building.
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Old 06-11-14, 05:48 PM   #3
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Someone usually has a good story about yapping while riding and running into a swarm of gnats.... however that won't be me. Not this time! I keep my mouth shut!
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Old 06-11-14, 05:52 PM   #4
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The closest nature is about a block away. It's a small creek running through the neighborhood that eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico via the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Two kinds of fish live in it, snakes, turtles, muskrats, herons, and a variety of other birds. I even saw a crawfish running up stream one time. I try to stop every time I go through, sometimes there is nothing to see, often there is, and always a variety. It's great to watch the life cycle there.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:27 PM   #5
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Egrets! I love egrets! Sometimes I see them hunting in the creeks and canals in the late afternoon. I've also seen a green heron or night heron there, couldn't tell for sure which it was. On the paths lining the bay shore, I sometimes see sandpipers (impossibly cute!) and larger herons -- I think they are blue herons -- too.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:59 PM   #6
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I've done a lot of riding in cougar and bobcat country but I rarely get to see them (though I have come upon fresh kills from time to time). Three weeks ago, as my wife and I were riding the last leg from Eugene, OR to Davis, CA we had a bobcat run out in front of us as we descended Jenner Mountain (just north of where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean). It was 3:00 AM, so he was highlighted in our headlights under the 3/4 moon over the breaking waves on the Pacific. It was an inspiring sight and a great way to begin a 140 mile ride.

Of course, back in Eugene the ducklings, googlings and baby turkeys have hatched and are growing like weeds. We seem to be having bumper crops of blue herons and bald eagles these past few years as well. Yesterday we were paced by a blue heron as she gracefully flew along the river and we pedalled along the bike path.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:11 PM   #7
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Yesterday on my country road ride I saw three dead skunks, two dead snakes, one live snake, a brown headed buzzard eating a dead squirrel, and a live squirrel that dashed in infront of me causing me to swerve.
I was chased by dogs three times and drove through a cloud of knats, and struck in the forehead by some kind of stinging bee.
True Story,
Damn I love Texas.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:25 PM   #8
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I almost hit a deer. A big one. I think the bike is quiet and stealthy sometimes to a fault. This deer didn't see me until I was right up on him and I didn't see him until he cut across the front of me in an attempt to 'shake' me. I've never seen anything that big go from standing still to that fast in my entire life, and it passed so close I could smell it. I'm glad he didn't kick me.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:25 PM   #9
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Someone usually has a good story about yapping while riding and running into a swarm of gnats.... however that won't be me. Not this time! I keep my mouth shut!
Every spring my protein intake increases by just a tiny amount until I learn to ride with my mouth closed again...
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Old 06-11-14, 08:27 PM   #10
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Startled a litter(?) of skunks crossing trail tonight. Hopefully for those following me they weren't old enough to really spary
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Old 06-11-14, 08:35 PM   #11
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Going down a hill in my neighborhood I whent around the corner about 45KMs/Hr and there was a deer on the very edge of the road, I could have touched it's nose as I rode by...
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Old 06-11-14, 08:38 PM   #12
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Every spring my protein intake increases by just a tiny amount until I learn to ride with my mouth closed again...
Yep. You know it's bad when you have the black freckles at the end of the ride.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:27 PM   #13
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A couple of years ago, I was riding uphill only two blocks from my house when a Chihuahua charged out of nowhere and chomped on my shoe. Unfortunately for the dog, s/he failed to let go after the bite, and was dashed to the ground somewhat violently on every pedal stroke. I rode for half a block with the dog attached to my foot, and finally stopped, because I was laughing too much, and was afraid I'd kill the dog. The owner finally caught up with us, and though she apologized for the dog bite, it was clear that she was a lot more irritated with me than she was with her pet. I considered giving her a hard time about not managing things very well, but decided to just let it go.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:54 PM   #14
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It's finally that time of year! Tell us about your wild experiences with the wilderness and nature:
I experience nature when I cycle all year round.

But do you mean ... what nature have you experienced so far in 2014? Or since we started cycling?
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Old 06-11-14, 11:13 PM   #15
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Today a mink ran across the bike path in front of me. Only seen three or four in the last 20 years. Saw a couple of Cardnals too.
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Old 06-11-14, 11:44 PM   #16
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I was walking on a river (ice--not holiness) and a bobcat walked about 15 feet in front of me. As soon as he saw me he turned around and scooted back to shore. He slid on the ice just like a house cat on a freshly waxed kitchen floor! It was pretty funny.

I see a lot of deer when I'm riding. Usually they either bound away or freeze and stare at you. But one deer stood his ground, blocking the mountain bike path. He kept shaking his head at me and made hissing noises. I finally turned around and rode away.

I've seen bears in Michigan and Canada a few times. But the scariest animal was a wild dog with four puppies. She was quite large and very threatening. I backed away slowly and took a different path around her. This was a regular dog, not a wolf or coyote, but seen in the woods a couple miles from the nearest house.
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Old 06-12-14, 02:57 AM   #17
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Well, presuming you just mean 2014 ...

These are many photos of what we've been up to so far this year ... cycling and otherwise ... and I'm adding more almost every day.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7640074235355/


Close animal encounters -- mainly birds of all sorts

Storms and snow -- in summer? Well, we did encounter snow in late autumn but I haven't posted those photos yet. That was on a hike high in the Mt Field National Park

Camping trips -- no, not this year yet. Lots of travels, lots of hub and spoke tours, but not camping

Trail gear -- the new backpacks we got so we can do more hiking?

The longest you went without a shower -- ummm ... a few days, I suppose

The beauties of nature -- see link above

Why you love nature -- what's not to love? and probably most importantly are the lack of people
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Old 06-12-14, 03:27 AM   #18
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The most astonishing on-bike experience in an urban environment was riding on a waterfront MUP as a short-cut when a duck took flight about 100 yards to my left but headed in my direction. The thing is, the bird kept coming, and coming, and coming, until it flew, quacking its head off, about six inches above my helmet. Crazy!

Another wildlife encounter was on a randonnee with two other riders in a paceline around 2am. A possum ran across the road, bounced off the rear wheel of the leading bike, hit my front wheel, then dashed between me and the last rider before bounding up a timber fence. As riders, we were all extremely lucky not have ended up as an ugly mess on the road. The best part, is everyone, possum included, was unhurt.
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Old 06-12-14, 04:11 AM   #19
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2014 Wildlife

Possibly puffins or something ...


Taken on a car-free ride I did, mostly on a separated cycling facility within city limits. The photo was taken while standing on this separated cycling facility looking out over the bay.

[HR][/HR]

There are lots of black swans and other waterfowl around here ...


Taken on a car-free ride Rowan and I did northward. We rode on the cycleway (like a bicycle super highway) until it ended, then switched to the road. The road out that was is reasonably wide and relatively quiet. At this point, you've got to portage over the roadside verge a little way before you get onto the highway and can continue the ride.

[HR][/HR]

An interested onlooker ...


On this car-free ride, Rowan and I followed the cycleway (bicycle super highway) to where it ended and onward to the point I mentioned above. Then we crossed a bridge, joined another cycleway that is out in the middle of nowhere until it ended. Then we finally got onto country roads.
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Old 06-12-14, 06:46 AM   #20
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The most astonishing on-bike experience in an urban environment was riding on a waterfront MUP as a short-cut when a duck took flight about 100 yards to my left but headed in my direction. The thing is, the bird kept coming, and coming, and coming, until it flew, quacking its head off, about six inches above my helmet. Crazy!
I had something like this happen to me when I was running. This duck or goose or I don't even remember came up to me hissing and making himself big... really aggressive. I was in the zone gettin my run on and didn't see him until I was right on top of him. I yelled back at him in an attempt to make him leave me alone and he just wouldn't back down. That was when I saw 4 or 5 little babies behind him that he was trying to 'protect' from me. I wonder if this one felt the same about you lol.
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Old 06-12-14, 07:57 AM   #21
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If we're talking about a lifetime of cycling ...

I've seen a lot of wildlife, but the one that got my full attention was the cougar (mountain lion).

I was cycling along just out of Canmore on a 400K. The sun was almost down when something ran across the road in front of me. I didn't know what it was, but ran through all the possibilities in my mind ... deer, elk, bear, dog, horse ... but nothing fit. Then it ran up on the embankment on the other side of the road, and crouched ... and looked at me. As soon as it crouched, I knew what it was. A very, very large cat.

I had a helmet light on my helmet, and it was on. So I rode past slowly, turning my head to shine my light at it. I was hoping I would appear big. A little ways past it, I had a sudden burst of energy, and rode like I've rarely ridden before.


[HR][/HR]

While cycling in Australia I've seen ... just to name a few ...

-- kangaroos
-- wallabies
-- wombats
-- possums
-- echidnas
-- emus
-- birds of all sorts (parrots, rosellas, cockatoos, kookaburras, magpies, ibis, herons, gulls, etc. etc.)
-- snakes
-- frogs
-- a blue-tongued goanna
-- bats of various sizes

Here's a koala I saw and photographed on Rowan's and my February 2008 tour in Australia:



Here's a kookaburra at Wilson's Prom:




Here's a photo set of animals I've seen here in Australia ... some while riding, some where I live, some on other travels ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7623280801300/


On some of my other tours and rides I've seen ...

-- bears (black, brown, and grizzly)
-- a cougar (mountain lion)
-- foxes
-- coyotes
-- deer
-- elk
-- mountain sheep
-- rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, muskrats, rats, gophers, porcupines, and lots of mice
-- all sorts of domestic creatures including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, and buffalo
-- swooping owls
-- a great blue herron that rose up out of the ditch and scared me half to death
-- wild turkeys
-- turtles

Some mountain sheep watching my father cycle past:

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Old 06-12-14, 01:56 PM   #22
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Wild Turkey put me in a ditch, the bird not the other.

One road I frequent has quite a population of these birds. The road is next to a game preserve so no hunting and the birds are well acclimated to humans and traffic.

I'm riding along and I see a Tom between the roadside ditch and a fence. As I approach he starts his take off roll and I'm treated to a spectacular view as the bird begins to fly almost along side me. I'm mesmerized and just stare at this beautiful bird and keep watching him as he turns over the fence and exits.

I rode right off the rode into the, half filled with water, ditch. Now I'm sitting on the edge of the ditch with my bike partially in the water. Problem is I couldn't unclip. Somehow I decide that raising the bike up will help. Soon I find myself at the bottom of the ditch with water over my waist, still clipped in.

I finally extracted myself from the bike and ditch. The bike and I are both covered with muddy ditch slime but otherwise undamaged. I hope the bird enjoyed my antics.
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Old 06-12-14, 07:58 PM   #23
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Wild Turkey put me in a ditch, the bird not the other.

One road I frequent has quite a population of these birds. The road is next to a game preserve so no hunting and the birds are well acclimated to humans and traffic.

I'm riding along and I see a Tom between the roadside ditch and a fence. As I approach he starts his take off roll and I'm treated to a spectacular view as the bird begins to fly almost along side me. I'm mesmerized and just stare at this beautiful bird and keep watching him as he turns over the fence and exits.

I rode right off the rode into the, half filled with water, ditch. Now I'm sitting on the edge of the ditch with my bike partially in the water. Problem is I couldn't unclip. Somehow I decide that raising the bike up will help. Soon I find myself at the bottom of the ditch with water over my waist, still clipped in.

I finally extracted myself from the bike and ditch. The bike and I are both covered with muddy ditch slime but otherwise undamaged. I hope the bird enjoyed my antics.
That is funny. What did your spouse or friend think when you explained this??
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Old 06-24-14, 05:45 AM   #24
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I live on 40 acres... we have: Coyotes, Red and Gray Fox, Wild Turkeys, Grouse/Quail/Chukkers, Squirrels, Rabbits, Deer, Bobcat, Opossum, Snakes, Doves, Field mice, and Box Turtles, probably a bunch more stuff I have forgotten. When riding I don't see much other than road kill.

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Old 07-03-14, 02:18 AM   #25
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Waterfowl ... from the last time we rode our bicycles ...


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