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Old 07-28-06, 07:29 PM   #1
JagdNeun
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First brush with Rattler

Well this evening I was out in the George Washington National Forest finishing up on ride when I ran over, or at least I think I did, my first Timber Rattler. This ride is about 50 minutes, uphill most of the way, and only 15 minutes back. So I was flying on my ride back. It was about 7:30 or so and getting dark in the shadows of the trees.

The trail section was very rocky and I was picking and choosing my path. Focusing a very short distance ahead trying to pick up large rocks from smaller ones in the reduced lighting (sun glasses didnt help the situation). All I heard was a loud, and I mean a loud, rattle, but it sounded strange from anything Id equate with a Rattler. It sounded almost like a locust. But I thought it still might be a snake. I dismounted about 15 yds from where I thought the sound was coming from, when it stopped.

I carefully walked up the trail and it started back up again, and there he was. One pissed off snake. He was smack in the middle of the trail and his coloring made it impossible to see him. Only his being coiled and rattling like crazy gave him away. The sound was faster and not the slower paced sound Id heard on documentaries. I think this was because from what I could see his rattle wasnt as long as Id seen on those other snakes. This guy was a teenager maybe.

I either ran over him, or just skimmed him, but he would have been fired up bad news if someone would have been riding behind me. I never saw him and would not have been able to shout any kind of warning, and worse yet a buddy might have stopped right on top of him.

That time of the evening was a perfect time to bump into one. I won't be riding that trail for awhile and certainly not at that time of day. I hate snakes, and this guy was really mean looking. Im going for some fire roads next time out. At least you can see whats out there ahead of you.

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Old 07-28-06, 07:34 PM   #2
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I've got you beat. I ran over an alligator a bunch of years back. Only a small one, about 4 or 5 foot.

He was sitting right at the bottom of this small drop. I barely skimmed his back and freaked the beejeesus out of both of us. He snapped and then darted into the stream.

I went straight back to the truck, changed my shorts and went home.
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Old 07-28-06, 07:40 PM   #3
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Yep, that would have scared me too. I think right about then I would have perfected my bunnyhop.

The funny thing is about 3 months ago I did a post asking this very question, about speed on a bike and being able to see snakes, etc.

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Old 07-28-06, 08:05 PM   #4
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I don't worry about snakes, just don't stop and make sure you're either in front or have left enough room in between to let the snake slither away before you get there.

I've run over some black racers (non-poisonous), but even here in FL where we have a lot of rattlers, haven't seen one on the trail.

Other creatures I've seen, or almost run into, over, around...etc.

A deer. Was about 4 hops in front of me then a quick shot to the left and was GONE!

An Owl. Flew down the trail in front of me for about 5 secs. I was about 10 bike lengths behind it. That was pretty cool.

A Bobcat. Can around a downhill turn and it was taking a squat on the edge of the trail. It bounded off with a terd hanging out it's butt. Funniest thing I'd seen in a long time.

Spiders, too many to count. First guy out on the trails in the morning, gets called Spiderman so he can catch all the webs.

Too many others to list.

One of the great things about being in the woods.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:48 PM   #5
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Rattlers don't eat much,they won't bite off a big chunk. Heck...I'm sitting here playing with a couple of black widow spiders in Pepsi bottle.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:53 PM   #6
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I HATE spiders.....

Everything else I can handle.

But Spiders.....bbbbllleeeeetttttcccccchhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I had a snake in my house last week. I saw it in our garage two weeks ago and thought I had chased it out.

My stepdaughter saw it in her closet. Freaked her out.

I had to grab it and throw it in the lake. It was only a black racer, but it scared my stepdaughter.
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Old 07-29-06, 04:44 AM   #7
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I hate snakes, and I've seen more this year than ever before on the same trails I always ride...we've had a prolonged drought in Tallahassee...may have something to do with it. On a positive note, I've also seen more wild turkey this year than I've ever seen...I like them turkeys .
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Old 07-29-06, 04:57 AM   #8
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Andy, funny you should mention that I saw two of them yesterday on the same ride. They are all over the place here too. Turkeys that is.
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Old 07-29-06, 11:03 AM   #9
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i ran over a dead possum once, pretty nasty. also ran over a snake that had been hit by a car, he was near dead. also on a family ride down mt. adams, there was a steady decline, where you can go about 20 to 25mph without pedaling for about 8 miles, my dad and i were trying to get some more family members into biking and thought it would be a good ride. about halfway down a hawk came down about 12 feet above us and paced us for about 2 miles, around curves and everything. after he left i sped up to about 32mph and went around a curve and almost hit a deer...
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Old 07-29-06, 11:04 AM   #10
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oops double post again sorry....

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Old 07-29-06, 11:11 AM   #11
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About ten years ago while living in Malaysia we had a trail in Johor that went near the coast.
One day while riding this trail the guy up front took off like a rocket and disappeared.
We just put our heads down and went after him, but didn't catch him for a mile or so, which is where the trail dead ended.
Then he told us that the reason he took off was because he saw a LARGE crocodile coming out of the water toward the trail.

Going back past the croc spot we were all riding at 110%!
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