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Snakes Alert!

Old 02-16-16, 11:39 AM
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plaucc
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Snakes Alert!

Occasionally I see snakes crossing my path on my local dirt road rides but I was surprised to come across one on city paved bicycle lane. It just suddenly dashed out of the side bushes and I couldn't avoid it except running the poor thing over. Eventually the snake survived and more lucky for me not to be bitten. My first instinct is to lift my feet high up to avoid any snake strike and had done it previously on dirt road. I had come across rattle snakes and some unidentified multi-colored snakes, which usually hides in the bushes and rocks that I am always cautious riding near it. Anyone experience such incidents?
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Old 02-16-16, 11:45 AM
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Yes, a rattlesnake in the Blue Cloud area just west of town. I was coming down through the artillery range and one crossed the single track. It certainly scared the sh$t out of me because I was moving fast and couldn't react. I barely missed it thankfully. Haven't seen any more cycling. Just fishing along the banks of the Missouri. Seen many below Hauser dam.
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Old 02-16-16, 12:31 PM
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I have seen more snakes than I can remember. South Dakota in June:
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Old 02-16-16, 02:27 PM
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They ain't as succulent as I like and they're the devil to clean, but if a man skins 'em, fries 'em in garlic and oil, mercy! Them's good eatin'.

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Old 02-16-16, 02:41 PM
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Suddenly I'm not minding riding in the snow.
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Old 02-17-16, 09:37 AM
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Being in PA and riding in the woods along the river, I see a lot of snakes. Most are garter snakes and black snakes.

At the last moment riding in the fall in 2014 I saw the copperhead slithering through the leaves on the trail. I was way too late to avoid it and ran it over.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:05 AM
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Pygmy rattlers, their grey blends in well with pavement, but their orange gives them away, fortunately most are already road kill, but that just speaks to how many there are in my area. Also found most of coral snake, which are pretty scarce. Now the 4' gator that ran in front of our double pace line on the bike path, or the bear I see regularly crossing the road without looking...I'll take the snakes.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:12 AM
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Frickin' 90 degrees in February and these things are waking up too early.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:14 AM
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We saw a very large snake on the paved Great Allegheny Trail, outside Connellsville, a couple of years ago. Lots of people out, and a pretty warm day, and everyone just kept going, like it was a town pet that they all knew. Not sure what type of snakes live in PA, but this one was about five feet long, and thick-bodied, with dark gray to black scales.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Suddenly I'm not minding riding in the snow.
Me as well.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:45 AM
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Wonder what the snakes post on their forum, about bikes not willing to share the trails.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:51 AM
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Haven't run over any, but I have had two rattlers try to strike at me as I rode by. But I had judged the distance properly and neither came very close to getting me. Both incidents were on paved surfaces on a road bike.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Suddenly I'm not minding riding in the snow.
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Old 02-17-16, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Frickin' 90 degrees in February and these things are waking up too early.
Heard a report on TV, stating that large parts of the Southwest are experiencing an early rattlesnake season.
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Old 02-17-16, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Suddenly I'm not minding riding in the snow.

Just beware the dreaded snow snake, it's terrible when they drop on you!

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Old 02-17-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
Just beware the dreaded snow snake, it's terrible when they drop on you!


Yeah, this is snow snake country, too.
They seem especially attracted to alcohol.

eta This being western ny.
location not in my sig
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Old 02-17-16, 02:06 PM
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Snakes Alert!

We've got a lot of them snow snakes in northern sweden, but luckily the penguins hunt them
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Old 02-17-16, 03:08 PM
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If you live in western PA the one you might have seen is the massasauga rattlesnake pictured here: Interesting Facts about the Massasauga It is dark in color and looks pretty sizable. The timber rattler lives in eastern PA. Many years ago I was on a hike with a bunch of kids in northern NJ near the Appalachian trail. The kids in the lead came across a timber rattler and quickly dispatched it much to the horror of the older guys who were following behind. Timber rattlers and copperhead snakes were both very common there. I never knew anyone who got bitten.

I came across quite a few rattlesnakes in the past few years while riding or hiking in Nevada and Utah. It gets the adrenaline pumping when you ride within a few feet of one and you are on a trike with the seat bottom 9" off the ground. It is surprising how many times these snakes could have bitten if they were all that aggressive. They are not unless you actually stumble on them or ride way too close. In one case a group of about 20 noisy kids hiked right past a rattlesnake coiled within striking distance of the path. It was just by accident that one of the kids spotted the snake and warned the rest. It didn't make any noise to warn us.

The one I would never mess with again is the hog nosed snake also native to PA. It is non-venomous. If you happen to come across one it may roll over and play dead. I picked one up and it really did a good job playing dead. After I put it back down and walked away, it slithered off into the brush. What I didn't know is that they occasionally bite. Even though they are classified as non poisonous some people who have been bitten end up in the hospital very ill.
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Old 02-17-16, 03:46 PM
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I've run over a copperhead here in Georgia. They come out just after sundown and sit in puddles osmoting water through their bellies.

I ran over a squirrel too, right down the middle between its front and rear legs. Tried to avoid it but the thing ran right in front of me and I couldn't help it. Rode a few miles to the store and on the way back it was gone. I think a hawk might have got it.

Heard a rattle snake in the bushes but never saw one. Saw a small bear, peacock several times, deer all over the place. Peacock are not native. They make a terrible racket.

Had a bull standing in the middle of the MUP once out near the Alabama border. A friend dismounted, walked towards it a few feet and said "Hey, can we pass?" and the bull just walked away into a field. This guy isn't known for his brains but it was hilarious.

Was on the MUP once and the Sheriff comes blasting up behind me on a quad racer and shouts, "There's a pig on the loose, have you seen anything?" I was like, "No, but some dogs were barking a ways back." and he was like, "Thanks" and took off back the way he came. This was right after I had moved to Georgia from New York. Seriously considered going back at that point.

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Old 02-17-16, 03:48 PM
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Snakes ... hah. There is a an MTB trail I rode in the past where a five- or six-foot gator sunned itself next to the trail. First time we met, I blasted past oblivious ... I stopped when I heard the very load splash, and sure enough, there it was floating just off shore, giving me the evil eye ... or maybe just floating there letting me imagine stuff.

Next time I rode there, I stopped right around where I had seen it the first time, and there it was, not a foot off the trail, sunning itself. I tried to sneak past by going way off the trail on the other side, but as i was passing, maybe eight feet away, it bolted into the water.

No idea what would have happened had I hit the thing. Likely it would have dove into the water ... and what would have happened if I fell in after it?

Snakes, gators .... most wildlife won't mess with humans unless the humans do very stupid, deliberately aggressive things. Like the rattler which didn't warn the troop of scouts---likely it didn't rattle because it was assuming a defensive posture just in case, but preferred to let the loud bunch of humans clear out to leave the snake in peace.

Does kind of annoy me that the snakes and gators don't have to pay trail-maintenance fees, though. That gator dug a big old trough to enter and leave the water.
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Old 02-17-16, 04:42 PM
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While riding my bike, I’ve encountered quite a few good sized snakes crossing the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) which runs beside the river for many miles. I’ve always managed to steer around them even though some of them have moved surprisingly fast.
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Old 02-17-16, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Snakes ... hah. There is a an MTB trail I rode in the past where a five- or six-foot gator sunned itself next to the trail. First time we met, I blasted past oblivious ... I stopped when I heard the very load splash, and sure enough, there it was floating just off shore, giving me the evil eye ... or maybe just floating there letting me imagine stuff.

Next time I rode there, I stopped right around where I had seen it the first time, and there it was, not a foot off the trail, sunning itself. I tried to sneak past by going way off the trail on the other side, but as i was passing, maybe eight feet away, it bolted into the water.

No idea what would have happened had I hit the thing. Likely it would have dove into the water ... and what would have happened if I fell in after it?

Snakes, gators .... most wildlife won't mess with humans unless the humans do very stupid, deliberately aggressive things. Like the rattler which didn't warn the troop of scouts---likely it didn't rattle because it was assuming a defensive posture just in case, but preferred to let the loud bunch of humans clear out to leave the snake in peace.

Does kind of annoy me that the snakes and gators don't have to pay trail-maintenance fees, though. That gator dug a big old trough to enter and leave the water.
Yikes! You win the thread.
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Old 02-17-16, 09:56 PM
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West Texas is thick with rattlesnakes.There is a big rattlesnake roundup event in Abilene every year. Where i lived there was a creek bed behind the house, and I have run across many when using the riding mower. I was riding on a service road and came across a 6 footer right in the middle of the road. I thought it was dead at first but it was just sunning itself. I weighed my options, and decided discretion was the better part of valor, crossed the highway and took the service road on that side. Oh, and there is nothing more fun than finding a shed rattler skin on the floor of your laundry room...
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Old 02-17-16, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Crewchief911 View Post
Oh, and there is nothing more fun than finding a shed rattler skin on the floor of your laundry room...
reading about you finding it is Vastly more fun, I assure you ....
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Old 02-18-16, 12:51 AM
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I've found live cottonmouths/water moccasins hiding indoors under furniture a few times in Texas over the years. Usually only the small ones. My grandparents' home was on a lake front so it wasn't unusual. I've often fished in the evening on lake shores with water moccasins slithering around my feet. I wear boots but don't worry about 'em. They're just curious and lose interest when they realize you're too big to eat.

I might be more cautious around rattlers in warm weather. In cool weather they're lethargic, and it's not unusual to see them sunning on pavement or open trails trying to warm up. In very hot weather they're somewhat less active to conserve energy, usually holed up somewhere cool. But they're not normally aggressive for no reason, since it wastes precious energy. If you're more than striking distance away they usually won't bother you and will look for an escape route.

Of all the critters I encounter on my rural rides, I'm more wary of small animals like squirrels, possums and skunks skittering across my path early/late in the day. I've had a few near misses with squirrels and skunks. And deer are common along a couple of routes, with carcasses along the roadside from vehicle strikes. But a few roaming dogs have been more annoying -- although most folks along my rural rides keep theirs fenced, use "invisible fences", or on leashes when out walking.
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