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Wildlife sighting when riding?

Old 11-03-23, 10:23 PM
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Wildlife sighting when riding?

Just curious what you guys see. Last couple of rides I've had to dodge tarantulas on the road. Not worried about the bite or anything, just don't want to run them over. I do find it a bit odd I've seen so many lately. It's gotten quite cool out here the last few weeks and, despite my location, I rarely see them anyway. I've dodged a few live ones but seen many more dead either in the travel lane or on the shoulder.

Not as though we have a great deal of wild life out here anyway. I do see the occasional rabbit and even the odd road runner from time to time. Surprisingly, no live snakes. Couple that got got by cars and I've never seen a coyote while riding. I figure mainly because I never ride early enough for them.

So what do you guys see?
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Old 11-04-23, 12:03 AM
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Twice now I have come across a rattlesnake that refused to move off the trail while I was mountain biking. I have seen deer run across the highway (and one even hit a rider we were riding with). Plenty of coyote and deer sightings, and even once saw a deer chasing a coyote!
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Old 11-04-23, 12:23 AM
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When I was stationed at Fort Lewis in the late 70s. I rode the Tank trails on my way toward the town of Roy quite often. One Saturday morning I observed a Lynx just inside the treeline. The Lynx would fall back further and reappear ahead of me. This happened several times. I don't remember feeling threatened but I became very observant.
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Old 11-04-23, 12:42 AM
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I'd be more worried If I saw a coyote getting a delivery from Acme
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Old 11-04-23, 01:50 AM
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Bald eagle.
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Old 11-04-23, 02:44 AM
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Coyote population has really gone up a lot in the past few years. I pass them all the time when riding in the early mornings.
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Old 11-04-23, 03:12 AM
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I’ve seen dear, turkeys, fox, coyotes, cows, snakes, and falcons.
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Old 11-04-23, 03:55 AM
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In South Florida I used to count how many iguanas I saw sunning themselves alongside the road, I seldom saw fewer than 10. These could get quite big, and run very fast. They remind me of the “wamp rats” in the first Star Wars comic book.

When I left the suburbs and rode out into the Everglades, I would count gators, and there were more gators than iguanas. The gators never moved, the only hazard was running over dead ones which had been squashed by trucks carrying sugar cane. There were also lots of vultures (there was lots of roadkill for them to eat), and I sometimes had to duck or dodge them when I rode up on one of their feasts.

Now I live in Japan, and in the countryside I see foxed, monkeys, and tanuki (a raccoon-looking kind of animal). There are lots of snakes and lizards, and really big spiders.Though I often ride through bear country, I haven’t yet seen one (knocks on wood).
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Old 11-04-23, 04:14 AM
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Once, when I was riding along a narrow paved trail next to a hedge, a fox emerged from the hedge and trotted along about 10 feet in front of me for 5 seconds or so until its ESP hinted that there was something behind it. It glanced over its shoulder and took off at speed, annoyed with itself for its carelessness, I would guess.

Crows standing in or near the side of a road usually take off well before the bike reaches them, but if (lack of cars permitting) I steer into the opposite lane in an obvious avoidance maneuver, they often just keep an eye on me as I pass. Occasionally one will finish the safety/laziness calculation a bit late in the encounter and will lift about 6 inches off the road and then settle back down.
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Old 11-04-23, 04:35 AM
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Deer. Lots of deer. It isn't uncommon to see them as I leave the neighborhood and there is a MUP that I will take a spin on from time to time with many of them. I also ride leading a 5k in the fall through a wildlife preserve where we see buffalo.
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Old 11-04-23, 05:18 AM
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Wildlife sightings are one of the things I like about my daily ride and I have seen plenty of wildlife when touring as well. I have probably seen all of the large mammals and most of the medium sized ones while riding. I have seen a very long list of birds while riding ditto for snakes and other reptiles.

Here in Tallahassee we live in what is considered an urban forest so on my daily MTB rides even within the city limits I might see armadillos, beavers, bobcats, coyote, deer, raccoons, possums, rabbits, squirrels, aligators, a wide variety of snakes and turtles and many different and interesting birds. I have not yet seen one, but there is even the ocasional bear. On any given day I will see at least a few species from that list. My daily ride is in a wildlife rich area.

Also when I lived in Maryland my MTB rides were in fairly wildlife rich areas. I saw dozens of deer on most rides. I probably didn't see as wide a range of interesting species as here in Florida though.

On tour I have ridden across the country more than once and through various sections with lots of wildlife several times so I have seen most of the large species out west and many of the smaller ones. So moose, elk, bison, wolves, sheep, goats, and so on.

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Old 11-04-23, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Once, when I was riding along a narrow paved trail next to a hedge, a fox emerged from the hedge and trotted along about 10 feet in front of me for 5 seconds or so until its ESP hinted that there was something behind it. It glanced over its shoulder and took off at speed, annoyed with itself for its carelessness, I would guess…..
.
I had a similar situation with a raccoon but when he realized I was there he turned around and let out a loud nasty snarl. I backed off.
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Old 11-04-23, 06:00 AM
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Fall is the season for tarantula breeding and they do swarm out of their ug dens and cover the roads/trails in some areas of California. On my more suburban area MUP I see a lot of rabbits coming out in the early morning to drink from the sprinkler overspray puddles. The MUP follows a seasonal riverbed so there's also the occasional egret/heron fishing in the areas where there's a natural river bottom near the Pacific Ocean. And since there are rabbits, there is the occasional coyote. Out on the roads the only wildlife is an occasional drunk driver or a driver under the influence of a cellphone (sometimes I can't tell the difference).
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Old 11-04-23, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT
I'd be more worried If I saw a coyote getting a delivery from Acme
Why? His plans never seem to work.
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Old 11-04-23, 07:14 AM
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A big to me Black Bear on the side of Mammoth Lakes Scenic Byway at dawn.
No concern for me, he was on a bluff about 10 feet up and 10 yards off the road.
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Old 11-04-23, 07:37 AM
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I can recall deer, turkeys, foxes, coyotes, rabbits, snakes, turtles, vultures, eagles, hawks, squirrels, groundhogs, possums, raccoons, and skinks. Cattle and dogs, too, though not really wildlife. Feral cats, too. More recently, armadillos. Thankfully, no feral hogs,yet.

Otto

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Old 11-04-23, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1

Here in Tallahassee we live in what is considered an urban forest so on my daily MTB rides even within the city limits I might see armadillos, beavers, bobcats, coyote, deer, raccoons, possums, rabbits, squirrels, aligators, a wide variety of snakes and turtles and many different and interesting birds. I have not yet seen one, but there is even the ocasional bear. On any given day I will see at least a few species from that list. My daily ride is in a wildlife rich area.
I ride outside the city and in 20 years or so have only seen two bobcats. And one bear. Wild hogs two or three times. Once a small roadkill gator some distance from any known water. A wide variety of avian species are frequent, but only once a golden eagle. There are some creatures that are out there in fair numbers but are seen very infrequently.
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Old 11-04-23, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
I ride outside the city and in 20 years or so have only seen two bobcats. And one bear. Wild hogs two or three times. Once a small roadkill gator some distance from any known water. A wide variety of avian species are frequent, but only once a golden eagle. There are some creatures that are out there in fair numbers but are seen very infrequently.
I've been pretty lucky with the sightings, but it probably helps that I get out at about sunrise and once in a while in the dark with a helmet light. The dawn hours lend themselves to seeing a lot of wildlife. Most of my riding has been in the corridor from Governors park, to Tom Brown, Lafayette Heritage, and Alford Greenway. I can hit all that from my house. Some times I might drive to Munson Hills outside the city but not often.
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Old 11-04-23, 11:23 AM
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These were in the residential neighborhoods of the San Francisco Peninsula, the last few weeks:
  • deer everywhere
  • bunny rabbit
  • wild turkeys, lots of them
  • small bobcat
Spotted these recently on Mount Hamilton:
  • deer (of course)
  • wild pigs (small)
  • wild turkeys
  • tarantulas*
* It's tarantula season -- the boy tarantulas are out looking for girl tarantulas.
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Old 11-04-23, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I've been pretty lucky with the sightings, but it probably helps that I get out at about sunrise and once in a while in the dark with a helmet light. The dawn hours lend themselves to seeing a lot of wildlife. Most of my riding has been in the corridor from Governors park, to Tom Brown, Lafayette Heritage, and Alford Greenway. I can hit all that from my house. Some times I might drive to Munson Hills outside the city but not often.
Is there a path from Governor's Park to Tom Brown?

I'm in Capitola so I'm mostly riding on the road in Jefferson county. Not much traffic on those lanes.
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Old 11-04-23, 12:51 PM
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Over the years, lots--deer, coyotes, river otters, beaver (post mortem), sea lions, jack rabbits (holy cow are they fast), raccoons, skunks, squirrels (including the suicidal variety), birds of many kinds. Most notable bird was the goose that grazed my face with its wing as it shot across my path along the river.

I consider it a win in spring if I spot California quail (state bird) near California poppies (state flower).

Also snakes, some I have to bunny hop because they're stretched across the entire lane. Often hard to tell the gopher snakes from the rattlers, but I never hang around to find out. Very occasionally will see a king snake.

Most memorable was a ride in Napa Valley when I heard clop-clop-clop next to me and saw I was being paced by a fawn--we were going at a good clip. Farther to the right was mom, keeping pace but separated by fencing. I slowed down and eventually they reconnected farther down the road.
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Old 11-04-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
Is there a path from Governor's Park to Tom Brown?

I'm in Capitola so I'm mostly riding on the road in Jefferson county. Not much traffic on those lanes.
In Capitola, you should see muscles, clams, dead jelly fish and lots of sea weed. (I used to live in Santa Cruz)
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Old 11-04-23, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
In Capitola, you should see muscles, clams, dead jelly fish and lots of sea weed. (I used to live in Santa Cruz)
Not that Capitola. I live in the one in Florida. A tiny hamlet. The one in California is large in comparison.
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Old 11-04-23, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
Is there a path from Governor's Park to Tom Brown?
The Fern Trail almost connects the two. You might as well say it does since a little 1/8 mile or so of no traffic paved toad completes the connection to the paved MUP in Tom Brown. Once there, there are side trails that allow you to mostly avoid the MUP if desired. Then many options around there and in Lafayette Heritage and on from there. They range from paved MUP to gravel road to single track.

Edit: Just realized that Capitola isn't far from the Alford Greenway, so you are at the other end of my general range of trails that I typically ride. I havent been over to the Greenway for some time though.

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Old 11-04-23, 05:13 PM
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Don’t get much wild life here in the South Bay in SoCal. Did see a snake (grass snake?) slither onto the beach MUP right in front of me. Tried to bunny hop it, but don’t think I cleared it.

Riding in Glacier National Park a couple years ago, I came across a few bikers stopped on the road. Turned they were waiting for a couple bears to leave. After a few minutes the bears seemed to have left and we proceeded as a group. Actually got a tell another rider “I don’t need to be faster than the bear, just faster than you”.
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