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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the word on riding around these? The path I typically ride at lunch has stretches out in the open with occassional patches with tight turns under foliage. Once you're in the "woods," there's the rustle of a squirrel running off every couple seconds or so at a slightly slowed speed (12ish). Today I watched one run out right in front of me; had I been carrying any more speed I'd have to squeeze the brakes if I could have reacted quickly enough.

Then last week there was a big black snake draped across most of the path; with sunglasses on I only realized what it was as I passed and saw its scales in the patches of light coming through the trees. It must have been basking or something. Dunno if I scared it, but it sure as hell scared me!

What do you guys do in areas with such critters? Do you bleed off speed or am I underestimating the intelligence of these squirrels? I don't want one caught in my front wheel throwing me over the bars and experiences with them from behind the wheel aren't confidence inspiring. Also, what happens if you ride over a snake accidentally at, oh, say 12 mph? Can it do anything about it?
 

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Zoooooooommm

If you ride fast enough, you don't have to worry about the snake biting back at you when you run it over. You can also do a bunny hop at the last second so you don't run it over!:D
 

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Sounds like your animule population is pretty benign. 'round here, we have tarantulas, scorpions, rattlesnakes, javelinas......

General rules:
1. Don't try to corner tightly on snakes or tarantulas: they make great low-friction surfaces
2. Don't go back to see if the snake is dead. They can still reflexively bite and deliver venom for a time after death.
3. Javelinas think they own the road, so don't expect them to move.
4. When you sit down to fix a flat, don't reach blindly under that big rock.
5. When picking up a tarantula, don't squeeze it. They have spiny things that freakin' hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm relieved to say we don't have wild pigs running around out here, at least that I know of. Seen a scorpion or two, but no tarantulas though I'm sure they're around. I think the snake I came up on was a king snake, but not sure. We have rattlers around here somewhere, but I'm not going to go looking for them.

I'm gonna have to learn to bunny hop this thing...

What about squirrels? They ever take anyone down or is it a safe bet that they'll bounce off? Maybe the whole thing's moot when you consider I couldn't even react before the one today was back in the weeds. If I'm going to go breaking my collar bone on my lunch break, I'd rather it be something more manly than "a squirrel got caught in my wheel" when I get my boss on the phone. Where are these javelinas when you need one? :p
 

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Just a small speed bump.

I once ran over a foot and a half long snake on a road ride many years ago. At first I thought I had just run over a small branch but when I looked back it was wriggling a bit. I really didn't care to turn around to double-check, though. I just felt a bump, kind of like riding over a garden hose.

As for squirrels, check this out...http://www.cyclingforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3022

Then, there's your basic roadkill. The right side leader in a double paceline I was in totally missed seeing a dead raccoon in the road and - splat! Fortunately, there wasn't too much spray and nobody went down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm... I wonder what that would do to my steel fork...

Thanks, guys. Think I'll slow down around the squirrels, hit the ground at a lower speed. lol
 

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Squirrels are "squirelly"

In my experience it's futile and dangerous to try to avoid a squirrel by swerving or braking. Unless you stop or slow enough to let the thing leave the road completely, the critter is just as likely to stop, slow, or change direction and end up under your wheel anyway, and your maneuver can endanger you or others. So I just keep going as if the animal were not there, but preparing to absorb a little bump if necessary. Most of the time they move and I miss them. Once I ran straight over one, both wheels bump-bump. I looked back to see it jump up and run away, apparently none the worse.

Snakes move slower, but they're a lot longer, so I suppose I'd use the same approach. They're not that common where I ride, fortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I slowed down around the "wildlife" today and had zero squirrels or snakes to worry about (out on the path, at least). Felt pretty okay about it until I got back to the car and had averaged what I did yesterday wilting in the heat. Guess I'll just suck it up and play the odds. Sounds like it's not a common occurance to go flying due to them, and I'm nothing if not a slave to those purty numbers on my computer when it's all over and done with.
 

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Hey Zaurusman, I believe the snake you came across is probably a bull snake (non-venomous). Too bad you can't get him to take care of the squirrel problem. As for wild pigs, there easily within an hours drive of the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jeff in Texas said:
Hey Zaurusman, I believe the snake you came across is probably a bull snake (non-venomous). Too bad you can't get him to take care of the squirrel problem.
Mebbe if I see it in time next time I'll stop and give it a squirrel hunting pep talk and/or threaten him with my air pump. :)

If you're on that trail and see a guy on a red hybrid sporting a rustic Baggins handlebar bag between black-wrapped drops, that's me as soon as that bag comes in. Alternately, you might spot a guy who's not in shape yet and pants a lot therefore. :cool:
 

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Our trail has lots of wildlife, some benign and some not. The squirrels are used to bikes. I usually hiss at them and they run. They have been reported to jump on wheels and run up the riders back until they realize they have no where to go and jump off to safety. I haven't heard of any accidents caused by them yet. Our main issue is poisonous snakes, diamondbacks, pygmy rattlers, cottonmouths, and coral snakes. Unfortunately, the riders seem to run over the non-poisonous ones. I try to give most stick-looking things a wide berth. Most are there to sun themselves and don't bother the riders. I've been knwn to stop and grab a stick and shoo them off the trail. The cottonmouths are not happy but usually leave. I did not try to shoo the 7ft diamondback off the trail but he didn't seem to be bothered by the bikes wizzing by. Many people let their children ride ahead and get out of sight - not a smart thing to do when the snakes are bigger than their kids. The most dangerous wildlife seem to be the deer. I've seen some people almost get hit by them. The deer judges its speed and distance but don't count on the slippery footing of the paved trail. By the time their feet quit slipping aoround and they get moving the cyclist is right in their path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
txgal said:
Yikes! :eek: That site explains everything and I now understand that their rustling is really a scare tactic, attempting to pitch me off the bike in panic so they can gorge themselves on my emergency thing of energy goo.

Whereabouts are you located, kayakado?
 

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A friend of mine was riding at River Chase Park in Arlington (TX) and has come across a bobcat or two. Theres all kinds of wildlife down by the river.
 

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I guess I'm lucky in that I haven't seen many squirrels around where I live...we mainly have pine trees so the squirrels tend to be sparse at best. However, at night, it's a whole different ball game. Deer and various rodents of all sizes come out. Just this morning at 430AM I was driving to work and killed my first animal. :( It was an opposum, saw it in my lane, but it was too late. Between the fog and wet roads, I couldn't react enough. I tried to put it between my wheels but no such luck for the little guy. Thump thump. I can't imagine what it'd be like to run over ANY animal with a light bike if I felt it through a car!
 
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