My friend Jeff and I went riding in the north foothills yesterday. I always love going back to the roots and riding the foothills. It was nice to actually have a mountain bike to ride. IN the late winter when I was here, I still didn’t have a mountain bike b/c I sold mine from the year before. I had to ride my rigid cyclocross bike and was sad b/c I couldn’t bomb the downhills! I was bummed not to have my camera b/c the desert is so gorgeous right now. Apparently Alb. has been getting a lot of rain, and there are all kinds of desert blooms and greenery.
There was quite a bit of wildlife on this particular ride. I was going pretty fast on a section of trail when it registered that there was HUGE snake hogging most of it. To avert it, I had to slam on my brakes and run into a bush to get as far away from it as possible. What is “it” you wonder? The biggest rattlesnake I have EVER seen. It looked like a huge python. I yelled to Jeff trying to warn him. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the snake had coiled itself up out of the trail when Jeff came by (I am not sure Jeff really heard what I was yelling). The rattlesnake had like 10 prines or rattles and was about 3 inches in diamater, and was several feet long!!! I have been seeing WAY too many snakes this year. A rattler is not who I want to run into!! I have seen them on the trails before, but NEVER that large. I was highly alarmed. In my alert state, about 5 seconds after I got rolling again, a bunny ran across the trail and scared the life out of me. I wonder if Rattler has been chomping down bunnies to get so big? After that, the sight of a root would mildly freak me out.
This isn’t the actual snake we say, but the size is comparable. He was coiled up like this after I went by. He was stretched out across the trail initially.
Later on, Jeff and I were going downhill again on some singletrack when suddenly I felt a sharp, biting pain on my chest near my collarbone. I pulled over erratically to brush off whatever bit or stung me. I thought it was gone, so we got rolling again pretty fast. Suddenly I felt the stinging on my back. PING! PING! one after the other. I almost wrecked when it started, slammed on my brakes and very frantically unzipped my jersey, and stuck my had on my back. I felt some bug on my back and crushed him immediately. It stung for quite awhile after, but I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. I’m not sure what it was that got me, but it did not feel good, and the little critter certainly left his mark. I have one of these on my chest, and this is his work on my back. Ouch!!!! It was like he was zorro or something making a Z. haha
That’s a lot of bites..that’s how long it took me to stop I guess. Now it itches. Little jerk.
The rest of the ride was fun and uneventful as far as animals go…well besides Jeff being an animal on the bike. 🙂
ughl… I guess that’s one thing that makes Rochester, NY worth the winters. I HATE snakes! So much for being tough, right?
there are snakes in our backyard too. i was cleaning up the weeds and pine needles and i found a snake skin. I got the heebie geebies and everything i saw with that sort of pattern made me jump. i had to stop gardening (although now we have a daisy garden in one corner).