Friday, May 23, 2008

Mountain biking fun

This is a photo of me with my new mountain bike taken by my friend M (I have three friends M) right after an hour-long ride in 90+ F (32+ C) degree heat. Note the red face. I think I got mild heat stroke because I had a horrible headache for the rest of the day. There is also a red letter somewhere in the photo...

We were riding along, and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid running over a fat two foot plus snake stretched out all the way across the trail. My initial reaction whenever I see a snake is to yell “Cool!” and grab it before it can get away (ask Kia - she’s seen me in action). I love snakes.

This is what went through my mind in the couple of seconds it took for the snake to move off the trail:
“Wow! That’s one fat gopher snake”
“Shoot! These stupid mountain bikes don’t have kickstands”
(making it more difficult to just jump off and leave it)
“Darn! It’s moving too fast for me to catch it.”

Then my brain began to engage…
“That gopher snake has odd markings…”
”and a very triangular head......”
“And rattles”
just as M slid to a stop behind me and said, “Is that a rattler?”

Photos from
Crotalus oreganus oreganus - Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Pituophis catenifer catenifer - Pacific Gopher Snake


Kia said...

Great bike, but where's your water bottle holder? Gotta have water when you ride!

And yes, I remember you picking up that humungous snake while we were out in the creek.

Laurie said...

I have a CamelBak Daystar hydration pack that I got for hiking, but it works great for biking. And it holds a pump, extra inner-tube, patch kit, tool kit, first aid kit, and (just in case) a snack.

I'm thinking of getting a bottle to hold a Gatorade-like drink. I think a mild electrolyte imbalance might have been part of the problem with the headache.

When William was about two, I pounced on a ~3 foot gopher snake and all excited, turned to show it to him. He fell over backwards and started screaming. My mother and I were very confused and kept telling him, "But it's just a snake! They're nice!"

Mr Farty said...

I've only seen a real live wild snake once and yes, I was too fascinated to be afraid. Later discovered it was deadly. Nice.