A Serpent at the End of a Ride
I've been doing solo rides to build some endurance and add a tiny bit of strength to the legs. There are a variety of group rides in the area but most start at the awful hour of 7:30am or 8:00am. It's not the time but the temperature. After last week's mid 80's, another dry front swooped in from CA and today the high was "only" 70 with a low in the 40's. Screw that and the front on which it rode in, I always say. So, I joined a 9:30am group start. Above, we regroup prior to the long ride to Catalina. At the end of a fun ride I.....
....was headed home via a bike path when a lady rode by and yelled, "Rattlesnake." I picked up the pace and sure enough, rounding a corner in the path, there it was with 8-10 people watching it. We all took the obligatory image and as the snake......
.....headed off the path, everyone left. Except me because I wanted to make sure it went down a steep slope into a dry wash. Note the rattles are missing from the snake's tail so it was unable to warn of its presence. This snake is a Western Diamondback and having just emerged from hibernation, all are hungry and pissed off, especially Diamondbacks. The snake, a very large specimen, made a .....
......right turn at the path's edge. Uh oh. It slithered to the above pole and stopped, with it's head pointed at the path. Almost certainly, someone walking along the edge of the path as all walkers do to avoid the many cyclists passing, would get snagged. I set my bike so all approaching would have to go around both the snake and me and waited. As people came near, I would yell, "Snake." and they looked and always said, "Where." Snakes blend it so well.
There was nothing around, LONG ENOUGH OF COURSE, that I could use to prod the snake down the slope. I was about to call 911 when a man came by on his bike and stopped, when I told him about the snake. What are the odds?!?! The guy was a retired herpatologist! He took the rear wheel of his bike, caught it beneath the snake, and flipped it.....
....down the slope. There it is headed toward the brush. Wow, two days in a row that I do something selfless and responsible. Volunteer to pull grass at a park and now save a rattler or human from a really bad day. Short ride, 38 miles but some of it was intense and I need that.
3/25/2018 05:28:14 pm
Next time, feel free to just give it a quick blast from your water bottle. Extra points awarded if your document and post the proceedings.
3/26/2018 08:25:48 am
Jack, I never though of using my water bottle but that might have worked. Of course aiming, squeezing while simultaneously taking the images would have been difficult. Next time, I will give it a try.
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