Animal Confrontations

Can’t remember if I’ve actually seen one while on a ride. There was one on my “bachelor party” ride, before my wedding in 2000. The other guys saw it and Nathan got a picture. I thought they were messing with me until he showed the pic on his camera!

Startled an Elk:
Elk are big. I was in Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Legal unicycling on roads only; this was a dirt road closed to traffic; about a mile ride in to see a natural arch. Just me, I’m zooming along on my old 24", which is as quiet as the riding surface. I came cruising around a bend, and there’s this huge elk lying down (legs folded) on the side of the road, about 50’ away. I stopped as quick as I could, while it jumped to its feet. Big! While I slowly reached for my camera, it loped off into the trees. A little farther up the trail I also had a stare-down with a coyote, about 100’ or more away.

With all this MUni riding I’ve been doing in CA since 1996, I expected to have more rattlesnake encounters on the trails. Nope, very few. Not that I haven’t seen lots of them, but they’re usually on the paved bike paths! They like to lie about on hot days. Give them a wide berth and everyone’s fine. I have pictures. :slight_smile:

On a couple of occasions I’ve seen one, always at a distance, on remote trails. You can tell they’re not house cats because they’re bigger, and they strut down the center of the trail like they own it.

American River Bike Path:
This 30-mile path runs from downtown Sacramento’s riverfront, along the Sacramento and American Rivers all the way up to Folsom Lake. It’s an awesome urban parkway, which I used for most of my training for Ride the Lobster, other road races and my recent century ride. Along there, mostly within the Sacramento city limits, I’ve seen coyote, deer, jackrabbits, regular rabbits, eagles/hawks, beaver, turtles and lots of wild turkeys. In the springtime, the male turkeys are “strutting their stuff” for the disinterested females. :slight_smile:

I saw an armadillo once too! It was the second animal i ever saw while riding, the first was a snake i ran over once… oopsies. Kinda cool animals though, i took a picture and watched it till it ran away :roll_eyes:

After all, it was the first live one ever :stuck_out_tongue:

Lots of animals round here, but nothing exciting. Most dangerous ones are cows when they’ve got calves, or aggressive pet dogs. Only poisonous things are adders, but it’s rare to see one, let alone be bitten, and the bite is not very serious to most adults anyway. Probably far more chance of being killed by breathing in a wasp…

Nothing that would eat you here - America and Australia sound pretty dodgy :astonished:


What happened to me once, and only once, was a chance encounter with what I believed to be a Samsquantch, but later turned out to be a cougar that had whiskers making him look like a frenchman. He may have been high.

Where I ride I see the occasional deer, blue heron, turkey, or snapping turtle. And rabbits, my neighborhood has a ridiculous number of rabbits running around.