It’s a very rare thing for me to create a new thread. But running over a (live) rattlesnake seems worthy enough. So how about a thread about things you ran over while riding a unicycle?
Here’s the story:
A long ride on the American River Bike Path today, from our house in Carmichael to downtown (Old Sacramento) and back. Me on my 36", Jacquie on her recumbent and our brother-in-law Roger on her other recumbent. On the way back, I took a little shortcut from the paved trail on a dirt/gravel section. In an area of mottled sun/shade, I suddenly realized the thing in the path immediately in front of me was a snake. It was laid out straight, at least 4’ (1.2m) long, and apparently a rattlesnake.
Normally I would go around, but this thing was laid all the way across the path, I was going slow and I was in high gear. If I stopped, my feet would have come down right near the snake (bad idea). If I tried to hop over it, on my road uni with handlebar, in high gear, I probably would have UPDed right there as well. These decisions were made in less than a second, and then I gingerly rode over the poor thing. It felt soft. I rode about 10 meters more, then stopped to see what was left. No snake. Never heard a rattle. So it was not killed instantly. then I got the hell out of there, on the off chance that it was coming after me.
Am I sure it was a rattlesnake? Only about 90%. It was the right color and pattern, but I barely got a glimpse of the head. I have not seen any other snakes in my area that looked similar to rattlesnakes, so I’m pretty sure it was.
The ground was relatively soft. I hopefully didn’t do any permanent damage.
I’ve not actually hit anything living yet (apart from a few trees) but I’ve had close calls with mice, rats, rabbits, deer… Yeah, deer. That was terrifying, it jumped out of the trees right in front of me and wasn’t for moving out of my way.
It’s certainly plausible that it was a rattlesnake, especially if the area was rocky. If the area was more grassy, it’s more likely to have been a gopher snake; they have similar markings, but a smaller head and no rattles (although they do shake their tails to mimic rattlesnakes).
In Skyline Park (Napa) I was one climbing on a remote singletrack trail, and after taking a switchback heard a noise that sounded like a flat tire. Nope, it was this fellow who I’d just rolled past:
I actually ran over a teenager once. I’m not pointing fingers, but I yelled out in time, and she didn’t move, and there was a 2-legged sign in the path that I had to pass underneath that she was also taking her time about walking through. Thankfully neither of us were hurt, but her being a female teenager she gave me a good talking to
To the above: I wish we had snakes round here, they’re such amazing creatures (Though I probably wouldn’t say that if the snakes were deadly)
Cool story John. I always like to see snakes and lizards, alligators, bears, moose, camels, whatever wildlife is around. I kinda think it probably was a rattlesnake you saw because I notice the bigger rattlesnakes are actually kinda quiet for the most part, if left alone especially. Maybe the big rattlesnakes get big by being in stealth mode. I held a rattlesnake well over 4 foot long down with an oar blade and it never did rattle and it had a lot of rattles built up. I heard you juggle clubs too while riding an 11 foot unicycle so I trust your eyesight is quite good. Riding a unicycle across a rattlesnake is probably the stuff of nightmare for most people, but I would bet some people here are actually thinking they could do it if they had too.
As I’m reading this I keep remembering the “old wives tales” I would hear now and then. Maybe a new thread with all the nutty theories or “old wives tales” would be fairly entertaining
When I was younger I heard that if a rattlesnake bit a tire the fangs would allow the air pressure in the tire to fill the snake like a balloon.
I also heard not to run straight down a hill from an angry snake because the snake could grasp it’s tail in it’s mouth and roll down the hill like a wheel and catch you.
I also heard that if you pull the tail off a lizard trying to catch it, the severed lizard tail would wriggle till sundown.
I heard too that if you chop a rattlesnake head off you must bury the head because yellowjacket wasps will eat the poison along with the snake head and then the sting of the yellowjacket would be more potent and maybe fatal.
Lots of whitetail deer in Kentucky. I’ve made my peace with them (did a lot of bow hunting my youth). It’s the little varmints (chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels) that scare me. They are very unpredictable and always seem to appear out of nowhere.
Oh yeah, the rabbits are the worst! Deer tend to keep themselves out of the way so I’ve never been bothered by one (before this one) I was just scared of colliding with an animal bigger than me in case it turned!
I walk her by unicycle. She normally keeps a cool head and ignores other dogs, people etc. We were riding past a fence. The owner had cut little windows in it so that their nasty little dog could look out. It was quiet until we reached the last window. Then this little dog popped up suddenly barking and snarling. My dog was so startled that she ran in front of me. I didn’t go all the way over her (maybe I need a fatter tire :p). I hit her and fell off. She ran home on her own trailing the leash behind her.
She wasn’t hurt. I took her out again the next day. But it was a few weeks before she would go down that street again.
I almost ran over a copperhead. I didn’t see it until I was right up on it and I was on a 26, so my ankles were much closer to the snake than I would have liked (I would have preferred miles away).
The copperhead struck at me while I went by. I wasn’t in the best shape back then (or now for that matter) but I did my best not to dismount until I put some serious distance between us. It was a jolt of adrenaline, I was very lucky not to UPD or have a fatigue UPD right there.
In the spirit of this thread, things that were actually ran over:
My own toe. It was the only accident I had while learning. I somehow rolled over my own toe while I was still seated on the uni. It hurt.
There were those two butterflies having fun in the middle of an ascending road.
Just as I approached them they started to move towards my path.
Actually I am not really certain wether ran over them or not, but I am afraid I did.