Snakes on the trail

So, I was cruising down a rocky trail in northern Arizona a couple weeks ago, but just now feel like mentioning it…
I’m hauling ball bearings down this rocky, shady place among the pine stand, and I just hear this loud 'HiiiiSSSSSsSSSsSSs" I UPD just about 10 feet away from this BRIGHT yellow and green snake, that’s hissing ALL loud, and I’m all freaking out, just trying to pretend that I’m calm, and that this snake doesn’t need to lunge at my face or anything, as I grab my uni and ride off.

That would super suck to get bitten by a poisonous snake on the trail, when I’m out there alone.

After that, I kept looking out for snakes so I didn’t run them over and get jacked in the ankle, and naturally I kept thinking I was spotting them everywhere, but turns out to be all a bunch of scary-looking sticks.

But the worst part is that I can’t even identify what kind of snake it was, and could have gotten bit by it. All the snake info on the net I have found for Arizona is all about valley snakes, like rattlers and garters. No idea about this high altitude critter. Does anyone know? It was like, super flourescent green-yellow, the whole thing, no other marks.

Anyone else run into snakes?

I’ve run over at least one (garter) snake.
There was a long (3’) snake that I did a rolling hop over.
It was across the trail and there was nothing else I could do.
I don’t think it was a harmful snake though.

As far as snakes go, I think you will be OK as long as you keep pedaling - even if you run over a rattler.

You’re lucky you only ran across ONE snake. Here’s an story from a friend of mine that happened in one of my favorite Muniing places:

So I have my wife drop me off at Mainland so I can start working on getting the Phase II trails started. Things are going good and then I come up to a sheet of plywood. "OK... There's a snake under there I bet."

I use my weed whacker to hook the edge of the plywood and give it a tug up… My brain sees a 14 ft rattlesnake and I squeal and jump back 8 feet by simply flexing my toes.

I compose myself, dab the wet spot off the front of my pants, and decide to use the plywood as a wall when I pull it up. Put it between me and the snake and then shoo it away with the whacker. It worked… I had to convince the snake. Not a rattler though, not 14 feet either. More like 5 foot. He sneaks off into the grass and I pull the plywood out of the area. Now there’s a second sheet of plywood I have to deal with…

I figure I’m smart now. The wall trick worked great. No danger. Snake 0 Trapper 1. So I get in position with the second sheet of plywood and give it a tug too. “Holy Crap there’s TWO!” So here I am looking at two more of the same snakes and I don’t know what there are. “SHOO!! SHOO damnit!” They finally are convinced to leave or die (a weed whacker can convert into a snake whacker in an instant) and I move the plywood over to where I put the other one. Snakes 0 Trapper 3.

So, by now I figure that there are 3 unknown species of snake roaming in the tall grass that I’m working in. Time to wrap it up and move to another section. I start walking across the bare, wide open, dried up section of the area I’m in… heading toward where I’m going to start cutting again. I get about 40 yards and suddenly I’m within 4 feet of Sneaky Snake. I get to do the 8 foot two flex spot pants jump again… I don’t know if it was one of the 3 I displaced or another one. All I know is that it was snake sighting #4.

I shoo him off into the grass and keep going. Not working there either… I find a snake free zone and cut out a huge pile of dead limbs which creates a very nice section of of single track. About 2 hours later I decide to wrap it up and head back. I get to the same damn spot I saw snake # 4 and there he is again. He sees me this time and heads for a ceder tree. Next thing I know he’s climbing it. When he gets higher than my head he stops and looks at me as if to say “Your move…” By now I’m beginning to wonder what the deal is with all the snakes on this side of the bridge. 5 snake sightings in under 3 hours. Sheesh…

Wanting to scope out where everything is going to connect, I start heading up the jeep trail that leads away from Mainland and toward HEB at Guibeau. I get over the broken pavement section that used to be a road and walk through the wash. At one point you’re about chest deep in it. I look to my right and AHHHHH!!! Coral snake! Damnit! 6 snake sightings! WTF!

Now I’m really wondering what the hell is going on. I keep going on up the jeep trail and as I exit the woods I decide to walk the embankment on the right rather than continue walking up the jeep road. Right before i get to the bridge I stop under a big oak on the bank and dial the wife to have her get some ice tea ready. As its ringing I’m thinking about telling her about all the snakes. I look to my right and there 4 feet away from me is another damn snake! 7 friggin snake sightings. 6 of one type, and 1 Coral. That’s it. Honey, come pick me up…

I’m pretty sure this is species that is all over the place down there. The common Texas Rat Snake.

If I remember correctly, there is a faux Coral snake out there.
It would help tremendously if you posted a pic of a Texas Rat Snake

I’d jump at the sight of that too! :smiley:

Round here in the Australian Alps, we have black, brown and tiger snakes. Blacks are OK, browns are not really nice and tigers scare the crap out of me. They are really deadly!

In spring they are really cranky after waking up.

After seeing a snake on on a track, the rest of the ride is jumpy. I always think "WAS THAT THING THAT I JUST PASSED A SNAKE’. Usually it was a stick or a bit of bark.


a. Ride a Coker. Then the snakes have to jump a bit higher.
b. Have a first aid kit and a mobile
c. Move to New Zealand. They don’t have snakes.
d. Stay on your lounge chair. Don’t do anything!

At least in Australia we dont have grizzleys, lions, tigers or leopards to eat u.

Yeah, Australia’s not the best place for a snake-o-phobe like me. :slight_smile: Neither’s muni the best hobby really.

I rode with Tony Melton in New Zealand a few months ago and I couldn’t believe when they told me there were no snakes there. I didn’t have to look where I was walking anymore…it was fantastic!

I think I hopped over a bunch of logs with a snake behind it once but I didn’t stop to check it out so I can’t be sure. :slight_smile:

Actually there was a great trials line I was planning on doing one day but chickened out when I saw a (harmless) green tree snake in a tree above me.


wear some good snake proof boots, those with your 661’s should help, as long as you aren’t bit in the back of the leg.

I neva thought of 661s as what we call gaiters. We wear gaiter when we are walking in the bush.

A new marketing angle for 661s

ok so sunny england scores a point for having no livestock that can cause havok with the wery trials rider, unless you count the occasinal angry house cat.


Except Adders. I think this was when I was muni riding at Swinley Forest near Bracknell. It didn’t seem particularly interested in me though, I got nice and close to take the picture.


I need to chime in here. I’ve spent a lifetime studying snakes in the American southwest. Not much to worry about in N. AZ. You probably saw a gopher snake, commonly called a bullsnake in these parts. Same thing as the Texas Rat Snake just a different local name. They can run in varying colorations from yellows and greens to browns. I caught a very nice specimen in far southern Arizona a couple of weeks ago and it was very yellow (just gave him a good look and then turned him loose). As for poisonous snakes in the area you could encounter the Arizona Black Rattlesnake, the Black Tailed Rattlesnake or the Western Diamondback. The Diamondback is the most dangerous as they are relatively aggresive and territorial. They occur VERY rarely at the 7000 ft. elevation. Pretty common if you trail ride in Sedona though. The others are relatively docile (as rattlesnakes go) and are unlikely to strike unless they feel cornered or if you step on/roll over one. At this time of year it’s still too cold up here to have any kind of snake be very active. They may crawl out to a sunny spot on the trail to warm themselves but they’ll tend to be lethargic. I like to road bike in the Sedona area and I frequently see Rattlesnakes on the pavement in the early morning sunning themselves.

for any long MUni rides, you ought to take some sort of first aid kit with snake bite shtuff in it, so you don’t die. dying can be a bad thing sometimes.

I bet the gargantuan spiders, cockroaches & ants scared them out of that corner of Pangaea way back when. :smiley:

Yikes not snakes but dogs

Ahh Sunday morning. I thought I would ride a cycle path in unfamiliar territory for a change. 30 mins into it I admired a beautiful classic Aussie farmhouse which I was approaching.

Day dreaming yeh nice old place, could do with a renovation etc and then a bloody huge dog plus its yap yap friend came screeming out of the yard and both tried to attack me. Sort of looking like Louis the Fly from space in my gear spooked the dog as well. Instant dismount (can’t out accelerate a dog I thought) and I has to use the Coker wheel as a sort of mobile dog cage between me and the dog.

No one came out of the farm house to save me, so a long eye to eye psychological battle ensued. I did not have to use the Coker as a weapon but It took a while for me to slowly but surley get out of its territory.

Instead of using the Coker as a weapon I might take a Jim Bowie kinife with me in the future!!!

Well here in NZ we don’t have any dangerous (cool) animals in the wild to worry us…its annoying in a way, you guys all have cool lions and bears and snakes etc…we might see a bird on our journeys…I guess it is good because we don’t have to worry, but still we dont have any cool animals like that.

Re: Snakes on the trail

On Sun, 15 May 2005 02:55:20 -0500, “billblogs” wrote:

>a bloody huge dog plus its yap yap friend

What is a yap yap friend?

>I has to use the Coker wheel as a sort
>of mobile dog cage between me and the dog.

I’ve done the same, only this was with a German shepherd (the dog, I
mean). But luckily there was an owner around to help me out.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

wouldnt you be grumpy if somone just said you had PMS? - jagur

Again, am thankful I don’t live anywhere where you are in danger of being mortally wounded (except when I try something stupid) every time I go riding :p. Although the UK has the adder, I think its pretty amiable as snakes go with its little head and fat body, it just looks too daft to take seriously.


yap yap friend

A yap yap friend was a local small dog breed known as a 'Jack Russell". They are the kinda dog that you just feel like riding over or kicking or flushing down a toilet. On their own they try to nip, but here is the catch…they are great at stirring up their bigger friends by continuing barking when all the drama should be over.

Don’t get me wrong. I love pet dogs UNDER CONTROL!

Wild dogs breeding here in the bush breeding with the native Dingos are becoming a problem.

How does one defend agains a dog, either suburban or otherwise?

I’ve always found that dismounting and standing with the uni between yourself and the dog does pretty well to ward them off. I love Britain, no-one’s died from a wild snake bite since before i was born (i think) and the worst spider we have can give you a small bite that hurts much less than a bee or wasp sting. Having said that there is a puma/leopard/other big cat that’s been roaming the woods for quite a few years now where i live, it occasionally gets spotted and devours local farmer’s sheep, including the bones and skull apparently.


Getting back to snakes, Out on my Coker once I thought there was a broken fan belt laying out on the road. Only to see it start to squirm just before I ran over it.