Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snakes in the Grass

And there is a lot of grass.  This has been a remarkable year in one way...the amount of poisonous snakes I have seen while out riding this Spring.  The tally so far is five.  Five rattlesnakes all in late March or the month of April.  That is crazy!  I can go an entire year and see ZERO rattlers but the average is likely one or two.  To see five is waaaay wierd.  In fact, last night while I was riding I saw a 2-3 footer stretched across the road in one canyon and a friend was riding an adjacent canyon and saw a different, but equal in size, rattler.  2 for 1 night.  I am thinking that this sign on the left should be standard issue on trails this year.

On another ride a buddy was riding in another semi-local area and one of the group stopped to set up a photo session.  He laid his bike trail-side...right on top of a coiled rattler....nearly squished him with a crank arm.  The buzzing gave his heart a good jump start.

I am not sure what to think, but I am pretty sure it is the Obama Administrations fault.  Or maybe the Teachers Unions.  Not sure, but they are in the news lately, so why not?  I am not really afraid of snakes.  I will pick up non-venomous ones on occasion and shoo gopher snakes off the trail.  I will even stop and look at rattlers, etc.  But I have to admit that I am thinking way more about where I put my foot off-trail or even when I am stopped on-trail for that matter.  Like this fella, I am getting snakes on the brain. 

I am considering a plan of action. 

One:  Stay inside.  I have never seen a snake in my house therefore I am good to go on the windtrainer.  Think of the savings in front tires that never wear out!  Being outdoors is overrated anyway.  After all, it is a big, scary world out there.  Home is sooo safe and cozy.  And there is a refrigerator.

Two:  Go roadie.  I get to avoid the grass and I have the added advantage of never having to take my hands off the handlebars to wave at other riders.   Also I will never be bitten on the nose as it is always pointed up.  Lucky roadies.

Three:  Nice accessories.  I hear that snake skin makes swell belts, etc.  Turn this into a profit thing.  When it rains, make lemonade...or something like that.  Here snakey needs some new shoes.

Four:  You bite me, I bite back.  Turn the tables on 'em and put snake back on the menu!  Grilled, BBQ, snake sushi, stewed, broiled, boiled, fried and sauteed.  It's all good.  Perhaps a new line of rattlesnake energy bars.  Lots of protein there.

Five:  Become a lawyer.  Snakes never bite one of their own.

Six:  Run this rear hub.  I figure it sounds just like a snake so they will be confused and not sure what to do.  As well, I could run a Hope hub and let the freewheel noise deafen the snake before I even get close to him.

I also have proof that snakes will crawl over to a parked car and let the air out of your tires so that they can ambush you.  They bite through the valve cap into the schraeder valve.  Another reason to use presta valves on your cars as snakes do not have thumbs.  Don't believe me?  It did not happen unless you got the pic.  Besides...why else do they call a pinch flat a 'snakebite'?  Case closed.

Know your enemy.

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