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Thread: rattle rattle

  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! rattle rattle

    just saw on the 9 o'clock news that a cyclist on a trail in deer creek (jeffco) was bitten by a rattle sssssssnake today...

    2nd rattler bite this week. yikes!
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  2. #2
    I dream on two wheels
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    Was it the Deer Creek Canyon trail? I thought it was just a paved trail in Jeffco. Still scarey though.

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    how do you get bitten while riding a bike

    i haven't been in Co long but long enough to see several rattlers now... I just can't see how you get bitten while riding a bike? I mean they are, essentially, striking blindly at this cold metal object and your legs are moving (or shoul be if your near a rattler...)

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    >>i haven't been in Co long but long enough to see several rattlers now... I just can't see how you get bitten while riding a bike? I mean they are, essentially, striking blindly at this cold metal object and your legs are moving (or shoul be if your near a rattler...)

    Well, I think that snakes see heat more than visible light, so it's easy for them to distinguish prey from the background. That's why they're nocturnal. I guess if you were on a steep climb and going pretty slow, a snake might be able to get you on the leg. They can be hard to hear, especially if your bike is noisy. More likely, the rider stopped and just put his foot down in the wrong spot. Whenever I'm riding, I'm very conscious of where I put my feet down when I have to stop; I've just seen too many rattlers. Once (when I was a beginner), I was climbing up around a switchback that normally gave me fits. I got knocked off line (wide), and nearly ran right into a rattler that was hanging out up on the berm. I was going maybe .5 mph, and my front wheel was heading right at him and I was about a foot away when I saw him. Naturally, adrenaline kicked in and I freaked and basically spazzed off the other side of the trail.

    I guess the scariest thing for me would be to endo and land right next to one. That would totally suck.

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    yeah I see it now

    I guess I was just picturing cruising by a rattler making it hard for him(or her, I assume the females are the nasty ones) to hit you leg. BUt as slow as I climb and as many times as I fall over I can see how it would happen..

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    Been in CO since '01, and have become pretty lax regarding snakes, rare to see one at 8000+ ft. I have seen several at lower elevations, Matthew Winters/Dakato Ridge particularly.
    But with the hotter than usual May/June, I have seen evidence of snakes on trails where never seen before.
    Think about it, the places where we may have the most trouble in clearing, area most likely to put a foot down, may be the most likely place for a snake to lie in wait. Bounus.
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  7. #7
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    So, who's going to start the "Rattlesnakes infesting Apex today" thread?

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    I've had a rattler strike at my front tire. That pretty much made me poop my pants. Didn't hear it, didn't see it until it was too late. I was on a tight singletrack, techy climb in Horsetooth mtn park. I've seen several since then, but none of which have tried to inject my tire with venom. The conclusion I've came to is that I must have scared the crap outta it. I'm thinking it went from chill/sleep mode to ninja kill mode in an instant. And that's all I got to say about that.
    Biker? I don't even know her.

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    Great road story with a rattlesnake...
    Couple week ago the ICCC race was on the state patrol course on the plateau in Golden off of Quaker and Old Golden Road. Big rattlesnake on the far end of the course that stopped Pro women's race. Racer chick rides past it to the chief referee and asks if he has a phone book? He say a phone book, why?

    Her response: So we can call animal control to have the snake moved off of the road so we can keep racing. They did not want it moved by someone who did not know what they were doing or someone that might kill it.....

    Road racers are so funny!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    Proud Tribe member since 1992 - looking for better singletrack to be ridden year round

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Elvis
    So, who's going to start the "Rattlesnakes infesting Apex today" thread?
    That's funny... Honestly tho, Apex is the only place i have ran into those little bastards.

    I did however, have to remove a 4 1/2 foot bullsnake from my patio this weekend. It slid right behind me unnoticed til i turned around and saw him, then i had a complete conniption fit, ofcourse. Damn those things make noise when they are angry! They even shake their tail to mimic the rattlesnake. Nasty as hell.

    The guy who came to get rid of him actually told me bulsnakes are worse than rattlers, more aggressive, etc...

    Either way, snakes surprising you = crap your pants.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtmartin46
    I did however, have to remove a 4 1/2 foot bullsnake from my patio this weekend. It slid right behind me unnoticed til i turned around and saw him, then i had a complete conniption fit, ofcourse. Damn those things make noise when they are angry! They even shake their tail to mimic the rattlesnake. Nasty as hell.
    Gawd, I've seen some bull snakes that were huge. Saw one at Hall that was at least 6 feet long. They do want to make you crap your pants.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtmartin46
    Either way, snakes surprising you = crap your pants.
    I am scared senseless of the damn things, poisonous or not. I cant explain it, its not rational but they scare the beejesus out of me.

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    Catching snakes used to be my favorite summertime thing when I was a kid. That promptly ended one time when I saw a snake, chased it down, realised it was a copperhead, then I crapped my pants I was chasing a poisonous snake.

    I've seen a few rattlers in and around the Lyons area.

  14. #14
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    Ran over a log once

    Years ago I ran over a log about the size of my upper arm at Green Mtn./Denver while riding a single track trail with tall dry grass on each side of the trail. I was going up a perfectly straight/mild incline, maybe about 9/12 mph. Right when I un-weighted the front end to bump over the log I realized it was not a log. My momentum carried me about 10/15 feet before I could stop. Now coiled behind me, right in the center of the trail, was the biggest, meanest, scariest, most pissed off rattler in the world . My younger brother, who had been chasing hard behind me, was about 50 yards back down the trail. Even with my heart pounding so hard I just sort of casually waved back at him and yelled snake. He looked right at me and kept hammering up the trail, I yelled louder and waved more frantically, he doubtfully looked me right in the eye and kept coming, he was now about 20 yards from my newest friend. By about 10 yards I was sort of jumping up and down while straddling my bike, pointing down to the ground yelling snake, snake snake. At the very last second, right before he was on top of the snake he looked down instead of at me, sort of hopped/served out into the grass and stopped next to me. We still laugh about it, but sometimes, under the right conditions I still see real logs move just a little while going down the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtmartin46
    That's funny... Honestly tho, Apex is the only place i have ran into those little bastards.

    I did however, have to remove a 4 1/2 foot bullsnake from my patio this weekend. It slid right behind me unnoticed til i turned around and saw him, then i had a complete conniption fit, ofcourse. Damn those things make noise when they are angry! They even shake their tail to mimic the rattlesnake. Nasty as hell.

    The guy who came to get rid of him actually told me bulsnakes are worse than rattlers, more aggressive, etc...

    Either way, snakes surprising you = crap your pants.
    Yeah I ran into a bull snake off the side of the sidewalk over here in Superior the other day...thing was hissing super loud at me, it even freaked my dog out and shes usually fearless of snakes.
    I was going to ride Deer Creek for the first time today too but went to white ranch instead, good thing I guess.

  16. #16
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    I was going to ride Deer Creek for the first time today too but went to white ranch instead, good thing I guess.
    Maybe, maybe not. I've seen some nice sized rattlers on Belcher.
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  17. #17
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    those pesky rattlers

    Last year a biker coming at me at Deer Creek told me to watch out there was a baby rattler warming himself on the trail. Sure enough, there he was, coiled up smack in the middle. No place for a pack of kids to come cruising through so I got a long stick and prodded the little guy off the trail. He didn't want to go and kept striking the (very long) stick. Finally got him off the trail, then I kept hounding him till he got about 5' into the bushes. Hikers' reactions were all over the board when I mentioned rattlers on the trail--from thanks for the heads up to (unbelievably) a guy with two little kids telling me, leave the snake alone, he's not doing anyone any harm. Yeah, for sure now 'cause he's in the bushes, dude, and not striking at your children's ankles. He was actually pissed at me for "hassling" the snake!

    I've done the same thing numerous times on Dakota Ridge and Apex. I'm not really scared of rattlers, but I do have a very healthy respect for their ability to cause all of us no end of pain, given the right encounter. They can only strike 1/3 of their total length, so do the math if they're coiled up, get a stick about 6-8' long and gently get them to move it off the trail. You'll be doing everyone a favor. No way would I ever attempt to pick one up.

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    They can actually strike further than that....

  19. #19
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    i think i saw that one at deer creek last week....one was just off to the side a bit, rattled as i passed him....any idea of what time the guy got bit?? i have heard that in the morning they don't have enought energy to strike because they are cold blooded and thats why they sit in the sun...but i don't know anything about them except that they scare me and i see them often this time of year (i start riding in the morning once i am done work for the summer...i am a teacher)....last year i ran over one at apex....i think just his tail, but pissed him off and made my heart rate go throught the roof instantly when i saw him undet my tire...i have pretty much seen them at every lower elevation front range trail, just be alert...
    BBZ

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  20. #20
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    I had one strike at me yesterday on the Blue Sky Trail

    1/2 mi up the trail, it all happened in a split second. Heard a loud buzz off to my left, knew OH SH*T, looked down and saw the 4' snake miss me by a couple of inches !!

    I must have startled it as I rode past. I've seen many rattlers before, but this was the first time that one struck at me. Let's say it took me a "few" minutes to settle down and get on the bike and keep riding.

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    rattling vs striking

    You were very very lucky. We all hear them suckers rattling but one actually launched at you. In case you or anybody else in that situation (say you did get struck) wonders what to do next, the answer is--get to a hospital for anti-venom shots!!! Try to remember what the snake looked like so they know what kind of anti-venom goo to give you, but get the heck to a hospital.

    I was strolling along next to a canyon outside of Moab earlier this year when I walked within about a foot of a coiled rattler under a bush. I did a side leap of about 5', waited for my heart to stop racing and checked him out. He was dark orange and about 3' long. Took a ton of pics of his tongue-flicking face then went into town to ask what it was. Nobody knew. Maybe he'd just gotten out of hibernation and was in some funky color change. My left calf felt a huge feeling of relief that it hadn't been struck.

    Which brings me back to a thread I started awhile back about where are emergency medical care facilities that you'd be able to find without thinking. I found where the hospital is in Moab right away. I've also found out that there's an Urgent Care place in Evergreen--go left out of the Elk Meadow parking area (going north, I think) on Evergreen Parkway. Go maybe a mile just past the ball fields and it's there on the Parkway right next to the ball fields. Just don't get struck after noon on the weekends as they're only open 9-12!

    Where would you have gone, without needing to think about it, for emergency medical care? Since I see most rattlers on Apex, where would I go for help? I'll find out that one and post back.

  22. #22
    btx
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    get to a hospital for anti-venom shots!!! Try to remember what the snake looked like so they know what kind of anti-venom goo to give you, but get the heck to a hospital.
    Well, around here the "remember what it looked like" part is easy...unless you get tagged by someone's pet, it's a prairie rattler. This page is still handy when you don't know what you saw:

    http://coloherp.org/keys/snakes.php#2s

    Not that I'd press my luck, they still will mess you up bad, but they say rattlesnake bites in Colorado are rarely fatal. The prairie rattler is kind of in the middle range in terms of venom potency. My plan is to stay off the singletrack if I'm alone, and always pack a phone. I figure if someone in the group gets tagged, goal one is to get reception and hope that antivenin can be waiting in an ambulance at the parking lot...of course, I think about poo like this too much

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by btx
    Well, around here the "remember what it looked like" part is easy...unless you get tagged by someone's pet, it's a prairie rattler. This page is still handy when you don't know what you saw:

    http://coloherp.org/keys/snakes.php#2s

    Not that I'd press my luck, they still will mess you up bad, but they say rattlesnake bites in Colorado are rarely fatal. The prairie rattler is kind of in the middle range in terms of venom potency. My plan is to stay off the singletrack if I'm alone, and always pack a phone. I figure if someone in the group gets tagged, goal one is to get reception and hope that antivenin can be waiting in an ambulance at the parking lot...of course, I think about poo like this too much
    I'm no snake expert by any means and I don't want to get bit EVER. Anybody reading this thread, even though the bites are rarely fatal, btx is correct in saying they still will mess you up bad--the venom starts to do its nasty thing immediately in your body and the muscle tissue around the bite starts to disintegrate (different venoms do different nasty things). So, fatal or not, wherever you get bit isn't going to look the same after the venom works its black magic and only by neutralizing that sh!t will the damage be slowed down.
    Tournequets (I've read) don't do squat--cutting into the bite and "sucking out the poison" is almost worse than doing nothing. Get on your cellphone immediately and call for help (like btx said, tell them specifically to bring antivenom, if in fact they do that in an ambulance) but with no cell reception get your own butt to a hospital.

  24. #24
    MK_
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    You guys are making me not want to bike on the local trail any more. I'm irrationally terrified of snakes. Even the littlest of the friggin things make my heart stop, then race and my legs turn to jello.

    _MK
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    You guys are making me not want to bike on the local trail any more. I'm irrationally terrified of snakes
    indeed...
    i was thinking of riding chimney/apex tomorrow evening by myself, but am now having second thoughts!

    knock on wood i've only ever seen one snake on a trail and it was a little guy that slithered away.
    now i'm gonna be paranoid.

    c'est la vie.
    snakes... mtn lions... mama bears... rabid prarie dogs... irate hikders... survival of the fittest!
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

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