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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

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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
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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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    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!
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  26. #26
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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. Even the littlest of the friggin things make my heart stop, then race and my legs turn to jello.

    _MK
    No kidding. We were supposed to be on the Blue Sky Trail Saturday afternoon, when the near miss happened. I probably would have died from a heart attack if that happened to me.

    I keep telling myself if I ride up high enough I can avoid them. So far it has worked, and please no one tell me if the snakes are still up high as I haven't seen any yet.

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    those pesky everyday dangers

    Things I'm terrified of? Lightning, for sure. I cut way short a demo ride on a bike a few days ago on Hall because there was constant lightning real close. Driving on I-25 to Fort Collins, or south from Denver to Castle Rock. I hate it. Danger danger danger. Rattlesnakes? Well, I ride, the trails I ride have rs on them, what am I gonna do, not go outdoors if there's lightning anywhere in a 40 mile radius or not drive when I really really have to do business somewhere? Not ride? Well, no, no and no. The last thing I ever want to happen is I get struck by a startled rattler, but somehow I'm convinced this is one of those dangers I'll take precautions about and know what to do if the worst happens, and go about my life. The only thing I have to say to all of you out there (myself included) is have a plan to get emergency medical care as soon as possible from whatever trail you might be on. I'm riding Apex tomorrow morning (my favorite snake-and downhiller encounter area) and when I leave I'll a have a phonebook in hand and I'm gonna find the nearest facility to treat some (as it stands now "imaginary") snake bite. That's all I can do, have a plan to avoid as much as possible the dangers and surely have a plan for afterwards. My plan for avoiding snakes is I ride chameleon-like with one eye on the uphill side of the trail, you know, where the snakes might be laying in wait for some unsuspecting shmoe to dab his toes nearby. Try it--up your awareness al maximo to where you may put your foot while riding. The odds of a snake striking out of nowhere are pretty slim (the post above notwithstanding) but the odds of you stepping on one are slightly greater.

    You know, some guy was inquiring about snakes and such a few months ago and casually mentioned that he saw bears all the time where he rode back east, no big deal. Sheeit, folks, bears are not something I want to startle on the trail. Talk about a beastie with the capability to mess you up! And this guy was terrified of snakes.
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-19-2006 at 05:14 PM.

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    You know, some guy was inquiring about snakes and such a few months ago and casually mentioned that he saw bears all the time where he rode back east, no big deal. Sheeit, folks, bears are not something I want to startle on the trail. Talk about a beastie with the capability to mess you up! And this guy was terrified of snakes.[/QUOTE]

    not to ruin your day or anything, but 2 years ago a buddy and i were climbing up Heil Ranch and ran into 2 bears cubs....we were like uh oh where is momma, we had our bike pointed downhill ready to jet, but mama wasnt around and we finished the ride...but i was very alert of my surrouding...

    i think the worse things are the mountain lions...i have never seen one, but i used to do a ride in gunnison where one was seen all the time...every now again you would get the feeling that something was watching you....makes my skin crawl just typing this...
    BBZ

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia
    i think the worse things are the mountain lions...i have never seen one, but i used to do a ride in gunnison where one was seen all the time...every now again you would get the feeling that something was watching you....makes my skin crawl just typing this...
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    I encountered a bear and cub first year hear. Suffice it to say I had to outsmart the bear to get around her and the cub, back onto the trail to get back to my car (and waiting wife!).

    I've seen lots of rattlesnakes at Devil's Backbone, Lory State Park and even a real big one on Round Mountain (up high - I was suprised by that. He was King of that hill).

    I know what you mean about lions stalking or watching - Boulder riding/hiking: try it, it's fun!

    Of all these, pray that you never see a moose on the trail...

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    This one time...... At band camp...............I saw a bigfoot.

    He was furry....... and mean........ and told me I looked lame on my Yeti, and needed to buy a Ellsworth so I did.

    Always listen to bigfoot..........He is wise.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by moment
    This one time...... At band camp...............I saw a bigfoot.

    He was furry....... and mean........ and told me I looked lame on my Yeti, and needed to buy a Ellsworth so I did.

    Always listen to bigfoot..........He is wise.
    You mean, the Yeti told you to buy an Ellsworth? coo coo

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy

    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.


    I had the same question about where to go for medical attention from the Golden area trails. I had a mishap at Matthews/Winters last year. The closest hospital is Lutheran on W. 38th in Wheat Ridge just west of Wadsworth. It is un-f&%$in'-believeable to me with all the people living in Golden, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Green Mountain and all the nearby foothills that 38th and Wadsworth is the only hospital, while near Boulder there are four hospitals, five if you count Longmont. The emergency room on a weekend day at Lutheran is like I-25 at rush hour!

    The hospital in Moab is pretty well hidden. They are gearing up to build a bigger one slightly closer to downtown. FYI, if you go in there for X-Rays, they have a scoreboard tallying injuries per trail. It is pretty funny.

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    urgent care in Evergreen

    I psyched myself out talking about snakes on Apex so I went to Bergen Peak instead. On the way back I turned left out of the Elk Meadow parking lot (on Evergreen Parkway) went about 1.6 miles (past the Squaw Pass Rd.) and checked out the Urgent Care there by the ball fields. The lady at the desk said there was no anti-venom there, you gotta down "down the hill" to an emergency room. But she did say, bring on your broken bones and contusions!

    They're open 9am-7pm M-F, 9-3 Sat and 11-3 Sun. Time your injuries accordingly.
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-20-2006 at 10:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    I had the same question about where to go for medical attention from the Golden area trails. I had a mishap at Matthews/Winters last year. The closest hospital is Lutheran on W. 38th in Wheat Ridge just west of Wadsworth. It is un-f&%$in'-believeable to me with all the people living in Golden, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Green Mountain and all the nearby foothills that 38th and Wadsworth is the only hospital, while near Boulder there are four hospitals, five if you count Longmont. The emergency room on a weekend day at Lutheran is like I-25 at rush hour!
    Yup, it's a PITA. Once, when I lived in Golden, I had my bedroom window propped open with a set of chopsticks (bad idea!). The darn thing was heavy, and would never stay open. I was sound asleep one day, and at ~6Am it started raining hard (hard to imagine). My girlfriend woke me up and told me to close the window. I was half asleep, and when I went over to the window, I accidentally knocked out the chopsticks. The fricking window slammed shut on one of my fingers, just above the nail. Blood everywhere, and it hurt like hell (I still have the finger and the nail grew back, fyi). Woke me up real fast. We had a helluva time figuring out where the local ER was, and it took maybe 20 min to drive there. Fortunately, it was a monday morning and there weren't many people waiting. It's always great when you show the triage nurse your problem, and he responds with an "Ewwww."

  36. #36
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    ok, you guys are scaring the **** out of me with the snake stories. I have rode past a couple and had them rattle at me on Coyote Ridge as well as White ranch. Boost that heart rate. Is there a rule of thumb when it best to ride and avoid the buggers. I have encountered them stretched across the trail in the moring warming up, so maybe thats best when they are still sluggish. Or maybe in the heat of the day when I am the only one stupid enough to cook myself in the sun?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endo King
    Is there a rule of thumb when it best to ride and avoid the buggers.
    I've been starting my rides between 5:30 and 6:30am the past few weeks, and haven't seen any snakes. The past few years around Ft Collins, I have run across / over them on Maxwell, HTMP, Michaud, Lory, Pineridge, Hewlett Gulch, etc during afternoon and early evening rides.

  38. #38
    btx
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad1433
    Of all these, pray that you never see a moose on the trail...
    You won't see them unless you are a fairly high altitude. If you do any riding up near RMNP or North Park/Gould, you may run into them. I ride occasionally at a couple of places where they are downright common. Avoid them at all costs! They seem dosile, but they are super fast and freakin' huge--we're talking a shoulder height of seven plus feet! They say they can run 40MPH, and if you piss them off, they will charge you. I've heard stories of them charging cars. Wasn't it just about a month ago that one got that old timer over in Grand county?...they are fairly fearless too--I love watching them, though--from the car.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by btx
    You won't see them unless you are a fairly high altitude. If you do any riding up near RMNP or North Park/Gould, you may run into them. I ride occasionally at a couple of places where they are downright common. Avoid them at all costs! They seem dosile, but they are super fast and freakin' huge--we're talking a shoulder height of seven plus feet! They say they can run 40MPH, and if you piss them off, they will charge you. I've heard stories of them charging cars. Wasn't it just about a month ago that one got that old timer over in Grand county?...they are fairly fearless too--I love watching them, though--from the car.
    Oh yeah, had my expeience with them in Alaska. Don't want to piss them off. The locals were always telling us you have to be more afraid of the moose than the bears.

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    those pesky cold-blooded rascals

    I would second the idea that early morning is best because they have to soak up the sun's heat to warm up to be able to move quickly. Sunning themselves on the trail (an open area where the sun shines) is what they do. At that point you can coerce their little venomous selves off the trail. Early to late afternoon, once they're warmed up and ready to strike would be the worst times. But who rides then in the summer anyway? A slow snake bite isn't any better than a quick one, so treat them at all times with respect. I maybe sound like some snake expert but, actually, I just watch a lot of Discovery Channel. Another poster pointed out to me that they can strike up to half their length, which means an average 3 to 4 foot rattler can strike...uh...well, two feet or less, so unless you encroach on their space bigtime they can't get you. I'm hoping.

    I remember my first real encounter with a coiled rattler. I was up on top of Green Mountain when, quite unexpectidely, I deadended against a rock and fell to the left. Right, I mean within an inch, on top of a freakin' coiled rattler. Timing is everything, as they say. No, I didn't get bit, but, jeez louize, of all the places to land a foot. So, just goes to show that you gotta be aware at all times of the potential hazards involved in our wonderful pasttime. Didn't hear any rattlin' going on at Bergen today, though. (Sigh)

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    It is un-f&%$in'-believeable to me with all the people living in Golden, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Green Mountain and all the nearby foothills that 38th and Wadsworth is the only hospital, .
    Exempla is building a hospital at C-470 and Bowles. It'll be the closest ER to MW, Appex, Falcon, etc. I haven't seen a date yet, guessing 18 months.

    As far as snakes, I've run over one at speed on Green Mountain - thump thump. Had to walk around a really pissed off one on GM, and had one either strike or dart under my feet at GM - never knew I had that much adrenaline or could climb that fast. Ahhh - its stuck in my back wheel....ahhhh. It wasn't, but man did I freak.

    Almost ran over a big black snake at Mt Falcon - slithered across less than a foot in front of me.

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