Sssssnakes

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Raptor, May 30, 2003.

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  1. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Google has one thread archived on this subject, so I think it won't hurt to revisit it to see if
    there's an update of the conventional wisdom.

    Good thing I'm a slow climber. I was doing 5-ish mph near the top of Salt Lake City's City Creek
    Canyon last night, and therefore managed to stop well short (10 feet) of a rattlesnake parked in
    the middle of the road. I waited it out, stomped my foot a few times and it mosied off the road. I
    let it live.

    Had I continued riding (faster than I was) and presumably ridden over the snake somewhere in the
    middle, what chance is there that I could have been bitten?

    The upshot of the advice from the earlier thread was that if you can't stop or bunny-hop, aim
    for the head.

    I know the area's prime snake country, but the trail there is so fun, challenging and accessible, I
    shall not be deterred. (Last night's near miss was on the road, however.)

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
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  2. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Lynn Wallace writes:

    > Google has one thread archived on this subject, so I think it won't hurt to revisit it to see if
    > there's an update of the conventional wisdom.

    > Good thing I'm a slow climber. I was doing 5-ish mph near the top of Salt Lake City's City Creek
    > Canyon last night, and therefore managed to stop well short (10 feet) of a rattlesnake parked in
    > the middle of the road. I waited it out, stomped my foot a few times and it mosied off the road. I
    > let it live.

    > Had I continued riding (faster than I was) and presumably ridden over the snake somewhere in the
    > middle, what chance is there that I could have been bitten?

    > The upshot of the advice from the earlier thread was that if you can't stop or bunny-hop, aim for
    > the head.

    You seem to overlook the obvious and reasonable solution, that of riding around the snake. I would
    have stopped and shooed it off the road for its own protection. There is no reason to kill a snake
    out in the veldt. Who are these "aim for the head" folks. Gotta kill them varmints, they're taking
    over the world. Probably the same ones who shoot at road signs. You know, it's either me or
    them... BLAAAM!

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  3. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Lynn Wallace writes:
    >
    >
    >>Google has one thread archived on this subject, so I think it won't hurt to revisit it to see if
    >>there's an update of the conventional wisdom.
    >
    >
    >>Good thing I'm a slow climber. I was doing 5-ish mph near the top of Salt Lake City's City Creek
    >>Canyon last night, and therefore managed to stop well short (10 feet) of a rattlesnake parked in
    >>the middle of the road. I waited it out, stomped my foot a few times and it mosied off the road. I
    >>let it live.
    >
    >
    >>Had I continued riding (faster than I was) and presumably ridden over the snake somewhere in the
    >>middle, what chance is there that I could have been bitten?
    >
    >
    >>The upshot of the advice from the earlier thread was that if you can't stop or bunny-hop, aim for
    >>the head.
    >
    >
    > You seem to overlook the obvious and reasonable solution, that of riding around the snake. I would
    > have stopped and shooed it off the road for its own protection. There is no reason to kill a snake
    > out in the veldt. Who are these "aim for the head" folks. Gotta kill them varmints, they're taking
    > over the world. Probably the same ones who shoot at road signs. You know, it's either me or
    > them... BLAAAM!
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA

    I think there was probably room at the road edges for me to pass safely, but then the bugger would
    have decided to slither to the same side I selected. It's about a 15' road, and the snake was about
    2-1/2' long, parked very near the center, stretched out perpendicular to my path.

    Your option would also have involved actually decreasing the distance between myself and a
    rattlesnake that I can see. I don't do that. It could've been a "harmless" mature garden snake and I
    wouldn't have done
    it. "I hate snakes."

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  4. Norm

    Norm Guest

    X-No-Archive: Yes Raptor wrote:

    > I know the area's prime snake country, but the trail there is so fun, challenging and accessible,
    > I shall not be deterred. (Last night's near miss was on the road, however.)

    Long time ago, biking in the Florida "hill country" I came over a rise to find a pgymy rattler in
    the road - his tail had been run over and he was very p*ssed off, lunging all about. Glad I saw him.

    Around the same time, I came out in the morning and sat down to put on my bike shoes when I realized
    I was sitting next to a rattler. It coulda been worse, he coulda curled up inside a shoe! Disposed
    of it in the woods sing a forked stick.

    --
    "The web has got me caught. I'd rather have the blues than what I've got." <via Nat King Cole
     
  5. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    Tagged onto JB's post in support of his "why?"

    Klauber wrote "Rattlesnake", a two volume review some years ago. It is good and one of the volumes
    deals extensively with the mythology of the rattlesnake.

    I was schmoozing with a friend ranger at Pinnacles NM (ca. 1965 while I was rockclimbing), sitting
    on the ranger-shack's stoop drinking adult refreshments. A 'tourist' came up to us, huffing and
    puffing that there was a rattlesnake "up on the trail" and "somebody needed to kill it." Pinnacles
    is rattlesnake heaven. Rollo and I trudged up the trail and made sure that the dumb snake had found
    cover from 'tourists'.

    ISTR JB writing recently of riding to the Idra Mine that's not too far from Pinnacles NM - as
    California 'distances' go.

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Lynn Wallace writes:
    >
    > > Google has one thread archived on this subject, so I think it won't hurt to revisit it to see if
    > > there's an update of the conventional wisdom.
    >
    > > Good thing I'm a slow climber. I was doing 5-ish mph near the top of Salt Lake City's City Creek
    > > Canyon last night, and therefore managed to stop well short (10 feet) of a rattlesnake parked in
    > > the middle of the road. I waited it out, stomped my foot a few times and it mosied off the road.
    > > I let it live.
    >
    > > Had I continued riding (faster than I was) and presumably ridden over the snake somewhere in the
    > > middle, what chance is there that I could have been bitten?
    >
    > > The upshot of the advice from the earlier thread was that if you can't stop or bunny-hop, aim
    > > for the head.
    >
    > You seem to overlook the obvious and reasonable solution, that of riding around the snake. I would
    > have stopped and shooed it off the road for its own protection. There is no reason to kill a snake
    > out in the veldt. Who are these "aim for the head" folks. Gotta kill them varmints, they're taking
    > over the world. Probably the same ones who shoot at road signs. You know, it's either me or
    > them... BLAAAM!
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  6. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    Jobst is dead-on; ride around it! You say it is a 2.5 ft snake on a 15' road; even if it is just to
    one side of center and stretched out straight to the side of the road you would have 5' of clearance
    on that side, and
    7.5' on the other. Lots of room to pass. Rattlesnakes are not that fast, they cannot 'jump', and the
    subspecies that lives in the SLC area is rather passive - not very aggressive (when working on
    some biological studies just west of SLC we used to almost step on them daily, and all we did was
    call out position so that on one did step on the snakes). Live and let live; the snakes are good
    for the area and deserve to live.

    - rick warner
     
  7. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Rick Warner wrote:
    > Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > Jobst is dead-on; ride around it! You say it is a 2.5 ft snake on a 15' road; even if it is just
    > to one side of center and stretched out straight to the side of the road you would have 5' of
    > clearance on that side, and
    > 7.5' on the other. Lots of room to pass. Rattlesnakes are not that fast, they cannot 'jump', and
    > the subspecies that lives in the SLC area is rather passive - not very aggressive (when working
    > on some biological studies just west of SLC we used to almost step on them daily, and all we did
    > was call out position so that on one did step on the snakes). Live and let live; the snakes are
    > good for the area and deserve to live.
    >
    > - rick warner

    It's nice to hear that our rattlers are passive, but for a (snake)-ophobe, it doesn't help much.
    Plus, we do hear that every summer results in a big spike in snake bite treatments at hospitals
    (duh), so people do get bitten.

    I'd be happier to learn that their venom is not particularly destructive. Do you know?

    Perhaps your info explains my having ridden unscathed by a largish snake, passing within a foot of
    it on an uphill trail in the same area, a couple years ago. It was a quick enough passing that I
    didn't get a good look at the snake, just something big squirming right beneath my feet. I don't
    even know if it was a rattler. My only injury was a substantial rise in the pucker factor.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  8. Burr

    Burr Guest

    You guys should ride out here in the desert. From evening until about three hours after sun rise the
    snakes are out. The sidewinders are not bad but the Mojave Greens are bad, they will chase you if
    you get with in 10 feet and they have a nerve venom. In the morning they lay on the road to warm up
    for the day. My big worry is that I don't always look ahead of where I'm going and I am afraid I
    will run over one and get it in my spokes. I have had many close calls from not looking up. Also, if
    you have a flat in your car don't stop to close to the edge and look very hard for snakes while
    changing you tire.

    Burr Diamondback Road Bike REI Touring Bike Schwinn City Bike So. California Deserts Ridgecrest
     
  9. Lots of snakes on the trails here in Colorado. Rare that I don't see 2-3 on a ride. The big Bull
    Snakes love sunning on the cement trails. I have seen up to 10 on one ride near the Bear Creek Park
    area in Lakewood, CO.

    I have run over several, not with any intent, simply going around a corner and there they were.

    There was one rattler partly on the trail. I just stopped for a while and it finally went away. We
    have mtn rattlers here.

    http://members.aol.com/foxcondorsrvtns (Colorado rental condo)

    http://members.aol.com/dnvrfox (Family Web Page)
     
  10. Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > It's nice to hear that our rattlers are passive, but for a (snake)-ophobe, it doesn't help much.
    > Plus, we do hear that every summer results in a big spike in snake bite treatments at hospitals
    > (duh), so people do get bitten.

    I thought that the large majority of snake bite fatalities were young men (late teens to thirty) who
    had too much to drink -- in other words, what really got them was a combination of alcohol and
    testosterone poisoning -- the snake just happened to be there in the
    mix.

    Where I live, there are no poisonous snakes, but they ones we do have often lie out on the middle of
    the bike trail to sun themselves. Generally speaking, I try to dodge them, but sometimes I'm going
    too fast to be able to do that. I've felt bad the few times I've run them over.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

    Singing with you at: http://www.tiferet.net/

    Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at: http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  11. Burr

    Burr Guest

    So, Where do you live?

    Burr Diamondback Road Bike REI Touring Bike Schwinn City Bike So. California Deserts
     
  12. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Burr wrote:
    > You guys should ride out here in the desert. From evening until about three hours after sun
    > rise the snakes are out. The sidewinders are not bad but the Mojave Greens are bad, they will
    > chase you if you get with in 10 feet and they have a nerve venom.

    I happened to catch a show on Animal Planet just a couple days ago, before my encounter. The Mojave
    Green was called the most deadly snake in the country. Aggression and deadly venom in one little
    package. As clear a case for killing every one you see as we'll ever get.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  13. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Denver C. Fox) writes:

    >There was one rattler partly on the trail. I just stopped for a while and it finally went away. We
    >have mtn rattlers here.

    I envy you, I've never seen one here, perhaps our extra 1,000 feet of elevation makes it a little
    too cool for rattlers. We do have some great gopher (or bull) snakes. The sight of a 5 footer
    stretched across the trail is not to be forgotten. Of course when that happens I just have to get
    off the bike to see if there are any rattles on the tail (and avoid running it over).

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  14. Burr

    Burr Guest

    Raptor wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > I happened to catch a show on Animal Planet just a couple days ago, before my encounter. The
    > Mojave Green was called the most deadly snake in the country. Aggression and deadly venom in one
    > little package. As clear a case for killing every one you see as we'll ever get.
    >

    That is the only one I do kill, if I can shoot it. I was chased by one when I first moved
    out here and didn't know what they were. Some guy got bite by one last year and it took 38
    vials of stuff to save him and about a year of being sick. I stay away from my wood pile in
    the summer.

    Burr Diamondback Road Bike REI Touring Bike Schwinn City Bike So. California Deserts
     
  15. >I envy you, I've never seen one here, perhaps our extra 1,000 feet of elevation makes it a little
    >too cool for rattlers.

    Nope, I have seen them while hiking in the foothills. Two, both in the same open-space area, Deer
    Creek Park in Jefferson County. One was lower, but the other one was at the top of about a 1,000
    foot climb. The third was on the E-470 Bike path, which I didn't discover until I was perpendicular,
    as it was in the grass next to the trail.

    The snakes I run over are generally quite small and not easily noticeable, at least in comparison to
    one of those bull snakes, which I distinguish from gopher snakes as the bull snakes are quite black,
    and the gophers are more green, and seem smaller.

    http://members.aol.com/foxcondorsrvtns (Colorado rental condo)

    http://members.aol.com/dnvrfox (Family Web Page)
     
  16. Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>..

    > stop well short (10 feet) of a rattlesnake parked in the middle of the road. I waited it out,
    > stomped my foot a few times and it mosied off the road. I let it live.
    >

    Proper technique is to stare directly into it's eyes while saying in your best stern father voice

    "BAD rattlesnake. BAD rattlesnake. Go home ......"

    (maybe Jobst's ping-pong racket across the snout(?) would help)

    > Had I continued riding (faster than I was) and presumably ridden over the snake somewhere in the
    > middle, what chance is there that I could have been bitten?
    >

    Am I the only one who (mis)remembers this Far Side cartoon?

    Old (grandfather)snake wearing glasses, has two tread marks across its body, surrounded by
    adoring little snakes, says:

    "Oh all right. It was back in '42. I was sunning myself on highway 57 when ......"

    >
    > I know the area's prime snake country, but the trail there is so fun, challenging and accessible,
    > I shall not be deterred. (Last night's near miss was on the road, however.)
    >
    Thanks for posting this. I feel better about those dogs now :-(
     
  17. Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Rick Warner wrote:
    >>
    > It's nice to hear that our rattlers are passive, but for a

    You've never heard the term "passive-aggressive?"

    They force you to kill them, and you die from the guilt?

    >> I'd be happier to learn that their venom is not particularly
    > destructive. Do you know?
    >

    No GOOGLE where you live? From:

    http://www.amnh.org/naturalhistory/features/0700_feature.html

    "Yet only 0.2 percent of all snakebite victims die each year, and most of them receive no medical
    treatment or first aid.

    Rattlesnake venom is not a simple poison. The snake's venom glands, located at the rear of the upper
    jaw and connected by ducts to its pair of hollow fangs, produce a complex brew of toxic peptides,
    polypeptides, and enzymes. In the venom, these toxins are combined in differing proportions that
    vary throughout a species' range and even during an individual snake's lifetime. Rattlesnakes harbor
    so many biochemical mixtures for venom that toxinologists who analyze the stuff confront a range of
    variations rather than a standard formula for each species. Some of this variability seems to
    reflect recent changes in the venom of certain rattlesnakes, from the hemotoxic and proteolytic type
    (which affects blood and other tissues) to the neurotoxic type (which attacks the nervous system).
    The first type hasn't changed into the second; rather, the proportion of neurotoxins in the mix
    appears to have increased in some areas of the country. Consequently, victims may now receive a
    significant dose of both types of poison from a single bite.

    Death from a neurotoxic bite can occur in as little as ten minutes and is usually caused by
    paralysis of the diaphragm."

    If THAT makes you nervous, read about spider bites sometime:-(

    No no .... don't thank me.
     
  18. Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    >> before my encounter. The Mojave Green was called the most deadly
    snake
    > in the country. Aggression and deadly venom in one little package. As clear a case for killing
    > every one you see as we'll ever get.
    >
    I always thought the spitting cobras were scary. They don't even
    have to bite you - they spit venon a couple of meters, into your eyes.

    Terrible waste - I don't think they eat cyclists. (like the people at the all-you-can-eat buffets
    who load up their plates with more than they can swallow).

    And then there are the constrictors. :)
     
  19. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I happened to catch a show on Animal Planet just a couple days ago, before my encounter. The
    > Mojave Green was called the most deadly snake in the country. Aggression and deadly venom in one
    > little package. As clear a case for killing every one you see as we'll ever get.

    1) Do not believe everything you see on television. Get the Klauber book someone has recommended
    already, and read it. Much better and more informed information than you will ever get from the
    boob tube.

    2) Toxicity and aggression are not equivalent. There are some very low toxicity snakes that are
    very aggressive, and vice-versa. The only reason to kill a snake is if there is imminent danger.
    A snake sitting on a road several times its width does not pose imminent danger.

    - rick warner
     
  20. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Rick Warner wrote:

    > It's nice to hear that our rattlers are passive, but for a (snake)-ophobe, it doesn't help much.
    > Plus, we do hear that every summer results in a big spike in snake bite treatments at hospitals
    > (duh), so people do get bitten.

    That usually happens when people step on or almost on, or stick there hands in crevices where the
    snakes sit, etc. The snakes do not go out and search out folks for mayhem.

    > I'd be happier to learn that their venom is not particularly destructive. Do you know?

    It is moderate toxicity. There used to be a good venom research unit at the VA Hospital in SLC, so
    there was a lot of knowledge in the area of the venom and how to deal with it. The best course is to
    stay away from the snakes, and know how to deal with a bite if it happens.

    > Perhaps your info explains my having ridden unscathed by a largish snake, passing within a foot of
    > it on an uphill trail in the same area, a couple years ago. It was a quick enough passing that I
    > didn't get a good look at the snake, just something big squirming right beneath my feet. I don't
    > even know if it was a rattler. My only injury was a substantial rise in the pucker factor.

    Could have been a big gopher snake, too. No reason to kill either species.

    - rick warner
     
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