Just got back from my first bike ride since having surgery a few months back, and it felt great to hit the road again. I’m definitely out of shape compared to before the surgery – in my bike shorts, I probably looked like a can of biscuits exploded – but I did manage to ride the hills without keeling over.
The highlight of the ride was when I saw this little feller in the road:
Yes, that’s a rattlesnake, and it’s actually the second time I’ve seen one while biking. The first time was much more memorable. See, I had gone for a longer ride that time, and had to stop for a nature call. No restroom was in sight, so I climbed down an embankment where I would be hidden from passers-by. I had barely started to take care of business when I heard a very loud rattle directly in front of me. Back then I had no idea there were rattlesnakes here in Tennessee, but there was no mistaking that sound. I looked up to see a medium-sized rattler just a couple feet away, coiled up and looking very angry at me for soiling his favorite resting place.
Now, for the sake of my female readers, I should explain that when a guy is exposed like that, he definitely doesn’t want to see something with sharp fangs staring at him.
Luckily, I was able to back away – veerrryyy slowly – and avoid an embarrassing bite.
Not long after that ride, I was biking in the very same spot when an owl suddenly swooped down in front in me, grabbed a snake that was hiding in some grass, then flew back in front of me with the snake dangling from its talons. I remember thinking to myself, “I hope that’s the same damn snake that surprised me.”