Saturday, August 2, 2008

Encounters of the Squirrel Kind

Archive photo of NYC squirrel (not actual squirrel from following story)

Today Boyfriend and I went on a 15 mile bike ride.  Yes, I'm still pittering around at 15 miles.  But, this was the first time I've ridden outside since my duathlon so it was a nice challenge to tackle some rolling hills.  I still don't feel my inner-cyclist calling, but I'm working on it.  

At about mile 11, Boyfriend was in the lead (or more like, slowly pulling away into the distance since I'm so slow).  I saw some sort of furry flurry over to the right, and before I knew what hit me, a squirrel tried to dart into the street and bounced off my front tire.  I hardly felt a thing but I don't think I can say the same for the poor squirrel.  I turned around and saw him scampering up an embankment, so at least he was alive.  Another cyclist shortly passed me and said "Hello," with a slight laugh in his voice.  I wanted to yell, "Did you see that freakin' squirrel?!"  I called to Boyfriend but he was too far ahead so I had to contain my story for another couple of miles.  

Running into or over wildlife is certainly something I worry about when out cycling.  I'm glad to say my first encounter went off without major injury to either party.  I don't know how common hitting squirrels is, but hopefully it won't become a frequent thing.  I've seen some pretty gnarly photos of squirrels wedged in the spokes of people's tires and I don't think those encounters went well for squirrel or human.

I hope Mr. Squirrel feels okay in the morning.


ShirleyPerly said...

I've had many close calls with squirrels on this one bike trail I've ridden on a few times but never actually hit one. Glad you didn't crash!

losangelesdaze said...

Ferdinand must have been quite surprised!

d. moll, said...

Suicidal squirrel? or just bad judgement? Glad the mishap was without casualty on either side.

Rabbits' Guy said...

What we do here is try to get everyone to carry the phone number of the local wildlife rehabilitation facility. At least here, they will get a volunteer to come try to get an injured animal and get it for treatment.

Glad all ended well ... my inner cyclist is out to lunch I think!

RoadBunner said...

rabbits' guy, that is a great idea. I was thinking about it as I finished up my ride: What would/could I have done if the squirrel had been injured and still alive? I didn't have any safe way to transport him and it would have broken my heart to leave him on the side of the road. I think my inner runner has kicked the arse of the inner cyclist so it can't come out to play.

Jodi said...

oh my gosh! i know how you feel. a couple weeks ago I almost ran over a racoon, and I was running! He seriously popped out from the bushes in front of me and sat there and stared as I almost jumped outta my skin!