Shoots Bikes and Leaves *
October 19, 2005
It's interesting how a simple comma can change the meaning of a headline. Had I titled this article, "Shoots, Bikes and Leaves" it could conjure images of shoots of tender undergrowth, speedy bikes and colorful autumn leaves.
But the headline above is more accurate for this time of year. It's hunting season again. One of my fears biking through the woods at this time of year is that I'll get shot and the silly fool who thought I was wildlife will be too embarassed to summon help. So he shoots me from my bike, then he leaves.
It does not prevent me from staying out of the woods completely, but it does add stress to what should be a carefree ride in the wilderness. What a shame; the woods are beautiful this time of year, the leaves are flaming colours, the air is cool and crisp, and with the thinning vegetation, you can find new trails to check out for the year ahead.
Anyone who has been glding along a grassy knoll and had a rifle shot ring out nearby knows the feeling. If you are fortunate, a replay of the Zapruder film flashes through your head rather than the actual bullet.
So in order to keep from becoming some careless hunter's trophy, I've started avoiding the woods when hunting season starts.
Oh, I suppose I could deck myself out in orange and attach bells to my bike, but I've been out with hunters before. I know how very excited and anxious they get when dusk approaches. When there is only slightly more daylight than beer left, the finger on the trigger gets twitchy. Anything moving deserves to be shot, just in case it is the deer of their dreams.
You could be dressed in flaming orange with a siren and flashing orange lights and someone could still mistake you for a deer. Not far from here a few years back, a hunter shot a blue SUV in the woods and killed a passenger. He claimed he thought it was a deer. So what chance does a mountain biker streaking through the woods have? Better not to take that chance.
So for the next few weeks, I guess I'll head for the trails in the closed parks, or safer yet, I'll stick to the roads. Anywhwere except Dealey Plaza . . .
* with acknowledgement to Lynne Truss: this headline was inspired by "Eats, Shoots and Leaves"
October 19, 2005
No more excuses. Get the bike out.
March 19, 2007
It's not been a good winter for riding. Too cold. Too much slush. Too busy. Too many excuses.
Biking in the dark. In the winter. Just asking for trouble . . .
January 1, 2007
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March 26, 2006
Why spring riding makes you feel young again.
Studs on Bikes
December 12, 2005
We're talking tires, not the riders, in this article about riding with studded tires.
Shoots Bikes and Leaves
October 19, 2005
The missing comma gives pause to riding in the woods during hunting season
Neither snow nor wind nor rain, nor trees, etc.
January 19, 2005
The joy and hardship of winter cycling in the woods
Weapons of moss destruction
August 5, 2004
The harsh reality of seeing where your coffee table comes from.
Wet behind the gears
July 19, 2004
What could be more natural than complaining about the weather?
"Take two baths and call me in the morning"
May 3, 2004
What's that smell?
April 20, 2004
The calling card of man's best friend . . .
March 20, 2004
The vernal equinox is here, but spring is not. How does this seasonal milestone compare with others on the bikers calendar?