Monday, April 9, 2007

Where The Wild Things Are

Today I rode for a couple of hours at Wilder Park, which is just outside Santa Cruz. The trails took me up the hills overlooking the rugged coast. The hills are a mix of parched prairie and lush forest; an interesting combination. The trail itself was a mix of double and single track and was non technical. It was fun to cruise along speedily and get my legs and lungs burning. As I ripped around one corner, I caught a bobcat (and myself) by surprise. He leaped out of the way into the bushes - FAST! I'm scared of chickens, so this almost stopped my heart. It's hard to conceive that its possible, but I suppose that he was more scared of me (or, perhaps, my spanky the monkey jersey) than I was of him.

From then on, I sang as I rode (scary!). I thought it might help avoid future surprises. At the very least, it helped sooth my nerves.

I saw a lot of other wildlife too, which surprised me since this was the least remote of the trails that I rode this trip. There were a wide variety of birds as well as bunnies, squirrels, and other small rodents. In the forest I saw some gargantuan yellow slugs - some of which were as big as a banana. After mistaking roots for snakes enough times, I let down my guard and then almost ran over a big snake. I'm pretty sure it was too big to be a garter snake, but I'm no expert. I eventually finished the ride unscathed and then packed up and drove the scenic route back toward the airport. On the way, I stopped and watched some kite surfers on a small stretch of beach until the wind dreadlocked my hair. And, just like that, another holiday is over.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the singing is a great idea Tori, bobcats are notorious for attacking full grown adults on bikes...

I think that you just wanted an excuse to sing some Billy Talent tunes...

April 11, 2007 at 7:50:00 AM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

Talk to me when you've gone up against a bobcat. It caused enough of an adrenaline rush that my memory of it is crystal clear and it makes me shiver to think of it. I'm pretty sure I could win the fight, but that cat looked like it could do some damage.

I will admit it was a welcome excuse to sing some Billy Talent songs.

April 11, 2007 at 8:03:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Dallas said...

You're blog is so much cooler than mine. All I write about is Cycling???. I hope that never gets boring to people?. Well not my people anyways....right?.
I bet Billy Talent would dig my 30 year old SHIMANO 1 front derailleur!

April 11, 2007 at 10:38:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new Ventana, what an aggressive looking machine! Sounds like you had a lot better weather than us last year. We were in Monterey for the sea otter classic and there was so much rain that there were mud slides everywhere and especially in the Santa Cruz mountains. We had a great time in Monterey, Carmel,etc. and no snakes!

April 12, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

dallas - I bet Billy Talent would find your Shimano derailleur about as exciting as most people find my obsession with spelling. Reading your blog makes me think I should spend a little more time working out in the saddle and a little less time working on my saddle bags.

April 12, 2007 at 12:13:00 PM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

Nice to hear from you, Henry! I'll have to check out the Sea Otter Classic (maybe next year?). It's such a quick trip down to California and a perfect time of year to do some early season riding (unless it's raining, I guess).

April 12, 2007 at 12:21:00 PM MDT  

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