JUST OVER 16 YEARS AGO HALF OF OUR NATIONAL FOREST BURNED DOWN. The result was a doubling overnight of the mountain lion population in livable habitat.
Lions roamed the local golf course, peering at playing children.
I continued to do long rides alone in the local mountains. Sure I'd see a big cat or two, but always from behind... they are generally very shy.
One November afternoon, I was racing the sun back to civilization. While dismounting to wiggle through a fence line, I noticed a coyote up ahead. Thought nothing of it. It was about 1/4 mile ahead on the only fire road leading home.
Coming around a bend I could see it loping down the trail and around another turn.
Still didn't bother me.
At the bottom of a little climb I thought I might have seen it.
Wierd, 'must not know I'm here.
Getting near the top, I passed the first single track and though it was a fun one I wanted to go another half mile to the better, faster trail.
I hit the brakes.
The "coyote" turned sideways, perpendicular to me.
Fifteen feet away, it seemed to cover the width of the road. Small head on end, big paws underneath, powerful haunches poised to pounce, and the longlonglong tail.
Eyeballs to eyeballs...
In a split second I did everything they tell ya not to do.
Turned my bike around,
back to that single track,
up short, steep hill in the big ring,
skidding at the top to make the turn
flying over every rock and rut to safety.
Then I took a breath and thanked God.
A few months later I had an even more bizarre and tragic encounter. I'll tell ya that another day...
... rest assured I went back to that corner and hit that short hill many, many times and never, ever had the need to brake at the top to make the turn.
Maybe if I'd been wearing these camo socks he wouldn't have seen me...
Of course, that's plain sillytalk... but this promo code isn't SOCKSTODAY. Use it while supplies last.
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