There you are riding along down a bike trail  or road when you come around a curve or over a hill and suddenly find yourself face to face with one or more of God’s “critters”.

bear chasing on bike trail mountain lion on bike trail moose on trail

skunk on trail snake on bike trail
feral pigs on bike trail

bobcat & coyote along bike trail


snapping turtle on trail geese on bike trail

alligator on bike trail

It can truthfully be said that any one of these critters provide plenty of reason to be concerned as we are no match for them should they suddenly turn on us. There is coming a day when all of the animal kingdom will be at peace with one another and we can interact with them just like we do our domesticated animals such as dogs and cats. I know that for a fact because God has said so in His Word. However, until then much caution is needed when around wild animals.

snake biting bike tire

So I ask you … WWYD? What should you do? I am not an authority on this subject so I won’t give advice other than to say be careful what you do and definitely don’t approach or challenge them. The purpose of my writing this article is simply to talk about something that can and does happen … encounters with wild animals which are a danger to us.

Fortunately for me where I live about the most serious concern I have to deal with is loose dogs (and on very rare occasions large snapping turtles). For that matter even dogs on leashes, but not “under the owner’s control” are a problem. I have been charged by many dogs who were on leashes and they almost got me. Fortunately the owner managed to get control of them before they did get to me. I don’t have much use for dogs that behave like that. I don’t have much use for dog owners who have dogs that behave like that.

 dangerous dog attack & bite

It is definitely not a pretty picture and nothing you would want to experience. I get so aggravated with dog owners who refuse to obey the leash law and allow their dogs to run free while out on the trails. Very rarely if you say anything to them do they cooperate and put their dogs on a leash. Most of them have some very bad attitudes and say some really nasty vulgar things to anyone who would dare say anything to them about the fact that their dog is loose and it is in violation of the law.

Photo by Ashley Tubbs.
Photo by Ashley Tubbs.

finger bit off by snapper

Missing finger thanks to Mr. Turtle …

Yeah, you don’t want to mess with these guys. I once was stopped alongside the trail looking at a very large snapping turtle … the largest I had ever seen. He was hissing at me. I would not harm him, but I did pick up a very small diameter tree branch (a twig) and just lightly tapped him on his shell. Much to my surprise he jumped at me and scared me half to death. I couldn’t believe they could do what he did. I learned something that day. Another cyclist came along and saw me there. I asked him if he had ever seen a “snapper” as big as this guy. He said no and stopped, dismounted parking his bike and came over nearby. We talked for a bit and then I told him “watch this”. I took the twig and tapped it ever so lightly on the turtle’s shell as before. He lurched up at me again just like before putting on quite a show. This time I was expecting it so it didn’t have the same effect on me. I definitely fully respect him as he could do some serious damage to this old man.

I suppose if you live in bear country you could carry a spray can of bear repellent along with you and hope you never have to use it. And it will work on other animals besides bears. Remember that if you attempt to ride away and some of these guys (or gals) decide to give chase they can most likely run faster than you can ride. And some of them are “triggered” to chase you if you try to flee away from them. Just try to be careful out there as we all want to …


Yeah, we don’t have any bears around these parts.

What do you mean … look behind me? Get outta here!

what bear 3

I came across this video I decided to share here. It is not a bike trail per se, but I think you will find the video interesting. I personally feel that the person brought this on himself by continuing to try to advance and scare off the moose. I don’t at all agree with the way this went down. I think there is a good chance it could have turned out a lot different and the animal would not have had to be shot.


Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

3 thoughts on “CRITTER ENCOUNTERS”

  1. Hey Zack, Thanks for encouraging your readers to refrain from bothering their local wild animals. Mammals such as ARMADILLOS), birds, reptiles, amphibians, it doesn’t matter. They ALL play a part in OUR environment (yes even venomous snakes). As a fellow bicyclist I too have had narrow misses with snakes, chipmunks, etc. on the trail, so I know the challenges. Keep up the biking and the good works.

    Uncle Ray Ray, past president of the Greater Cincinnati Herpetological Society

    Florence, Kentucky

  2. Living in Florida, I come across all kinds of critters every day.. Well just the other day it was like I was Saint Patrick himself driving the snakes out of the bush, and on to the trail.. I was on my way to a local Dollar General Store to pick up a six pack of beer after a good days working effort, and on the way there is this meandering trail past a local subdivision with heavy brush, and swamp sometimes on both sides of the road, When all of the sudden while going a nice respectable speed of around 12, to 15 mph, and enjoying the curves that were made into the trail, when I came around my second, or third curve and enjoying hearing the sound of my tires sliding along the pine needles, as I make this turn, and out of nowhere is this small 8, to 12 inch pigmy rattler, sitting dead smack in the middle of the road, so I jam on the brakes, and I guess because of the sound, or vibrations of the sudden stop, the snake just slithered off the road, and let me go bye.. Well that is not all of it by far at all..! I start off again, and as soon as I get my speed back up, and my guard down I make this nice sweeping turn on this next curve when almost under my left front tire there is this huge black Indigo snake trying to get away from the road as fast as he could but I nail him right over the very tail end of the snake.. Now I didn’t know what kind of snake he was at the very moment I made that sweeping turn, so I’m now freaking out thinking I am about to be bitten by this snake, but as soon as I was off him, he shot right into the woods trying to put as much distance from me as he could, and I was thinking of the same, so I started cranking on the pedals as hard as I can, But I didn’t get 20, to 30 feet away, before coming across 2, or 3, heavy duty, large rattlesnakes, just barely missing them, and getting around a fourth just making his way out of the brush.. Well I tell you I am really freaked out now and want out, but there is no place for me to go but forward, and I must have seen a dozen, or more snakes as I went along just missing them as I go… You see, I didn’t know it but that little trail, which is only about a mile long is maintained by the subdivision, and when they turn the sprinklers on to water some of the areas in which there is no swamp, or standing water I should say, they have sprinkler heads which maintain the shrubs, and palmettos along the trail and the water, is well water, which is very cool, and the snakes don’t like it, so they come up on the trail to warm themselves.. Never the less it is still one of my favorite pieces of trail I travel almost daily to hit the local stores, or just making my way to the sand pits, or almost everywhere I go, I have to cross that piece of trail, But it is fun, and I really enjoy every twist, and turn it has to offer…!
    Now as far as the video of the moose, and what I perceived to be her young, I wanted to yell at those people coming so close to them, and when the kid throw the rock I think I did yell, only to realize that he can’t hear me, but it pissed me off, because I have seen video, and read where moose are very territorial, and with her young I would think her to be more aggressive, and every bit more territorial than she is already… Some people just don’t get it, these animals, or critters as this posts title implies, are wild, and are a part of nature in which needs to be left alone, and admired from afar.. We impact their lives more than we need to already, do we have to always intrude, and think that we are of more privileged than them.. Enjoy them from a distance, and don’t interfere with their lives, enjoy them for their beauty, and love of life as they live, and let them go bye as if you are not even there….!
    Armadillo Zack

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