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there was a snake in our race on Sunday(8 posts)

there was a snake in our race on Sundaylonefrontranger
May 6, 2002 12:24 PM
a freakin' big rattlesnake, to be exact. Said reptile was found coiled up on the lefthand side of the road about 20 minutes into a 30 minute crit right after a prime, so yes we were a bit delirious, but afterwards the sighting was confirmed by the nearby marshal! Apparently the snake came out for his quiet weekend sunning, but no one had consulted him about a bike race.

Needless to say, a large venomous snake in the middle of the course in a big Cat IV women's race created a fair amount of confusion, with copious shrieking, loud cries of "snake, SNAKE!" (holysh1tballs, thought I... snake??...!!!!!) and some ladies actually rode through the grass to get as far away as possible. I got a good glance at the thing as we scrambled past, and sure 'nuf as Aussie boy Steve would say he was a grumpy one; all coiled up in 'strike' position with his nasty pit viper head sticking up out of the coils. Brrr!

The Cat IV/35+ women's field was big, the pack squirrelly in the crosswinds, and there wasn't enough horsepower or motivation to string things out, so most of the time it was like riding in an unbalanced washing machine on spin cycle. I spent a good portion of the first half riding out in the wind on the sides in frustration due to all the swerving and screeching (brakes and otherwise) going on in the middle.

One lap after the snake sighting, and with everyone still pretty jumpy, the field got all clustered, someone overlapped wheels, and the instigator went down about 2 millimeters in front of my teammate (naturally, this was her first ever race...). She did a wicked endo and split her helmet in half. I didn't know it was her, but heard the crash and the ensuing chaos, and followed the inevitable attack afterwards. Naturally they rang the bell for a prime the next lap.

I shot out of the chaos as the victor on 2 primes but got stupid and cowardly on the final lap, with the expected result; boxed in on the inside of the final corner I had to start the sprint from a near dead standstill, in the wrong gear. 7th place; hrumph.

Poetic justice: one of the primes I won was a helmet. I gave it to my teammate when I found out she'd destroyed hers. She came out of the crash dazed and with a fancy bash on her knee, but she's fine now. She's very frustrated that the medic wouldn't let her take a free lap, but I think it was a wise decision; she was a bit concussed and her knee swelled up like a grapefruit. Now she's dying for redemption, a true road warrior. Her 8-year old son thinks it's unendingly cool that his Mom has road rash.

Normally the only thing you have to worry about on this crit course is prairie dogs, which are dumber than squirrels if that's possible.
Ain't she a beauty!Pack Meat
May 6, 2002 1:06 PM
The Prairie Rattlesnake is native to Colorado and is considered somewhat dosile as venomus snakes go. Last week we had our first rattler report here at work by South Table Mountain. We generally relocate 15 to 20 snakes a year. We do relocate instead of kill them because they do help keep the mouse and rabbit population down. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of potency of venom the Prairie is about a 3. They do not like to strike things that are not prey but if they are cornered, startled or screwed with they will. Interestingly the majority of rattler bites that are reported occur on the hand which indicates that the bite was either from a pet or because somebody is messing with the snake attempting to impress a friend perhaps. While the can be starttling they are certainly not as dangerous as pit vipers. There have been zero reported deaths in Colorado attributed Prairie Rattlesnake bites. If bitten, remain or get calm and get to a hospital, do not try to suck out the poison or bleed the bite area.

We have a large den somewhere on South Table Mountain. Take this as a warning if you plan on doing the Wheels of THunder Race on top of the mesa, that's where we get the largest number of reports.
that's cool, however...lonefrontranger
May 6, 2002 1:19 PM
I challenge you to try that rationale on a couple dozen panic-stricken women at 25mph and see how well it works ;-)

Did you do the 3 race at Celestial yesterday or were you all in from PtoP? I studiously avoid any race with the words "hill" or "climb" in the title.

And yes, agree with the Biped, WTF is up with the ACA site? The worst part is my SO could code rings around that site but they've turned down his voluntary help twice now.
I never said they ain't scarey. (nm)Pack Meat
May 6, 2002 1:54 PM
Hey pack meat - do you work at NREL?mtber
May 6, 2002 1:53 PM
No, why, who's asking? nmPack Meat
May 6, 2002 1:55 PM
No, why, who's asking? nmmtber
May 7, 2002 6:36 AM
Just wondering 'cuz I work at NREL which is immediately south of S Table Mtn and we just got an email regarding a rattlesnake sighting onsite. Sounded awfully similar to your post.
I helped write the email.Pack Meat
May 7, 2002 10:19 AM
I don't know what the rules are for posting on a board like this from work and didn't know if mtber was an aka for Admiral Richard Truly.