A 1/2 Naked Lady . . . .

Getting to know the cheetahs with my granddaughter at Nambiti, S Africa

Getting to know the cheetahs with my granddaughter at Nambiti, S Africa

I had been thinking of writing about some my strange meetings on my bike when I read Jean writing about her encounter with storks (http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/behold-a-stork-sightings-during-cycling-trip/).

This has nudged me into looking back a bit at some of my wildlife encounters.

I’ve always worked in the outdoors, canoeing, mountaineering, climbing, skiing, sailing, travelling so have had some pretty amazing happenings, including bears in USA, wild boar, monkeys & huge lammergeier in Nepal, foxes high up in the Alps, a field full of hedgehogs sniffing round my bivvy bag in Norway, stroking cheetahs in S Africa, deer, eagles, capercaillie & a shrew running around the snow in Scotland, being ‘buzzed’ by an owl while riding my motorbike at night and more. But I was thinking more of stuff I’ve come across in my bike wanderings.

Some have been sweet & unthreatening – a shrew dashing across the road in front of my wheels, a weasel running across and diving into the hedge beside me, a hare skelping up the road ahead at a vast rate of knots before wheeling into a gap somewhere.

Others have been a bit more hairy, going along at speed then a couple of deer suddenly clattering on to the road in front & very, very close, their hoofs raising sparks on the tarmac as they tried, successfully to wheel round & scamper off, just missing me. Another deer careering through the woods beside me at over 25 mph for 1/2 mile before turning away. What looked like a piece of wood rolling across the road in front of me, till I realised there was no wind and it was an adder, the only poisonous snake we have her in Britain. Bites or stings or just bruises from insects of various sizes pinging in to me.

But what is probably the most memorable and exciting?

One sunset ride I was down in 1st gear slowly climbing up one of our little steep climbs at about 15%, The road was a narrow with steep banks, trees and bushes above. Suddenly a large animal popped out on the way ahead a few metres away. It was a large male badger. I thought ‘Ah, it’s seen me, it’ll just turn away’. I couldn’t stop anyway or turn round – not wide enough. I was also aware that badgers have very powerful teeth. So – committed. The badger turned a bit more & started trundling down the hill towards me. Oh !@£$%&(@!!. What could I do, just carry on, no other real option really. Just a metre in front the brox decided enough was enough, or I just wasn’t very interesting. It wandered up the bank and off into the undergrowth. I grunted past it with a bit of relief and wonder at the magic of it all.

So what about the 1/2 naked lady?


I’ll just have to leave it for another time I suppose.

5 thoughts on “A 1/2 Naked Lady . . . .

  1. Jean

    What is a capercaillie?

    A field of hedgehogs? Wow, what does that look like?! 🙂 I once was biking fast to work through a wooded park in the city.. a squirrel ran across /near me along the path: It actually rolled up halfway up my front tire via the spinning wheel’s momentum! My glove hand was only 6 inches away from its mouth.

    It was a really strange experience.

    Another time a bee got inside my sunglasses while I was cycling on the road. It’s stinger got into my eyelid. I had to fling off my sunglasses while still cycling hanging onto handlebar with other hand. And fling off the stuck bee. I was screaming at my partner to stop.

    The next day my eye doubled up its size..to a point that I could barely see. It looked like a serious face punch.


    1. fossilcyclist Post author

      Wow, that bee sting sounded serious (we used to keep bees at one time when I was young & my brother got stung in the back of his throat and nearly died), that squirrel would certainly have a place on youtube these days.
      A capercaillie is very large impressive black grouse, I’ve seen them in France as well. More info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_capercaillie.
      The field of hedgehogs was surprising,I was woken up by them snuffling around me, not sure of what it was. Luckily in Norway’s summer it’s light all night, so I soon realised once I worked out what the moving horizon of prickles was.



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