Sunday, August 02, 2009

Mountain Bike Scouting

Before I get started on this post I want to thank everyone for the questions and correspondence. I'm amazed by the response my last few posts have generated. I would also like to encourage those interested in Mountain bikes to read The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle posted over at the Nova Scotia Preppers Network. It is a Terrific series on bikes (and some great gardening articles as well) and their practical day to day use. My experience echoes those in the post and I predict you will find them very helpful.

Back to Scouting on a bike.

Today (and yesterday) I spent some time in the saddle exploring the areas in proximity of my residence. One of the areas I scouted was another big block of State land (this one is managed by the State Parks) that is popular with campers, hikers, geocachers, cyclists and beachcombers. It has been a while since my last visit, mainly due to the amount of pavement I have to ride to get there. I was pleased to have the trails to myself and discover a new trail had been added to the lake.

The topography is more severe but the trails are less technical - even buff by singletrack standards. Again today I came across a variety of wildlife that didn't detect me until I was very close to them. A rabbit feeding along the trail bolted at the shock of discovering there was a human a few feet away. Also I came across deer again and this time I had my camera.
Just as I was exiting the trail onto the reservoir road I saw this little doe as she stepped out onto the road just ahead of me. I stopped and she stood frozen looking back at me wondering what I was. I slowly raised my camera and took a picture, and several more that all look the same as this one as we watched each other over several minutes. Eventually her curiosity got the best of her and she moved closer until she could wind me and then hopped off into the thickets.
In a couple of hours I covered a majority of the trails and gated roads in the nearly 600 acre park, saw a number of critters, got some exercise and learned more about the area I live. They say the best view is "between the ears of your horse..." I would amend that to include another saddled mode of transportation - the Mountain Bike.

1 comment:

jambaloney said...

hey - thanks for the shout out!i love your articles too!

i used to do a lot of trail riding years ago,i came across many deer as you described. often they were no more than 15 feet away if i came around a sharp corner. had i been a hunter, my day would have been done as they stare at you instead of running away EXACTLY as you described and photographed.

on days when i was out for 5-6 hours, i would cover 30 km of road and 70-80 km of trails. if i was hunting/gathering for a living, i would be saddled up on my mountain bike... rifles strapped in, food and water in the saddle bags and a rack fitted for game to bring home.

i am moving out of the the city in the next few years. i'll be putting the knobbies back on and hitting the trail.

thanks for this article - it's an inspiration!