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I gave in to temptation yesterday…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
5
2011
Bike on a Trail photo for October 4, 2011.

Bike on a Trail photo for October 4, 2011.

I hadn’t planned to ride yesterday because I was supposed to make up my leg workout (which I skipped on Monday to go riding). When I woke up yesterday morning and went out back with Loki the cool air instantly made me crave the trails. I tried to put it out of my mind, but before I knew it was packing my Camelbak and loading my bike into the truck. I just couldn’t help myself. :o

I guess I’m not working my legs this week. Well, at least not in the gym…

I decided to go to Wekiwa, but I was in the mood to explore instead of riding my usual trails. I started from a different trailhead than usual, and I went on some trails I’d not been on before. Some of them were basically sandy fireroads, but I enjoyed the cardio workout and the challenge of keeping my bike under control as it slid around underneath of me.

The ecological burn done in this area left behind some beautiful and vibrant October colors!

The ecological burn done in this area left behind some beautiful and vibrant October colors!

I found a narrow trail designated for equestrian use, and I decided to check it out. I could tell no one had used the trail that day because I caught a few spider webs that were built across the trail. I think my ride at Rock Springs Run State Preserve a couple of weeks ago completely desensitized me to Golden Silk Orb Weavers crawling on me, because I didn’t make any effort to remove them from my body.

The horse trail was actually pretty cool. There were some rooty sections, a bridge, a small lake, some mud and large area in which a controlled burn had recently been done. It’s always fun to check out new sights and new trails!

At one point I found my way all the way over at my usual trails, so I did a fast blast around those, too. That was fun, and a great workout!

Sand Lake at Wekiwa State Park.

Sand Lake at Wekiwa State Park.

I’d never explored the area around the Sand Lake trailhead in detail, so yesterday I decided to venture out off the main trail. One of the things I really wanted to see was Sand Lake, and I’m glad I did–it was beautiful! There was a sign warning of alligators and, while I didn’t actually see an alligator, I’m pretty sure I startled one as I approached on my bike because there was a huge splash in the water as I pulled up to the shore.

I made my way around the entire lake, stopping frequently to look for wildlife and check out the view. At one point I came across another pit viper, this one even more deadly than the Dusky Pygmy rattlesnakes I encountered at Rock Springs Run a couple of weeks ago. When I saw the snake it was just a foot or two in front of me, and I instantly knew what it was: a Water Moccasin (also known as a Cottonmouth).

Cottonmouths are highly venomous and quite common here in Florida.

Cottonmouths are highly venomous and quite common here in Florida.

Living most of my life in the south I’ve certainly seen Cottonmouths in the wild before. This is one snake you definitely do not want to mess with. They are not as aggressive as lore has it, but they will attack without hesitation if they feel threatened. This one was in no hurry to move away from me. He sat and looked at me as I prepared to take a photograph, and then slowly moved away. If I’d attempted to come any closer he certainly would have raised up to show his intimidating fangs and “cotton” mouth; such a pose would have made an impressive photograph, but I’m not willing to risk a deadly bite to get that shot.

I wound up doing 22.2 miles yesterday, which brings my two day total miles (all off-road) to 48.4 miles. I don’t think I’ve ever done 100+ dirt trail miles in one week before. Maybe that will be the second record I break this week…

Thanks for reading–have a great day! :)

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John Stone Fitness Comments

13 Responses to “I gave in to temptation yesterday…”
  1. DFS says:

    Being the animal lover that you are, how long would you tussle with a gator before shooting it? I ask myself this question all the time like when I’m out and I see dogs and whatnot. I’d hate to do it, but then again I’d hate to regret not doing it.

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    • John Stone says:

      If I were attacked by a wild animal I would have no reservations about immediately defending myself.

      Unlike crocodiles, gators tend to be non-aggressive so the odds of one coming after me are pretty slim. Same with Florida black bears.

      If I were attacked by an animal, my first line of defense would be a non-fatal, but highly painful, counter-attack. I always carry OC spray (mounted on my seat post) and a 9″ Spyderco Military knife. I’d much rather use those methods to stop an attacker than a firearm.

      I’m firmly in the “Least amount of force necessary to stop a threat” camp. Unless the attacker has broken into my home–then we go right to plan C.

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      • DFS says:

        Yeah, I’m with you, especially the in the home part. Problem for me is when I’m out and about I tend to not have anything but my sidearm. I should probably consider carrying an OC spray too, I used to buy those all the time for my wife when she was in college. Have any sprays proven to be ineffective on certain animals, I wonder?

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        • curran says:

          You had to buy them all the time for her? She must have been attacked a lot in college!

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          • DFS says:

            Ha, lol. :-)

            Yeah, I guess that sounded weird. I remember that the first one I got her “expired” and I bought her another. Then I think I bought her a better one, with a dye in it. And I think I remember buying her one post-college too. So I guess the “all the time” phrasing was a tad misleading.

            Thankfully, she was never attacked.

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          • DFS says:

            And while we’re on the topic, I might say that I sprayed myself in the face once on accident. True story, it was a total accident and I took about a 2 second burst right between the eyes. Hurt like hell. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’m also capable at laughing at myself. It’s an epic story in my family, happened on Black Friday in 2007.

            Makes me nervous to think of that incident and the fact that I own guns……

            :)

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  2. curran says:

    I would be curious John how many miles you have put on in all of 2011.
    I’m sure you’ll share on January 1st!

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    • John Stone says:

      I really wish I knew. My Cateye bike computer malfunctioned and was replaced under warranty. Unfortunately I had no way to check the odometer on the bad unit.

      Then, on my current Cateye, the display froze because it got wet. Removing the battery fixed the problem, but it reset the odometer again. :(

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      • DFS says:

        I think, correct me if I’m wrong, but every trip you’ve taken this year you’ve documented the next day how many miles you did here in your blog?

        If anyone was interested they could simply do the leg work and the addition.

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        • John Stone says:

          I usually do mention my rides here, but not always. In fact, I recall a fairly long stretch of time where I was riding regularly but didn’t talk about the rides in my blog very often. Also, I don’t always mention the mileage (especially when I ride the more technical trails).

          Anyway, if someone did actually take the time to go back through the last 365 blogs and add up all the millage I’d probably ban him or her for being a creepy stalker. :D

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