Little Story :: Skunks and Bikes


Here’s a little story about skunks and bikes.

I was on a weekly group night ride up in the Marin Headlands. It was skunk season so the critters were out in force and without a care for bikes or people.

The group was riding down a fire road when, just ahead, a skunk popped out of the bushes and proceeded to swagger down the trail. Luckily, moving in a direction away from us. We slowed and rode behind at a safe distance, hoping it would head off in some other direction. Nope, it would just look back and continue on its journey. Finally, after appearing to get bored with us, it veered off the trail and into the bushes. We made mad dashes past the spot, all of us with the assumption the skunk had setup an ambush. Luckily, no attack occurred.

A little while later the group had broken into two smaller groups. The first had ridden down a section of trail and encountered a pair of skunks “romping about the trail”. How the lead riders knew that’s what the skunks were doing I don’t know but… they all managed to get past without incident. The skunks disappearing into the brush. The first group then waited further up the trail for the second group. When the second group appeared the warning was raised that there were a couple of frisky skunks on the trail. They all sped up and rode past the spot where the skunks had jumped into the brush. Just as the last guy was about to pass the spot, one of the skunks jumped out! The rider veered to pass but the skunk turned and started high tailing it (which means ‘watch out’ in skunk talk). It’s chosen direction right up the trail and next to the rider. Seeing his predicament, the rider increased his speed. The skunk, not to be outdone, also increased speed. The sight of the skunk and the bike racing up the hill cracked everyone up. Then everyone realized… they were both heading towards the group! You should have heard the gears clacking, the chains snapping, and the pedals whirring as everyone made a dash to get out of the skunks path. The skunk, upon seeing this jumble of bikers bumping and crashing about decided it was time to depart. And so it did, with a swish of its tail, off into the brush.

So, the moral of this “true” story, don’t ride during skunk mating season! :’)

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