Posted by: emilybybike | July 1, 2010

Squirrely – NOoooo!

Sometimes I think the squirrels in Rock Creek Park are out to get me. Or perhaps they’re just suicidal. Or they’re just crazy squirrels.

Two of them decided it would be a good idea to come chittering across the bike path at Mach-10, just as I rode by of course. So what do you do? I’ve seen the unfortunate side of squirrel vs. bike, where there’s a bump and the squirrel doesn’t get up (no – it wasn’t me, but I witnessed it once back in South Carolina). I was lucky today and was able to swerve / break in enough time to let the little kamikazes scurry off, but it did freak me out a bit. My commuter isn’t quite as agile as my road or mountain bike, and I was thankful there weren’t any other commuters, joggers, walkers around to witness my swerving, skidding and basically squeeking back at the squirrels to watch out.

I’m not one of those people who can just knock off a squirrel and be OK with it. Sure – some might consider them “tree-rats” but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re living creatures, kinda cute, and well, I’m not up for killing any animal, accidentally or otherwise. So when the squirrels decide to go kamikaze and run across the bike path, at the exact moment I happen to be pedaling by at my approx 14-15mph clip – it can get a little sketchy. I try to avoid squirrels and typically end up as I did today, either a) swerving to try to miss them and end up looking like I had some extra-special juice this morning, or b) slamming on my brakes and yelling “Squirrely noooo!” in an attempt to deter the squirrels from my path and making any other path users within earshot think I’m slightly insane.

And in the end, at least for this morning, the squirrel population of Rock Creek hasn’t declined due to my riding, I managed not to wreck myself to save the squirrels, and while it did startle me, hey, it’s one more non-caffeinated way to wake yourself up in the morning!

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