Tales from the Road


Master Yoda said, “The Prey Drive is strong in this one!” It is a famous quote from one of the Star Wars movies or maybe that is just what I heard in my head after crashing my mountain bike.

It all happened last fall, you see Cooper and I were rolling down the asphalt trail. The trees were all golden and red in their fall glory. The sun was going down, and there wasn’t anyone in sight. I was enjoying the ride behind my big boy Coop.

My bike is pretty much silent and the only noise in the air was coming from Coopers 4 feet touching the asphalt in a nice lope, along with the jingle of his dog tags hanging from his collar. I was sight-seeing and enjoying the ride.

Cooper was enjoying it as well. His ears were perked up, and his head swiveling from side to side as we rolled. He was doing what he was meant to do and he loved it! Running along seeing new things, pulling me was just a minor inconvenience to him.

We rounded the corner and started up this gradual hill. No big thing for him, and he kept running like a machine. I was looking around and day dreaming a bit. I’ve since learned that is not recommended when you are being towed by a husky.

Huskies live in the moment. They are hardwired in many ways from their DNA. One of those ways is to be an opportunistic hunter of furry things smaller than them. I’m not talking about the family cat that he has been chased away from for so long he learned to leave it alone.

I’m talking about game…furry little game that looks like a squeaky toy that needs the stuffing ripped out.

As we topped the hill I noticed the intersection was clear and let him roll on. Little did I know a few yards ahead of us was a furry little tree rat on a suicide mission.

Squirrels have a tendency to be nuts in many situations. Maybe because that is mostly what they eat? I don’t know, but this one had a plan no matter how stupid it was.

As we approached the intersection at a good clip he chose that precise moment to try and dart in front of us and cross the road! Now Cooper was on point, and doing his thing like he’d been trained. But when that furry rat ran in front of him the DNA kicked in. A meal on furry wheels had just arrived!

Realizing his bad timing the rodent did a 180 degree turn and tried to disappear into the ditch foliage. The only problem was Cooper was after that furry little snack.!

The fact that Cooper was attached to my bike didn’t seem to matter much to him. Like I said, I’m just along for the ride as far as he is concerned. I’m too slow to be of any use without wheels so I can keep up with him.

I had almost 1.5 seconds to apply both brakes. I was 1 second to slow and my bike and me where yanked off the road and into the ditch.

Luckily for me it was nice soft muddy ground and I sustained no damage. The bike and me lying on our sides was a bit too much for him to drag us into the underbrush after the squirrel.

The squirrel escaped, and then Cooper came back and looked down at me. “Why are you down there?” was what his eyes asked.

I picked myself back up and we hit the road again. I was happy to report back home in one piece.

The lesson: When you are running with dogs…don’t day dream because when you do bad things happen!


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