A Strange Encounterby Anonymous
September 25 was a beautiful fall day, sunny, clear sky, 75 degrees, mild breeze. It was the perfect day for a bike ride. Since I had a conflict that morning I wasnt able to make the club ride so I decided to ride over to Shelbyville that afternoon. As I meandered along I just enjoyed the day, the countryside, the lakes, creeks and wildlife. Traffic was light and I lingered along the backroads taking in the fresh air and sunlight. Id just passed through Finchville on my way back to Fisherville and was cruising along Clark Station Road. There was no traffic at all and I lost myself in daydream as I coasted down a small hill picking up a little speed with the wind in my face. Suddenly a quick movement up ahead on the side of the road caught my attention. Weve all had the experience where weve spooked animals as we silently approach (dogs, deer, possums, groundhogs) but I wasnt ready for this. Not more than twenty feet away, a large vulture had just taken flight, right into my path.
As the giant scavenger spread his eight foot wingspan, there was just enough time for me to scream “oh, s---!!!!” before I crashed into it. As my left arm struck him from behind, the bike pulled in that direction. I felt the black feathers from those massive wings brush against my face, chest and arms as he desperately tried to flee. With my free hand I tried to shield my face thinking only of how repulsive these birds look and that they feed on the carcass of roadkill. It was over as quickly as it occurred. I searched my arms and torso for scratches or bites but there wasnt a mark on me. I glanced over my shoulder to watch that great bird gain altitude and veer off over the trees, and then chuckled to myself when I realized what Id just experienced.
I know if I sign my name to this article Ill be brutally taunted by my cycling buddies. But as strange as this story sounds, I assure you, it really did happen just as Ive written it.
Copyright ©1999 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
Web posted: 17 October 1999
last updated: 18 October 1999
by Duc M. Do