There are over forty species of snakes in South Carolina where I now live, and I look out for them as I ride on a local bike path. Most are harmless, only six are venomous and not much danger while riding a bike, but I try to avoid running over them. However, yesterday I did just that.
It was a Black Racer Snake; very common in my area, I see a lot of these, often swimming in the water next to the bike path. Known as a racer snake because it moves extremely fast on land, and that is how I came to run over this one.
The path was clear ahead, I took my eyes off the road for a second and when I looked back again there it was moving swiftly across in front of me. There was no swerving around the unfortunate creature, as it was about 5 feet long (152cm.)
There was a quick bump, bump and it was over. I stopped, but when I turned the snake had already disappeared into the bushes. I felt pretty bad; this non-poisonous snake is a particularly beautiful one; shiny black with a dark bluish tint in the sunlight.
Black Racers eat rodents, birds, frogs, lizards and insects. Although non-poisonous, a bite from one could become infected because of bacteria.
The most common venomous snake in South Carolina is the Copper Head. (Left.)
I see a lot of these while riding, usually sunning themselves at the edge of the road.
Other poisonous ones are the Cotton Mouth, and the Eastern Coral Snake. (Quite rare in SC.)
There are three types of rattlesnake; the Carolina Pigmy Snake, the Timber Rattlesnake and the Eastern Diamondback. The last one can grow to over six feet (183cm.) in length.
Most of these snakes are rarely seen, and even the venomous ones will avoid humans if they can. Like most people I am both fascinated and a little scared of these reptiles. However, I hate to harm them, so I will have to be a little more careful in future as I ride my bike.
Question: Does anyone else have any stories of snake or other wild life encounters while riding their bike?