A decapitated deer. A squished snake. A rotting raccoon. A pungent possum. A rare skunk or porcupine.
If in a car, I often joke about stopping and bringing home dinner.
On my bike, it’s a different story. Sometimes I can circle around the carcass; other times, if there’s traffic and a non-existent shoulder, depending where the body lies, I have to ride through it, fast, holding my breath.
As an automobile driver, I know how hard it can be to avoid hitting an animal. Deer appear out of nowhere; squirrels and chipmunks scurry across the road, unannounced. I slow down but know my tires have hit a few small woodland creatures.
Turtles, however, slowly inch across the tarmac, moving from wetlands to nesting areas. And many are killed because motorists either don’t see them, or can’t be bothered to stop.
On a recent ride, we encountered this fellow, (actually no idea what gender), and dismounted to have a little chat. And to indicate to the drivers behind us to slow down and give the turtle wide berth.
The next day, we saw another turtle, less lucky, a road kill victim.
What should you do if you see a turtle crossing the road? The Turtle Rescue League recommends you stop and help the turtle reach its destination faster.
Pick it up by the back, not the tail, and place it in the direction it’s headed.
Not sure if the guy we saw was a snapper or not, we just watched him/her safely get across.
It’s summer. School’s out. Kids, cyclists, runners, and turtles all deserve their share of the road.