by Roger Normand
Always be aware of your surroundings
There was nothing but blue sky, temps in the high seventies, light wind, and few other riders when I left for a late afternoon solo ride on the Legacy Trail. It was easy to drift into deep contemplation while spinning easily. Thankfully, my subconscious kicked in as my brain registered a unusual object ahead on the side of the trail at the 4.2 mile point of the Legacy Trail.
YIKES. It’s a GATOR. ONE BIG GATOR. Just laying there on the shoulder, head tucked onto the trail. I rode briskly by, ceding all the width of the trail possible, then stopped at what I hoped was a safe distance to take these pics. I saw another cyclist approaching and flagged him to the far side and full stop.
The gator never moved, seemingly in his own deep reverie. I’ve seen gators sunning along the shore of storm water ponds visible from the trail, but this is the first time I’ve seen one ON THE TRAIL. They are WAY bigger up close than when viewed from a distance!!!!!!
I called the Sheriff’s office and they said they’d immediately dispatch an officer and wildlife trapper.
Riding on the trail keeps you safe from cars, trucks and motorcycles. Nonetheless, always be aware of your surroundings. Wildlife can be dangerous and unpredictable if spooked.
I’m always amazed at what I see along the trail. Today, that was especially true.
Nevertheless, this gator must be commended for demonstrating good trail etiquette: when stopping, always stay to the side of the trail.