Turtles/Red Necks

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I have a personal rule that I stop for nearly any turtle I come upon when I’m out riding. I stop in my car too if it’s safe. This is about the time of the year when there are turtles galore out on the roads. It’s probably the combination of all the rain and heat. I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems like early June is when it really gets going. Green turtles, snapping turtles, box turtles are all on the move.

Yesterday I ran upon two turtles while out on the group ride. The first one was a medium sized green turtle high tailing it across the road. I stopped, but by the time I had turned around it was nearly to the other side. Three cars were coming and I was waving my arms, pointing down at the turtle. Not one of them even slowed the least bit and the last one missed squishing the turtle by an inch. I couldn’t believe it. The turtle just kept going at full speed and ran right off the road.

So, towards the end of the ride, there was a small snapping turtle in the other lane. I turned around to get it. I’m not big on snapping turtles. They are very primal looking and seem to be pretty mean, like they want to either bite and/or scratch you with their crazy claws at all times.

So, I toss the turtle in the water in the ditch. Right then, a way overweight, Australian Cattle dog comes running towards me from an adjacent house. I have my right foot clipped in and am just getting going. The dog charges me and turns it head like it is going to bite my left leg. I just kick back and whack the dog in the snout. It backs off a little, but still is crazy aggressive.

Right then, I hear someone shouting from the porch to, “Leave my dog alone and get off my property.” I’m taken aback. I see these rednecks on a wood porch, grilling. I say something back about maybe they should call their dog back. It, the dog, is still going crazy. But, the guys keeping yelling something about moving on down the road “off their property.” I was on a state highway. Not even close to their property.

I couldn’t help it, but I ride back to “discuss” the definition of their property. I guess I knew up front that wasn’t going to go anywhere. But, just then, Catherine came riding back to see what’s up. The dog immediately goes for her. I tell her to turn around because the dog is vicious and because she is not great at making good decisions around vicious dogs. The guys yell again from the porch. Catherine yells something like, “hey, come get your dog.” They yell something back with a lot of F@#% you, etc. Then they say something like if we don’t leave, they are going to call the police. Man, these guys were idiots. Catherine is starting to get worked up. I tell her we should just leave and ride off. She followed reluctantly.

I don’t mind the dog guarding its perceived property. But, I am not big on having a fairly vicious dog running loose. And when the “owners” see the dog acting aggressively towards people, they make no attempt to defuse the situation, like call or get their dog.

But then they threaten to call the police. That was a weird “threat” on it’s own, since I was standing in the opposite lane of a state highway, not even in front of their property. Nonetheless, what is this all about not being able to just talk like regular people? At least as regular as these yahoo’s can be. I would of loved the police coming by at the time.

So, we’re riding down the road, trying to catch up with the group, when in a church parking lot a mile down the road, there are two sheriff cars parked, the guys talking. I make a spur of the moment decision, turn in and ask which one of them wants my business.

So, I give them a 30 second description of the altercation. I tell them I have no problem with the dog, just the owners. And that I understand that there isn’t a lease law in the county, but it would have been a pretty scary situation for most people. The sheriffs say they’ll go by and “talk”. I feel weird sicking the sheriff on those guys, but I think that was one of the only ways to convince stupid people, like these guys, to act the least bit like responsible citizens.

Here’s a place you can buy a turtle costume for your dog. What a great idea.

Here's a great photo. A redneck in the back of his pickup truck with a huge snapper. Boy, how proud he must be.

23 thoughts on “Turtles/Red Necks

  1. d.rettig

    Everyday is an adventure to enjoy Mr. Tilford…. I love yours – they are always great.

  2. old guy

    Knowing you’re a dog lover that’s probably the worst thing – dogs that run free like that will eventually get hit by a car. I’ve seen it happen on rides, not a pretty sight.

  3. Zach T.

    I went out MTBing at Palos in Chicago on Sunday and came upon a big snapping turtle that was sunning itself along some of the doubletrack. Those things must be the closest living relative to the dinosaurs — they’re totally primordial.

    I’d rather deal with turtles than dogs, though. Back when I was living in Athens, Ohio, I got pretty good with using a good squirt from my water bottle, or in more dire circumstances (usually while climbing the steep stuff in that area), a well-timed kick of the foot, to deflect dogs from my general vicinity.

    Here in Chicago, I just wish I could get cars to leave me alone.

  4. Moto Mark

    weren’t you in that race up in Woodward Oklahoma last year when I parked the moto in the road and picked up 2 turtles while the P1/2 field road by laughing at me??? I pick up turtles all the time out of the road!! LOL

  5. WildCat

    Reminds me of the scene in American Flyers where the brothers use the dog Eddie as a “training partner”. HA!

  6. Julie Stark

    In Wyandotte County, KS (where I live) I get so sick of all the loose dogs people have that run after me on my bicycle- even worse if I’m jogging. I don’t like to have to carry a weapon (stick, etc.) when I’m exercising out in the world. The hillbilly mentality is really irksome. You think they’d care about their dog’s safety at least. Awesome that you found some cops and I hope they did go talk to them.

  7. Al Zinzindorf

    I think the biggest reason you see them is because they come out to find dryer spots to lay their eggs. I was on a night ride on a railroad grade trail one night last year when I meet a gentlemen going the other way and I heard blah blah blah by the bridge, I thought nothing of it then I came to my senses as I crossed the bridge and there was a snapping turtle the size of a car tire digging a nest right in the middle of the trail to lay her eggs. It was a very dark night and it still creeps me out thinking about it.

  8. Jim

    Just saved a turtle last week that was about 15-16 inches across. I never saw one this large before. It wasn’t happy that I was trying to save its’ life either.
    Since then I have seen a ton of them on the road but all were much smaller.

  9. Dave Johnson

    Two words for the rednecks on the porch…Chowder Heads. You can’t have a reasonable conversations with Chowder Heads…too bad they weren’t attacked by a giant snapping turtle;-)

  10. Jay

    Rednecks are everywhere. I kicked a dog once and the owners came after me in a truck. The dog came off the porch and onto the road. I caught it right under the chin with my right foot. Flipped the little bastard right in the ditch. I called the sheriff to report my side of the story to have it on record. A few minutes later I’m getting chased by the owner but I wouldn’t stop. The guy pulls ahead and jumps out of his truck. I finally stopped. He asked me why I didn’t stop. I told him it wasn’t my fault his dog was now lying in a ditch and I threatened to call the sheriff again. We have a leash law in my area of Louisiana but the dog didn’t read the law. Guess the owner couldn’t read as well.

  11. Shaun w

    And you live in Kansas because?…… I’ve noticed a correlation between the prevalence of RedNecks and Religious Zealots to the distance from the ocean. That’s why I stick mostly to the coast road 🙂

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    No dog involved, but I was out in rural Sedgwick County last summer riding. On my way out I went by this house with two rednecks on the front porch. They yelled something at me but I couldn’t hear what it was because the house sat about 100′ back from the road. I ignored them and just kept going. Having had a great ride and more-or-less forgetting about the guys I took the same way back because of its convenience. Well, when I went by I looked over at them and when they saw me one of the ‘necks grabbed a rifle, stood up, and started pumping it. Those bastards had planned on plinking me with a BB gun. Idiots should have had the thing pumped already. I sprinted and they had no chance for a shot. Don’t go by there anymore!

    BTW – I must say Shaun W. that for the most part Kansas has the nicest and most friendly people in the world (although my post above is about the small % of ‘necks here). I have family all over the nation. It’s true, the coasts are nice to visit, but no amount of money would get me to live there. Here in KS most everyone is willing to lend a helping hand, wave hello, and share a smile.

  13. DavidR

    Amen, Steve. I’m all about helping turtles cross the road, too. Why don’t people slow down? I saw quite a few turtles migrating while riding the Dirty Kanza this weekend. It’s easy for cyclists to dodge turtles, though, so I let them carry on by themselves. Dogs? they can be tricky, but when I’m out in the country and they seem like they’re going to catch me, I just get off my bike and stand behind it. If the dogs are friendly, and they usually are once they see I’m a person and not something to be chased, then I pet them and keep on riding. If not, I wait until they settle down and then slowly get going again. It’s worked so far and usually the biggest problem is getting them to go back home. And, yes, rednecks are everywhere and, yes, they love killing stuff for “fun”. Sad, but true.

  14. Rod Lake

    Why didn’t you tell me you were in Texas? I know those guys. They’re everywhere and there’re all related.

  15. Franz

    20+ years ago a dog started chasing us. We did not pay much attention to it because it was staying about 20 meters behind us. I noticed a white conversion van following the dog. I then heard a thump and looked back and saw that the van had run over the dog. As the van began to pass us the “redneck” driver gave us a big smile and a thumbs up. I figured on most days he would have drove pass us closely and shouted obscenities at us. I rode back the dog but it was dead. We thought about trying to contact the dog’s owner but we did not get the van’s plates and did not want to be associated with the incident.

  16. randy dickson

    Indeed, rednecks are everywhere. Moving to either coast does not alleviate the situation. What is important to take into consideration is redneck density. This can be expressed mathematically by rednecks/square mile. The higher this number, the greater the chance you have to encounter a redneck. Thus, encounter probability gets closer to 1 as redneck density increases. Someone should write a thesis on this. We have lots of rednecks here in NE Wisconsin. But luckily we only have 40,000 people in Door County, so encounter rates are relatively low.

  17. Greg

    While out on a ride one time I see a huge German Shepherd running across someones yard barking at me. I think that there is no way he can catch me so I just continue on my ride. Next thing I know something digs into my calf muscle. I let out a big scream because because I think that this dog has just taken a huge bite out of my leg. I look down to see the damage and notice that my water bottle cage has come loose and hit me in the leg. I felt pretty stupid, but at least I lived to tell the story.

  18. Dennis Weinbeck

    I always save turtles or any other animal in distress, the sad part is the dog was brought up by a bunch of idiots, It does not know right from wrong. And they probably look at their dog as their property, not a living breathing family member. If it had been hit by a car they would just say lets get another it is easily replaceable.

  19. Shredder

    One time a dog was chasing me on my bike, I tried to kick it, hit a snapping turtle and landed on a redneck. The dog, redneck and turtle died but I rode away and I was really happy to make it out of there.

  20. bob

    Since my parents have a farm pond i can tell u why no one stops. The countryside is over run with turtles. they eat the small fish in the pond and people nowadays want the fish and not the turtles. My parents used to have a guy who would set turtle traps and then eat the turtles but most people nowadays dont do that.
    So our pond that used to have just a couple of turtles now has dozens. And since the bulk of them are snappers i can no longr swim in the pond either. It might seem like senseless violence to some, but how else will the turtle numbers come back in balance unless some are killed?


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