Multiple encounters with wildlife in Pitt Meadows recently left a cyclist pondering his early morning biking habits.
“Wow, I thought I would beat the heat and head out for a bike ride just after 4 a.m.,” recounted Ron Paley, a local outdoor club member and avid hiker, kayaker, and cyclist.
The Hammond resident took one of his favourite routes, a 25-km, hour-and-a-half-long trek around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that sees him cycling down along the shores of the Fraser River then under the Pitt River Bridge, before heading back home.
The sun was just beginning to come up and it was starting to get light. About 15 minutes into the ride he ran in to some unexpected and rather pungent smelling wildlife, he said.
“While heading down the pathway towards the Pitt River Bridge, I ran into Pepe Le Pew. On the path. No time for me to react. He just immediately reared up his [butt] and sprayed me,” said Paley.
Still too dark to see well, Paley said his right calf suddenly felt wet.
“Dam,” he said, probably interjecting many additional and inappropriate superlatives.
“Stupid me, I felt my calf with my hand to confirm. Well hell, I smelled it and now it’s on my nose! What could get worse, oh the smell,” he recalled the encounter.
Not five minutes further into the ride, a black bear crosses up ahead of him, on Ford Detour Road.
“He, too, took one sniff and thought ‘he stinks, I’m outta here’,” Paley joked, noting the bear skedaddled quicker than he arrived.
The saying goes “the early bird gets the worm,” the cyclist said. Not always true, as he can attest.
The phrase should be more accurately “the early morning dumb.. bike rider gets the skunk,” Paley added with a chuckle.
He spent the rest of that day using a mix of soap, vinegar, and baking soda in attempts to get rid of the smell. His efforts met with limited success, his wife and even the family dog keeping a wide berth.
“Lol, my wife is still bugging me about that,” he said, noting his shorts and socks are now “deceased.”
Many Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents have had funny, and a few not so funny, skunk encounters through the years. We’d like to hear about them.
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