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Was that a reindeer fly-by? December 11, 2006

Posted by John M McKee in Coaching, Uncategorized.


Yesterday the weather was a balmy 60 degrees. In December, in the village of Sedalia (Population about 1200. But we’re growing), Colorado, that means get the motorcycle out!

Colorado is one of the best places to own a motorcycle ( or ‘bike’ as us riders call them) because it allows for riding 12 months of the year. And is seems most people around here understand that – there are 2 registered bikes for every household in the state. I don’t know for sure; but I’d guess that makes us one of the highest ownership-per-capita places in North America.

I bundle up when the weather is below 65 degrees F. The temp drops a lot when you are moving quickly. The rule of thumb is 5 degrees for every 10 miles per hour. Great on a hot summer’s day – not very on a cool winter day, though.

As I motored along yesterday I quickly moved into one of those ‘zones’ we all enter occassionally. You know – when you are doing something you truly enjoy and not thinking of anything negative which could bring you back to reality. Us bigbike riders (mine has a motor of 1600 cc’s – bigger than many cars) get into this zone fast and frequently on the road. It’s one of the reasons why motorcycling has become so big over the last 10 years in my opinion.

I noticed what appeared to be several reindeer crossing the road ahead of me. “Ah, reindeer,” I thought. Then I thought, “REINDEER? No these are not reindeer – they are caribou. ” That felt more normal to me. It was then that I realized they were exactly on the road where I am about to be. I hit my horn and the 4 very huge animals bounded out of the way. I passed with no problem and then hit my brakes to see what the heck had just about taken place.(?)

For you in larger cities – like where there is more than 1 traffic light- I will tell you that even in rural Colorado caribou aren’t common. Deer yes – most of us have our own herds that pass thru our properties; and elk or moose in some areas. But not often caribou.

I watched a herd of about 70 of them cross over the highway. Seeing that many of this large and majestic animal stop all the traffic to cross over was truly a winter delight. And watching as the travelers got out of their SUVs, cars, and truck to watch this show was just as great. I forget that most folks don’t have the daily interaction with wildlife that some of us do. This show was clearly a treat for them yesterday.

And people say I must be crazy to ride my bike in December in Colorado…..



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