The squirrel - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 11-30-2012, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The squirrel

I never dreamed slowly cruising through a residential neighbourhood could be so incredibly dangerous!
Studies have shown that motorcycling requires more decisions per second, and more sheer data processing than nearly any other common activity or sport. The reactions and accurate decision making abilities needed have been likened to the reactions of fighter pilots! The consequences of bad decisions or poor situational awareness are pretty much the same for both groups too.
Occasionally, as a rider I have caught myself starting to make bad or late decisions while riding. In my army training, my instructors called this being “behind the power curve”. It is a mark of experience that when this begins to happen, the rider recognizes the situation, and more importantly, does something about it. A short break, a meal, or even a petrol stop can set things right again as it gives the brain a chance to catch up.
Good, accurate, and timely decisions are essential when riding a motorcycle…at least if you want to remain among the living. In short, the brain needs to keep up with the machine.
I had been banging around the roads of South Wales and as I headed back into Swansea, found myself in very heavy, high-speed traffic on the M4. Normally, this is not a problem, I commute in these conditions daily, but suddenly I was nearly run down by a car that decided it needed my lane more than I did. This is not normally a big deal either, as it happens around here often, but usually I can accurately predict which drivers are not paying attention and avoid them before we are even close. This one I missed seeing until it was nearly too late, and as I took evasive action I nearly broad sided another car that I was not even aware was there!
Two bad decisions and insufficient situational awareness, all within seconds. I was behind the power curve. Time to get off the motorway.
I hit the next exit, and as I was in an area I knew pretty well, headed through a few big residential neighbourhoods as a new route home. As I turned onto the nearly empty streets I opened the visor on my full-face helmet to help get some air. I figured some slow riding through the quiet surface streets would give me time to relax, think, and regain that “edge” so frequently required when riding.
Little did I suspect…
As I passed an oncoming car, a grey furry missile shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a squirrel, and must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or avoid it—it was that close.
I hate to run over animals…and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the impact.
Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels can take care of themselves!
Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing the oncoming Kawasaki with steadfast resolve in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, “Banzai!” or maybe, “Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!” as the leap was spectacular and he flew over the Handlebars and impacted me squarely in the chest.
Instantly he set upon me. If I did not know better I would have sworn he brought twenty of his little friends along for the attack. Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light t-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing some damage!
Picture a large man on a huge red motorcycle, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and leather gloves puttering maybe 25mph down a quiet residential street…and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And losing.
I grabbed for him with my left hand and managed to snag his tail. With all my strength I flung the evil rodent off the left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from the throw.
That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there. It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser.
But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary pissed-off squirrel.
This was an evil attack squirrel of death!
Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little claws, and with the force of the throw swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact he landed square on my back and resumed his rather anti-social and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to take my left glove with him!
The situation was not improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him.
I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a GT750 can only have one result. Torque. This is what the GT is made for, and she is very, very good at it.
The engine roared as the front wheel left the tarmac. The squirrel screamed in anger. The Kawasaki screamed in ecstasy. I screamed in…well…I just plain screamed.
Now picture a large man on a huge red motorbike, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel torn t-shirt, and only one leather glove roaring at maybe 70mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street…on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.
With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the bike. This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash into somebody’s tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the throttle…my brain was just simply overloaded. I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little affect against the massive power of the big machine.
About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he is a Scottish attack squirrel of death..SAS), and he came around my neck and got IN my full-face helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway and he began hissing in my face I am quite sure my screaming changed tone and intensity. It seemed to have little affect on the squirrel however.
The rpm’s on The Bike maxed out (I was not concerned about shifting at the moment) and her front end started to drop.
Now picture the large man on the huge red motorbike, dressed in jeans, a very ragged torn t-shirt, and wearing one leather glove, roaring at probably 80mph, still on one wheel, with a large puffy squirrel’s tail sticking out his mostly closed full-face helmet. By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse.
Finally I got the upper hand…I managed to grab his tail again, pulled him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This time it worked…sort-of. Spectacularly sort-of, so to speak.
Picture the scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some paperwork.
Suddenly a large man on a huge red motorbike, dressed in jeans, a torn t-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing one leather glove, moving at probably 80mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade directly into your police car.
I heard screams. They weren't mine...
I managed to get the big motorcycle under directional control and dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign at a busy crossroads.
I would have returned to confess (and to get my glove back). I really would have. Really. But for two things. First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. One of them was on his back in the front lawn of the house they had been parked in front of and was rapidly crabbing backwards away from the police car. The other was standing in the street and was aiming a handgun at the car.
So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to “let the professionals handle it” anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I swear I could see the squirrel, standing in the back window of the patrol car among shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery, and shaking his little fist at me. I think he was shooting me the finger…
That is one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a police car…
I took a deep breath, turned on my indicator, made an easy right turn, and sedately left the neighbourhood.
As for my easy and slow drive home? Screw it. Faced with a choice of 80mph cars and inattentive drivers, or the evil, demonic, attack squirrel of death...I’ll take my chances with the motorway. Every time.
And I’ll buy myself a new pair of gloves.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the awesome story!!!! I was laughing out loud the entire time. Glad that you made it out safely with hopefully only cosmetic damages.


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good lord... I can only hope this is true because, if so, it has become the most superbly entertaining nightmare I've ever heard of. Hats off to you.
And gloves on, of course.


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ROFLMAO! That's were you find out what you are made off.

I thought I had it bad when the bumble bee flew in the window of my Jeep Commache that was pulling a short travel trailer with the wife and kid in the cab with me and into my lap as I was going up a winding, steep mountain road in Canada with no guard rails and a LONGGGG way down if you moved very far off the road in that direction.

I can't imagine being on two wheels and fighting off a demonic squirrel. Must have been related to the white bunny in Search for the Holy Grail.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome story. Regardless of it being true or the result of a number of Friday night pints, both my wife and I had a great laugh.

Perhaps you should have counted to 3, not 2, nor 1, but 3. Five would be not the number to count to, nor 6 nor 4, but 3.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Easy there, kids.
That story has been making the rounds for years. Its been posted here several times...
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gat803 View Post
Easy there, kids.
That story has been making the rounds for years. Its been posted here several times...
Thats right..it started off in America, I have adapted it to two of my bikes and British roads..but I thought it was entertaining so I posted it..

Another good one is "How to give a cat a pill" but no motorbikes involved so I didn't post it.

John.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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even though I read this a few years ago it almost brought me to tears again LOLing

..as my wife & daughter look at me like I'm insane sitting on the couch laughing to myself.
Thank you!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Loved it!!! thank's john.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great for a Saturday morning laugh. No wonder my grand daughter calls them "Squirrly Squirrels" They are crazy rats with fuzzy tails!! Thanks for the post.
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