Sunday, August 07, 2005

August 7th Ride

I'll begin by apologizing to my faithful readers, who have come to expect photographs of my weekend rides in the picturesque countryside. I neglected to take a camera with me this time and mentally kicked myself all day because I lost the opportunity to take pictures of an animal I didn't know was still around.

The incessant rain on Saturday kept me from riding, so I was very happy to wake up Sunday morning and find that there was no rain in the forecast. I was taking a co-rider who was riding with me for the first time, so I decided to "initiate" her with the Big Bone Lick /Rabbit Hash Run. Its not too far from Cincinnati, with plenty of curvy roads and is scenic enough. She enjoyed the ride very much. The highlight of the excursion, however, was not the ride itself but my first sighting of the great North American Bison at Big Bone Lick state park.

The North American bison is the largest land animal in North America. Bison once roamed freely on the plains, prairies and river valleys in western Canada and the United States, but were hunted to near extinction in the late 19th century. In 1800, it was estimated there were forty million bison, by 1883 there were no wild bison in the United States. By 1900, there were less than six hundred left in North America. The majority of the forty million animals were killed in a fifty-five year period, beginning in 1830. With the passing of the bison protection law in 1894, game preserves were established that have ensured the survival of the bison. Today, only about 150,000 bison remain, confined to a few scattered reserves.

Up close, the male bison is an impressive beast, the larger ones up to six feet tall hoof-to-shoulder, weighing about 2000 pounds and sporting a shaggy beard. At the park we saw one such bull, several smaller females and some calves. Although the bull looked slow and clumsy as he labored his way to the water trough for a drink, bison are known to be quick on their feet (hooves!) when pursued. Do check back in a few weeks for original pictures of the American bison. Meanwhile, here is a picture I found using Google Images.

North American Bison Posted by Picasa


Anonymous dp said...

Wow... I'm quite amazed you managed to see a bison on one of your rides. Boy, not only did you kick yourself, if I were around, I'd have kicked you too for not carrying your camera ;-)

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Gigi Bling said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous ansh said...

A Bison!!! Jeez!! When u said you saw an animal, I thought, ok maybe he's never seen a racoon before - but a BISON!!! Wow!

7:09 PM  
Blogger Anandi said...

You're riding my bike!!! My first one was a Honda Shadow VLX, and silly me, I sold it to get a Harley and *hated* the Harley. Now I'm considering going back to find another VLX...

6:18 PM  
Anonymous RW said...

Been a long time since I have seen one of those guys standing looking at me. Great shot; the angle he is standing on is perfect.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, i didn't know there were bison in ohio!

9:01 PM  
Anonymous dp said...

Well... you better start the next post apologizing to your regular readers again, who've come to expect you to not only carry your camera, but go for your weekend RIDE too!

Where's the post for August 13-14th, huh? ;-)

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Gigi Bling said...

I agree, the ride was amazing! I had a wonderful tour guide! Even though I've seen bison before it's neat to share the experience with someone who never has! I wish I had a camera to take a picture of Vinny's face when he saw them! Thanks again, V!

11:57 PM  

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