The ultimate roadkill


I didn’t get to conquer my personal Everest yesterday like I promised.  Or today.


Saturday I did the 3 hours I have already mentioned.  When I rolled out Sunday morning, I had a twinge in my right achilles tendon.  That is not the right sensation to take with your when the plan is to drag your overweight carcass up a 3.7 mile 10% climb.  So out of respect for the recovery of said ankle, I just rolled my regular 20 mile flat loop and then took the kids to the park instead.  Today is a contact day at university and I snoozed the alarm once too many times.


Hence, I didn’t get to ride past the amazing roadkill I promised to talk about.  On my way to work Sunday afternoon I took the long route in the car so I could still take the photograph.  Except someone had cleaned it up.


So I’ll have to go with a graphic word description of this piece of roadkill…


Most items that fall into the category of roadkill occur from a collision between a vehicle and an item of fauna.  The particular item of roadkill that I was faced with was from a totally different category.  Have no doubt; the areas that I ride through are littered with standard roadkill – dozens of different bird, reptile, marsupial and mammal species.  Most frequently I see items of the smallish variety, think under 5 kilograms (11 pounds).


Every now and then I come across something that weighs in heavier.  During April I saw a kangaroo that would have been 30+ kg (66lb).  Out on the highway there was a huge dog that looked like a bull mastiff german shepherd cross.  Again, well over 30kg.


But the most amazing sight in my entire riding career, in so far as roadkill is concerned, was the carnage I saw half way up my monster climb 2 weeks ago.  I said earlier that roadkill is commonly defined as the victim of an animal meets vehicle scenario.  What if the victim wasn’t a traditional victim?  But what if it was the landscape doing the killing?  I have witnessed the tables turned on the traditional apex predator of the roadkill food chain.


I am not talking about some overzealous driver throwing their vehicle into the trees on a tight curve.  I’m talking about an innocent Joe driving his faithful jalopy through the countryside when geography bites back.  Hard.  I just realised I used an over-broad generalisation in the previous paragraph.  It wasn’t exactly the landscape that did the killing, it was more accurately the topography.


This is not another story about a sad little old cycling shoe that is past it use by date.  This was an item of roadkill in the vicinity of 150kg (330lb).  If you want to know how I know the weight, in my youth I personally killed a couple of these suckers and had to remove the dead carcass myself.


I know the suspense is probably killing you so here is the key descriptive phrase – the roadkill was an entire car engine.  The mountain that I have chosen to test myself on is such a monster that it doesn’t make car engines overheat and need a rest; it puts them into such excessive overload that they fall out on the side of the road.  Now that’s the true definition of a killer hill.  And that’s why I didn’t risk my niggly achilles by climbing the engine killer.


Revolution update.


Just a quick overview.  18 points this week, so it’s all good there.  Sadly, the 2.5kg that I lost last week was a mirage and I put 1.5 of it back on this week.  I may not have been properly re-hydrated last weekend when I jumped on the scales after my 130km (80mi) outing.  But I’m still 11.6kg (25.5lb) lighter than I was on New Years Day, so I’m not complaining.


Last week I rode 356km (221mi) and the week before was 373km (232mi) so the fitness and muscle are in a state of flux at the moment.  And when my muscle reaches a new equilibrium, I’m sure the weight will start to disappear again.


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11 Responses to The ultimate roadkill

  1. uncadan8 says:

    Yikes! And I thought hacking up a lung would be bad, but a whole engine!
    I have found that determining accurate weight loss is near impossible when in that state of flux on the way to a new level of fitness. Pushing really hard like you have been definitely creates water retention as the muscles heal. I ought to drop soon. I am sitting at the same 25 pound mark with little recent success. I may take a page or two out of your book and see what happens.

  2. Steve says:

    Two things I know about the human body:
    1) It really is best not to tempt fate by overworking a dodgy achilles tendon.
    2) If your pee is fluoresent orange, the scales will be over-kind.  You’re not fully rehydrated.
    Sounds like you’re still on the path to success despite it all.

  3. uncadan8 says:

    That should have read "IT ought to drop soon," although I am hoping the same for myself.

  4. Fat says:

    I was not expecting you to say an engine. That is insane!
    Keep up the good work!~ Fat Chick

  5. Tim D says:

    I knew a girl at school who had an old Rover 3500.  SHe was tanking down the motorway to school one day when she heard a funny noise.  She was just reaching for the radio to turn it down, when the engine ripped through the passenger seat and out the back window.
    Roadkill is so much worse when committed on a bike.  I remember riding through a load of frogs when I was younger.  I was on my way to my job in a restuarant and the chef wouldn’t let me in the kitchen til I’d washed my leags off.  I also remember riding in Austria once when the road was covered with huge slugs.  Not a pleasent experience

  6. Courtney says:

    I don’t know what kind of vehicles you Ozites drive down there, but I have NEVER seen a car spew it’s engine.  Or maybe you just have more killer mountains than we do.

  7. cosmogrl says:

    You referred to yourself as a carcass—but a carcass is already dead.  Give yourself more credit man!  I don’t believe you could have come up with a more perfect description of the shop owner’s smile–that was some intense description there…..  Finally–thanks for your advice on the cycling thing.  Glad to know how to avoid a bruised bum……oh, and chaffed ‘boy bits’… lmao….
    Wen 🙂

  8. Burra King says:

    Funny you talk about road kill, i come across an inconveniently placed piece of kill on Saturday. It was on the plank i had selected to ride across a bridge and was big enough to completely block my path and stop me. I had to stop and switch planks,because the gaps were to big to ride across without risking serious damage.
    Stupid roadkill should pick a more convenient spot to be killed!

  9. Tom Stormcrowe says:

    Well, sounds like you are doing quite well, Mike! I also loved the imagery of the dead engine on the side of the road! Wish you’d gotten a pic as well!

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