Friday, June 4, 2010

Philosophy of Running Over Chipmunks

Six years is the natural lifespan of a chipmunk. But most chipmunks don't live that long due to predators, disease, and automobiles.

Seventy-Eight years is the average lifespan of an American.

Life is precious regardless of how many years you've got, but Living is what we live for. From the moment you raise the kickstand, twist the throttle, and put your feet on the pegs, you start living.

Riding down Montezuma Road (San Diego County S3), a chipmunk sprints across in front of me, and manages to escape death by about 5 feet.

And that might raise the question why a chipmunk would run across a road so close to an on-coming vehicle. Don't chipmunks ever see vehicles coming at them? Do they think it's fun to dodge motorcycles? Do they play the same games with bobcats and hawks?

And how interesting is it that I don't even bother to slow down or swerve when seeing a darting chipmunk?

Montezuma Road
Motorcycles on Montezuma Road, San Diego County, CA

As Montezuma Road descends from Pinyon Ridge through a series of tight turns and switchbacks, I'm simply not going to break my rhythm for some little rodent that's already destined to become dinner for a rattlesnake.

Now if a deer jumped out at me that might be a different story. But a chipmunk? No.

Maybe the chipmunk couldn't care any less about me and hence why it jumps out on the road while I'm coming at him. Maybe it just doesn't perceive a vehicle as a natural predator. Or maybe chipmunks really do play games with motorcycles.

But perhaps because a chipmunk's life is already so short it has managed to accomplish all it cares to accomplish in just a year or two. And from my point of view, running over a chipmunk won't be any different than the last several chipmunks I ran over.

For me life seems to be about living, and right now that's about riding my motorcycle and seeing the country. For the chipmunk, maybe now that the kids have moved out, living is about playing games with motorcycles.

10 comments:

  1. Brilliant! And a little disturbing. But mostly brilliant.

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  2. Just noticed your blog while I was reading over at AZD's blog. The headline of your post caught my attention. Just yesterday while riding, I almost killed two of those little turds! They were faster than I, so they escaped impending death, but it's the thoughts that cross your mind when you see them come into view.
    Do I break... do I swerve... do I create a loud noise with my throttle to startle them into hurrying? I guess I took your approach without even thinking... I stayed the course.
    I love all animals but, if it's between me or them... I'm gonna be stingy!
    Great post.

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  3. I agree with Mark. A ‘shrink’ might be in your future. It’s a game we all play. I spooked a squirrel today when I came around the corner on the Shovel. Yep, I cracked the drags and chased the vermin half a block down the middle of the street. Great fun.

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  4. I think they like to dodge motorcycles (and cars)

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  5. How hard is it to slow down... shows that you're just ignorant and you disrespect God's creatures. Doesn't matter though, you're already disrespecting the environment by riding around on your stupid bike to make up for your small penis size.

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  6. Wow, what a mean person you are Anonymous. It doesn't sound like you're a motorcycle rider. So I guess you must have Googled "running over chipmunks", for whatever reason is beyond me.

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  7. And that idiot probably drives a worn-out diesel VW.

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  8. You disrespect the lives of little animals because you're a FREAK. (Ugly one, at that...)

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  9. Motorcycles get better gas mileage than most cars, trucks or SUVs ... I don't see how riding a motorcycle is "disrespecting the environment"

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  10. How come... the "People"... who surf around the internet... looking for REAL people to insult... Never have the cajones to put their Damn Name on the comment?...

    Hmmm... could it be THEIR deficient penis size? :o)

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)