Local Cyclist Attacked: Exclusive Interview

03.6.2009 | 4:27 am

A Note from Fatty: Yes, the following really happened. Thanks to Dug for conducting this interview, and to Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) for confronting the unknown.

Salt Lake City, September 17 – Today we interview local cyclist and alleged “hero,” Rick Sunderlage (not his real name). Last Thursday evening, Sunderlage, a resident of Draper, UT, stopped in the Corner Canyon area below Lone Peak for a quick mountain bike ride on the way home from work. He planned to climb the new Boulevard Trail to the Hog Hollow saddle, climb to Jacob’s Ladder, and descend Jacob’s and the Squirrel Trail down to his vehicle.

Fate, however, had other plans for Sunderlage. A relaxing ride quickly turned into something else—an encounter in a rainstorm with a ferocious, mythical beast.

Rick, tell us a little about yourself.

Well, there’s not much to tell, really. I like to ride bikes.

Are you any good?

Ask around. I’m kind of a big deal.

Ha, ha, okay then. Anyway. Tell us what happened Thursday evening.

Sure. So I’m on my way home from work, it’s about 6pm. I’m thinking, I just want to get a quick climb and descent in before dinner, you know, just stretch the legs a bit. I park at the bottom of the Boulevard, a nice winding, brand new singletrack that climbs from Corner Canyon to the Hog’s Hollow saddle.

Are you sure you don’t mean Hog Hollow? I mean, have you actually seen a hog up there? You know that the hogs don’t actually own . . .

Dude, chill.

Yeah, sorry. Anyway. You’re climbing the Boulevard, in the trees, just enjoying yourself.

Right. Just climbing, all alone, no big deal. Suddenly . . .

Did you say “suddenly?”

Yeah, why?

Well, seems like you’d have had some warning. Nothing really happens “suddenly.”

Seriously, chill. Let me talk.

Um. Okay. Sorry. Go ahead. Suddenly, without any warning whatsoever. . .

Whatever. Anyway. I see a very large white animal on the trail ahead of me, and I figure it’s a horse, since I’ve spent the last ten minutes dodging nice fresh horse crap all over the trail. But as I get closer, I realize it’s a mountain goat. Now I know you’re going to say, “Mountain goats don’t come down to 5,000 feet, least of all to 5,000 feet a quarter mile from several well-populated neighborhoods.” But don’t you think I was thinking the same thing? Of course I was. I was thinking “No Way, a mountain goat all the way down here? Cool.”

That is cool.

I just said that.

I know; I just wanted to . . .

Just let me tell it, okay?

You chill.

No, you chill.

Just tell the story.

Shut up. Okay then. So, like I said, mountain goat, right in the trail, like fifteen feet in front of me. It’s huge, and has quite a rack.

hee hee.

Dude, grow up.


So after we stare at each other for what seems like forever, the goat just turns and walks up the trail. I just get back on the bike and start climbing again. About five minutes later, I come around a pretty tight corner, trees all around, and suddenly, and yes, I mean SUDDENLY, I hear very loud snorting and huffing, and something moving very fast. The freaking mountain goat had climbed the trail ahead of me, hidden around a corner, and was ambushing me.

Shut up.

Seriously. He’s charging me at a full sprint, head down, huge rack of horns coming right at me. So I jump off the bike and swing it around in front of me and I start yelling like crazy.

What did you yell?


What did you say when you yelled?

Really, just shut up and let me talk.


So the goat runs right up to me, and actually runs into my Gary Fisher Rig, which I’m holding between us. I’m thinking I’m dead, that my only hope is the goat gets his horns tangled in my bike and I can get away. But as soon as he hits my bike, he stops, and just stares at me. After I yell some more, he gives me a long stare and then takes off into the scrub oak and I can see him circling around behind me.

Like he’s stalking you?

Right, he’s following me. I get back on my bike and just keep climbing. And by now, it’s raining like crazy, so I can’t see or hear that well. I feel like I’m being stalked by the damned Chupacabra.

Really? The Chupacabra?

Yeah. You know, the goat sucker.

Oh, I know what the Chupacabra is.

Anyway, the Chupacabra is after me. I get to the saddle, and decide, maybe it’s best not to head to Jacobs and the Squirrel, so I just turn and take a good long look around to see if the goat is still after me, and I head down. I never saw him during the entire descent, but I fully expected him to jump out from around every corner and knock me off my bike and trample me.

You know the Chupacabra isn’t real, right?

All right, that’s it. We’re done.

PS: This post rescued from my Spaces archive. Originally posted 9/18/06.


  1. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 03.6.2009 | 5:25 am

    Whoa, intense!

  2. Comment by Dave in Lehi | 03.6.2009 | 5:41 am

    Chupacapras are good. Wait, I mean Chupa Chupas

  3. Comment by CLBlood | 03.6.2009 | 8:43 am

    A 15″ flat green snapping turtle attacked me while I was on my road bike. My rear tire went over it. Seems unbelievable to me, too, but I have a witness.

  4. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 03.6.2009 | 8:54 am

    This post makes me chuckle every time I read it. Thanks for a good laugh!

  5. Comment by Jason Griese | 03.6.2009 | 9:21 am

    I want the last 3 minutes of my life back..

    I’m sorry; I cannot give you back 3 minutes of your life. However — and not many people know this about me — I do have the ability to EXTEND any given person’s life by three (and only three) minutes. I have just done this for you. You’re welcome. – FC

  6. Comment by db | 03.6.2009 | 9:54 am

    Wildlife encounters are always weird. I’ve run over snakes, hit a squirrel on a downhill, flushed quail and pheasant, and even encountered a bear on two separate occasions. Each one leaves me wondering if I was hallucinating or not.

  7. Comment by Rob | 03.6.2009 | 10:00 am

    Great story. Dug should be the sites official interviewer, if he’s not already.

    Strangely enough, I have offered this position to Dug. He turned it down, however, pointing out that in addition to his own blogging duties, he is already the site shepherd, churl, mollycoddle, and substitute fat cyclist. If I were to give him a single additional responsibility, he would demand a pay upgrade. Which is to say, he would demand pay. – FC

  8. Comment by Hat | 03.6.2009 | 10:00 am

    My most harrowing wildlife encounter was the time when I rode with someone so stupid that he tried to run down a skunk.

    Which in turn would have become much more harrowing if he had succeeded, I’m guessing. – FC

  9. Comment by Aaron | 03.6.2009 | 10:05 am

    Haha, what a great story. We are often attacked by the dreaded Jackalopes around these parts. Those things will fill your heart with fear, let me tell ya!

    I have an excellent recipe for Jackalope stuffing and gravy. I will share it with you sometime. – FC

  10. Comment by josh | 03.6.2009 | 10:20 am

    I had a run in with a heard of buffalo one stoped me on the road then another tryed to run me off the road.

    I was happy just to get away.

  11. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.6.2009 | 12:50 pm

    Dug is, indeed a funny interviewer. I have had wildlife scares hiking (bear), hunting (cougar) and snow machining (buffalo). Not on a bike, however, other than dogs.

    I did bunny hop a nutria once, and landed on its tail. That didn’t scare me, but the nute didn’t much like it.

  12. Comment by Rick S. | 03.6.2009 | 1:19 pm

    Thanks for making me relive my nightmare. I still can’t climb “Clarks” (the new name of that trail) without thinking about this.

  13. Comment by tomingeorgia | 03.6.2009 | 1:40 pm

    The worse thing I encounter in Georgia is the sweltering heat and humidity and the occasional rattlesnake striking at you (true story) Oh…rednecks in large, loud pickups also suck..southern Georgia isn’t a popular place to ride a bicycle in tight girly pants (usual term yelled out the window at me) haha

  14. Comment by MOCougFan | 03.6.2009 | 1:46 pm

    Hellarious. I had forgotten that one. Good job fellas.

    I can’t recall who it was (or is it whom?), but one of your readers/responders was attacked by an alpaca some time ago. Again, I can’t remember what post it was in, but I nearly died laughing.

    Dug and He Whose Name We Don’t Know crack me up. I’m a faithful blog reader of theirs.

  15. Comment by Sara | 03.6.2009 | 2:44 pm

    This story made my afternoon.

  16. Comment by Kt | 03.6.2009 | 3:25 pm

    I got attacked by a squirrel once…

    I was having a bad week for squirrels– I ran over two while driving, one on one day and another on another day. Figures that, when we went for a ride on the weekend, a squirrel would go all kamikaze on me.

    That LAST thing I wanted to do was run over a squirell while riding my bike. I mean, ew. Gross.

    I stopped and yelled at it. It stopped and stared at me; when I tried to go around it, it ran out in front of me again.

    Stupid squirrel.

  17. Comment by D.Dude | 03.6.2009 | 4:58 pm

    Chill. That was not the Chupacabra. I know, because (1) My daughter’s dog is the Chupacabra. Ever since my daughter got her yorkiepoo mutt thing, we’ve had no goats wandering our streets. (2) Chupacabras are not goats–they drink the blood of goats. (3) The Chupacabra is black for nighttime goat action.

  18. Comment by LidsB2 | 03.6.2009 | 8:01 pm

    So THAT’s what the goat pic with the “These are dangerous” caption on Rick Sunderlage’s (not his real name) blog is all about! It all makes sense now. Once I fell asleep on a big rock just below the summit of Timpanogas. I awoke to find several rather serene goats walking right past me — like I could reach out a grab a goat leg! Mmmmm, BBQ… I was blissfully ignorant of the less-friendly alter ego. Wow.

  19. Comment by Penny | 03.7.2009 | 7:52 am

    I like the part where he tells you to grow up.

  20. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 03.9.2009 | 2:12 pm

    There is no way I would have kept climbing! Get me out now. Great writing. really you crack me up and having read dugs blog a few times i can truly hear his voice. BTW How much do you miss WA? We are having blizzard conditions. And just last Friday we were riding Chuckanut drive in the sunshine. Oh WA weather @#?*&


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.