Friday, November 26, 2010

Rarely Seen, Elusive Species Caught at Last

Text: Trina
Photos: Various** and Mike C.

Many a tall tale has been told over the last few decades of an elusive ape-like creature on a mountain bike that has, at last, been observed and studied for a duration sufficient for scientists to arrive at an official classification of the species.

"We've been seeing this guy out there while on unrelated field studies," said a wildlife biologist who wishes to remain anonymous. "It's been a real source of embarrassment for us, knowing he's out there but being unable to identify or even snap a decent photo of him all these years."

To date, documentation has been spotty at best, with photos like the ones below. In this first example, the creature is seen biking in the mountains of Colorado, presumably in late spring, or maybe summer or possibly even early fall:

This image of him *riding* on what looks to be the Dixie 311 was captured last summer:

This photo shows him on a lesser known stretch of the Turkey Flats singletrack, sporting his ubiquitous, hundred-pound black backpack:

After decades of nothing but brief and distant sightings, near misses and not-so-close encounters that resulted in photographs like those above, experts are crediting the perseverance and wiliness of inveterate explorer and photographer Mike C, who finally managed get close enough to photograph the shy creature, and to do it well.

"Now that we finally have some decent footage of the guy, we've been able to narrow down his lineage and characteristics enough to give him a name," explains the BLM taxonomist. "We're calling him Photographericus Gregiluckiens, for reasons we feel are fairly obvious and don't warrant much explanation."

Photographer Mike reports, "He has always hidden from us. Either behind a rock, a hard place, or his own camera. It finally occurred to me to lure him out with gummy worms and crushed Fritos, the common energy boosting foods of bikepackers worldwide. It worked like a charm! I had him literally eating out of my hand!" The result is Mike's recent, ground-breaking field report including the following images of the Photographericus Gregiluckiens in his natural environment:

Scientists working on the Photographericus Gregiluckiens project have noted that in almost all cases, the creature appears with a lamprey-like trail companion. "It seems like the trail lamprey might actually be the smarter of the two species. Take this photo, for instance (below) where Photographericus Gregiluckiens is just blazing thoughtlessly forward on a line that clearly could send him plummeting to his death, while the little red trail lamprey has observed and calculated the risk of said line and stopped, obviously thinking, [squeaky dog voice] "Are you kidding me?"

More great shots of Greg and other gnarly boys, girls and trail lampreys at Mike's blog

**First 3 photos used without permission from

1 comment:

  1. What habitat (exact location) is this creature being seen in in the last and fourth-to-last photos?

    Looks like photoshop work to me, anyway...