The Duck Bike

If a picture tells a thousand words and I don’t have a picture, I may be up the creek on this, but I want to tell you about my dad’s Duck Bike. First, a little background: My dad is Super Outdoors Man- he lives outside- even when at work, he is outside. He hunts and fishes in his spare time, any spare time, and always has. He is imminently respectful of wildlife, even though he shoots it, (strange, but true) and all the laws and morals that go with that responsibility. My brothers and I were strictly and respectfully trained in the handling of firearms and compound bows and fishing poles alike. So back to the Duck Hunting Bike.

When it comes to Outdoors Stuff, my dad is hard-core. No duck clubs or pheasant clubs for him. No cushy duck-blinds (a thing you “hide” from the smart ducks in, while waiting to shoot them) with padded seats or heaters. Oh, no- that sort of thing is for sissies. My dad has the Duck Bike.

The Duck Bike, once an innocuous, regular mountain bike, has been transformed over time, into the a super, stealth, hunter-decoy-riffle transporter supreme. The Duck Bike has been painted camouflage, folks. It has a rack mounted on the back for a cooler and a shotgun holster mounted to the front frame, so he can stop where ever he is and shoot. It has a headlight, because all ducks are up before dawn, so, thus too must be the savvy hunter, who is peddling around the marshes. The best part is not even attatched to the Duck Bike; there is a large, and I mean large, net “bag”, (the kind maybe a coach would fill with playground balls) that my dad has mounted on an aluminum backpack frame and is filled with duck decoys (decoys are fake ducks, some of whom “move” with help of batteries, to entice the smart ducks to land near where you are waiting to shoot them). He wears this. I’ve seen it.

Then, well, when in the marshes, you need to stay dry. So he wears chest-waders while he rides. And, since the headlight on the bike can be unreliable, he also wears a coal-minor style head lamp, strapped to his forehead. I know the other hunters are jealous when they see him coming- only wishing they had thought of it themselves!

He leashes his trusty Labrador retriever to the Duck Bike too- you gotta have a dog to get the ducks when you shoot them. Only problem is, every now and again, the dog will take off after a duck while still leashed to the bike. Dad has been taked for a merry drag more than once.

So, just play with the picture in your mind a little: Grandpa type dude, decked out in cammo and flashlights, peddling a bike through the muddy sloughs of central California in the pre-dawn light, in chest-waders, with a bag of plastic ducks bigger than he is strapped to his back, and a maniac, excited dog dragging him through the sucking mud!

The thing is, he could join any hunting or duck club he wanted to. But he doesn’t- besides, they wouldn’t let him in with that getup! I love my dad.

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