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Dirt Bike Crash Flings Man on Top of 5ft Rattlesnake: ‘Oh Hell No’

Dirt-biking may be famed for its terrifying stunts and death-defying nature, but a man on a ride in Marion County, Tennessee got a slightly different shock when he was thrown off his bike and into a large timber rattlesnake.

Troy Roberts shared the video from his May 7 ride on the East TN DirtBike Riders Facebook page.

In the video, Roberts shows his bike on the floor following the crash, before revealing the 5ft rattlesnake crawling through the ground around the bike.

Commenters on the Facebook post were terrified at the footage. One commenter said: “Oh hell no. I would have left that bike and bought a new one.”

“Glad it worked out, that definitely will leave you cleaning out a pair of pants,” joked another Facebook user.

Roberts told McClatchy News: “I was rolling at trail speed when I hit a small log covered by leaves and the bike started sliding. As I looked down, I could see the very bright and familiar pattern of the timber rattlesnake—in the direction I was falling. I’m pretty sure I levitated over my handlebars.”

The timber rattlesnake is a large reptile with a gray and sometimes pinkish hue down their back. Distinguished by the chevron pattern along the back and sides and trademark rattle at the tail. Thanks to their distinctive markings, they’re brilliant at camouflaging among vegetation on the ground.

These frightening snakes can be found in a wide variety of habitats including mountains, hills, forests, swamps and agricultural fields. Adult timber snakes typically reach around 2.5–5ft in length, but there are reports of the snakes growing up to 7ft.

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In the video, Roberts seems to keep an impressively calm head. He tells the snake: “You just go on little buddy, we won’t mess with you.”

“Props for not hurting the snake,” said one commenter: “Too many people out there in the world don’t understand how important snakes are for us and are way too quick to just kill one.”

“I’ve seen many venomous snakes out in the trails. I’ve never fell on one,” Roberts said.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) said that the likelihood of being bitten by a timber rattlesnake is quite small—the docile animals are only likely to bite as an absolute last resort and their instincts are to avoid danger by hiding.

The MDNR does have advice for if a person is bitten by a rattlesnake, including calling for help immediately while reassuring the victim, noting the time that the bite occurred, and lightly wrapping a wide construction band around the bitten limb just above the bite site. Getting to a hospital that carries antivenom as soon as possible is essential, and calling ahead to advise them of your arrival is a good idea.

Newsweek has reached out to Troy Roberts for comment.

A file photo of a timber rattlesnake, left, and a close-up of a bike wheel, right. A man came across a 5ft rattlesnake after falling off his bike on a ride in Tennessee.
JasonOndreicka/Pipat Yapathanasap/Getty Images

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