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Victory Lap: Beyond Athens: It's a jungle out there

(Pictures of animals, gravestones, and metal works can be viewed at ouvictorylap.tumblr.com)

This week’s Sunday ride, my sentiments are with Cube: “No barkin’ from the dogs, no smog ... Today was a good day.”

When traversing terrain by bicycle, you notice things you normally wouldn’t when barreling down the road at 70 plus mph in your 3,000 pound monstrosity.

After riding along the highway for a few miles, I am now apprehensive about the safety of these things (motor vehicles), especially when there is the bona fide prospect of being the recipient of a rearview mirror up my rear.

Grinding gears while careening from curves to corners in Vinton County, Ohio, we came across some remarkable gravestones and awesome metalwork from a local artist.

He had dozens of hand crafted metal lawn ornaments ranging from the abstract to a Halloween-esque black cat with arched back and flaunted fangs.

I’ve noticed, especially after riding along Ohio’s back roads for a few weeks, that Southeast Ohio has a lot of radical individuals. These range from farmers to artists and philanthropists to exotic animal owners, which brings me to today’s destination: Bethsaida Farms.

Since I met him a few years ago, Cy has, at one point, owned and taken care of camels, sloths, lemurs, ostriches, spider monkeys, baboons, bears, and, my personal favorite, his trifecta of dwarf horses: Little Miss Muffett, Lou Anne and Tiny Tina. Oh, and I’m not lyin’, tigers, Thomas and Kayla The Worrier Princess because “she doesn’t look like a ‘Xena,’ she looks more like a ‘Kayla,’ but I wanted to keep the warrior princess part.”

Cy receives most of his animals from zoos that don’t want handicapped animals and private individuals who aren’t equipped to take care of them. Gumby, his camel, is a great example.

Cy received Gumby from a camel breeder who would have otherwise put him down because he was lame. But, after cold laser surgery and eight months of daily physical therapy, Cy was able to mold Gumby into a happy and healthy camel.

I could see there was a deep bond cultivated between the two because whenever Cy is around, you will find his camel in tow.

I asked Cy about his motivation behind Bethsaida Farms, he replied that, “I enjoy making the impossible possible. And I take pride in representing exemplary care for handicapped animals in the private sector.”

Since I first visited Cy’s property my sophomore year, he has vastly expanded his facilities and continues to work hard toward future goals. Recently, he has been working hard to erect an enormous monkey island, that, when finished, “will be one of the largest privately owned island facilities in the nation.”

In the future, Cy plans on connecting with surrounding universities for behavioral analysis research on primates.

He would like to start a community pet food bank “for people who are having a hard time feeding their pets, to keep the whole family together, including their four-legged friends.”

I strode back onto the C-Street bricks as the High festers were awakening from their precious slumber at about 3 p.m.

And, much like them, I was rockin’ sloth status after humping the homicidal hills of Vinton County.

Sadly, this was my bicycling bloke, Brad’s, last victory lap with me, I can no longer take the easy route and use him to draft off.

Biking and life: Sometimes you have to leave the pack and face the headwind solo or else you might never know what you’re truly made of.

Until my next pedal-periodical, keep it greasy Athens.

Brian Bors is a senior studying social work and a columnist for The Post. Do you have a tiger named Tony? Email him at bb113706@ohiou.edu.

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