I was proud of myself for getting up early to do some work on Wednesday so that I could get out for a ride before it got too warm and windy. Then just as I was filling my bottles I could hear the distant sound of thunder. Shit.
A check of the radar showed a storm just south of town heading east that should miss me on my northbound ride, but just to be safe I held off for a half hour, thus putting me right back on my normal schedule for heat and increased wind. Suck it up fat boy, it’s just riding your bike…. slowly.
I rolled northward and soon found myself stopping to grab a shot of two sandhill cranes wandering around a field to my left. I assume they were a couple, there was no sign of chicks and they seemed to have no plan, just creeping around a farm field while male red-winged blackbird occasionally dived bombed them. I wish I would have had more than 200mm to get the shot, but at least I got something. Of course, I really don’t know how I’d manage to ride with a 500mm lens, so I guess I should be happy.
A few miles later I rode upon a group of turkey vultures feasting on a dead raccoon. I am not a fan of these ugly ass scavengers; they’re ugly, they peck and pull at road kill and turn sections of the road into Jackson Pollock-like pieces concocted of entrails, blood, and guts.
Not to mention that they often circle above me, just waiting for me to kill over so they can do the same thing to me. Screw them, not even sure why I wasted the megapixels on them!
Once past the buzzards, I continued on, feeling less than great on the bike, but happy to be outside. I had a nice easterly tailwind but as per usual, you can only get so happy about a tailwind when you know that a headwind will be greeting you on the miles back home.
My left calf muscle has been bothering me, and during the past two rides, I’ve hit a point– usually on one the few small climbs along the route–that it sort of pops, and leaves me with little power. Rather than head for home, I’ve taken to pushing on, using photo ops as a chance to give it a rest.
The calf pain was one of the multiple pre-cursers to last week’s “maybe I have a DVT?” drama, so whenever I aggravate a muscle in my legs, there is always a part of my brain thinking that it could be a clot, so riding through an injury like this is never as simple as it sounds. I never want my wife to have to say “He thought he just had a pulled muscle, turns out it was a blood clot, they found him because of all the turkey vultures gathered in the middle of the road. Yes, it did sort of look like a Jackson Pollock.”
After my time on the dirt roads, I made it to a stretch of pavement that would take me back to the Cul-de-Sac Shack; 8 miles of boring pavement straight into a headwind. For most of the ride, my mind was in the right place and my body wasn’t. Now I found both body and mind in states akin to a dead raccoon being pecked and gnawed on by a pack of ugly ass turkey vultures.
For most of the ride, my mind was in the right place and my body wasn’t. Now I found both body and mind in states akin to a dead raccoon being pecked and gnawed on by a pack of ugly ass turkey vultures.
Not all rides can be great, but I can usually find something positive in them, even if I have to sift through a few fatty layers of negativity, this ride was no different.