One of the better things about winter cycling is there are no leave on the trees to block your view so you get to see more of the wild life. There is always the seemingly suicidal squirrels that like to always run across the path in front of me only to turn right around and run right back across. Maybe they like playing chicken or something? I don’t know but I’ve seen pictures of them getting caught in a bicycle wheel and it never ends pretty for the varmint or the cyclist. Anyway, I’ve seen this big red fox twice now in the past week. That’s not something a person would normally see in the middle of a big city. At least not around here. Or from behind the wheel of a car stuck in traffic for that matter. Of course he’s not like the squirrels because he is off like a, well like a fox. Of course there is always a bunch of dear too. Last spring on my way home I watched as a doe gave birth to a fawn. I must admit, that was a first too.
Had a flat this morning on the way in to work. I’ve had a lot of flats while out riding but that was the first while commuting to work. While flats are never fun, just like a motorcycle, at least you have a chance on a bicycle if you carry a spare tube and some sort of air installing device which I do. But as luck would have it I was a block away from a local bike shop and a bagel shop. So I grabbed a bagel and enjoyed my coffee as the shop fixed my tire. I just set outside in the warm sunshine with a smile on my face thinking it could be worse. The nineteen bucks it cost is still less than it takes to fill the tank on the motorcycle, much less the car!
It must be warming up because yesterday was the the first time THIS YEAR that I was yelled at and told “get on the paths!” Try as I might to catch her at the next stop light three or four blocks from where she yelled at me only missing her by about ten seconds. But I really just wanted to tell her that sometimes the paths don’t go where I want to go. If it was still cold she wouldn’t have rolled her passenger side electric window down to yell at me and just buzzed like she did instead only. Never mind there is a center turn lane that every other person passing me uses. I think she was mad because she had to wait three seconds to pass me because of the truck that was in the center turn lane wanting to, well turn. I would like to think maybe Aunt Flow was in town for a visit and it isn’t really me she dislikes. Yeah I’ll go with that.
Damn I’m enjoying this commuting by bicycle thing! I’ve got the itch for a new mountain bike too. It’s that N+1 thing don’tcha know. I went dirt riding last fall with a buddy for the first time since I was a kid and it was a blast! I may be to old to go flying off big jumps like I did back then. I’m also too old to be getting broken arms like a did when I was a kid. But I’m not to old to play in the dirt and get muddy just like little boys are supposed to do.
Writing that reminds me of a camping trip I did last summer. It had rained over the night time so there was standing water in the little holes of this gravel drive. I’m sitting at the picnic table and watching this little boy that is probably five or six years old riding his little bicycle. The first time he nears this little puddle I said watch this. Sure enough he rode right though the puddle popping a little wheel in order to make a splash so he would be a mess and get muddy. I watched him ride back and forth sometimes making sharp turns just to hit this puddle. Not once did he miss this puddle until he had splashed all the water out of it. I just laughed every time he went by thinking, I know that little boy. He was of course me at that age! Fun times those days were.