After 10 days of sitting idle, the tandem finally got some use this morning! And what a morning for a ride it was! I’m telling you, the weather doesn’t get any better than this. It was 61 degrees out when we left the garage accompanied by a brilliant night sky. At 5:30 AM there isn’t a hint of light in the eastern sky yet, and without a cloud in sight the stars were smiling down on us as we pedaled out Sunshine toward the river.
As we powered out through the Emerald Park neighborhood, we came around a corner at just the right angle for our light to not illuminate a runner coming toward us on our right hand until the last moment and it startled us a little. It was the runner/biker husband and wife we see out there all the time. She’s a runner, and we suppose her husband is accompanying her for protection or something. He rides behind her on a mountain bike, just slowly plodding along as she runs. He’s definitely not getting much of a workout in. He used to have lights on the bike, but hasn’t for a while. If he had been using them today we would have had an easier time seeing them.
It was still pretty darn dark as we approached the high school for our turnaround. As we did, we could tell there were some runners in the road in front of us. There were four young men from the cross country team out for their early morning run. Unfortunately, they were spread out in our lane and in spite of the fact that they were facing us, didn’t bother to move over and give us room to pass without having to thread the needle between them. After we turned around and headed home, we had to pass them again but by this time they had moved into the other lane (actually the wrong lane for runners) and gave us room to pass on their left after we announced our intention.
We also encountered our first rude/idiot/dangerous driver in quite a while this morning. As we descend the curvy hill on the back side of Turners, we can carry a speed of 25-30 mph for quite a while. Invariably, it seems like we can ride all the way back out to the high school and then half-way back without seeing a car only to have one come up behind us on these curves. As fast as we’re going and because of the curves, my standard practice is to take the entire lane and keep it until I feel it’s safe for a car to pass. Most of the time people give us lots of room and are fairly patient. This morning, however, that strategy didn’t work. I had us positioned dead center in the lane screaming downhill at 30 mph when the idiot in the Jeep pulled out to pass us on a blind curve. I had no choice but to give way to the right and grab a handfull of brakes to give him room to get back in our lane before rounding the curve. What a bonzo!
As we crossed Pearson Creek and headed up the hill, we heard the familiar chirp of a wild turkey in the woods to our right. That made me look up to see another in the road in front of us. As we approached, it leisurely flew up into a branch hanging out over the road and watched us pass underneath. We don’t usually see them in so close to the subdivisions, but this one didn’t seem to alarmed by us so I guess it must spend plenty of time around there.
After dropping Pam at the house and changing bikes for the trip to work, it didn’t take long to confirm that school has in fact started! It’s been so nice this summer to not have any traffic in the morning, but today they were out with a vengence. By this time, the sun was fully up and I was just happily spinning along basking in the glory of the day. There is nothing quite so good as riding 28+ miles before work!
On the way home, as I approached OTC, I could tell something big was going on. Flashing lights were everywhere and when I got close enough to see what it was, there was a hook and ladder fire truck, another fire truck, police cars, a fire chief’s car and an ambulance all gathered in a parking lot.
Look at all the excitement...
When I got close enough to see what was going on, I nearly died laughing. There was a fire…but it looked like overkill to me!
I think the contents were a total loss!