Cycling for Pan-STARRS
We had high hopes of seeing Pan-STARRS last night, but I think we were jinxed by the light pollution from town. We rode a quiet 23 mile loop last night, leaving the house at 7:15 in what had to be the most pleasant evening weather we’ve had in a long time. It was so pleasant, in fact, that when I went out a few minutes before I was expecting Mike to top off my tires I couldn’t make myself go back inside.
I ended up giving my bike a quick wipe-down and cleaned and lubed the chain, then I just stood there soaking it up until he pulled into the driveway.
We spent a few minutes fussing with his fenders before we left, and never could get the rubbing resolved. That gave us lots of opportunity for conversation, brain-storming and problem solving for the rest of the evening. His front fork and brake clearance are so tight that he has to run the Planet Bike Cascadia road fenders, but he’s got 32 mm tires on the bike. He needs to either get the hybrid fenders that I use and cut them to fit the fork and brake or bite the bullet and switch to 28 mm tires. We did come up with one scheme that might work, but the outcome might prove it was nothing but a harebrained idea!
The sun had set by the time we were out of the neighborhood and heading east on Sunshine. I kept glancing back at the orange sky in my mirror and nearly ran over a piece of road-kill in the process! As we got further out of town, we started hitting pockets of cool air in places you would least expect them. That happens every time we go out at night on these warmish winter evenings. You expect to hit cold air down in the valleys, but as often as not, there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason as to when they hit you.
As it got darker and darker, I found myself straining my neck looking for that stupid comet. We knew about where it was supposed to be, but it just wasn’t there. I bet I rode 5 miles craning my head to the right trying to pick it out. When that didn’t work, we told ourselves we would surely see it when we turned back to the west, but that didn’t happen either. Who stole the comet?
I really like riding at night. There is a quietness in the air that just isn’t present during the day, but it always amazes me how many dogs will bark as you pass. I’ve never been chased at night, but dogs that never bark during the day will make their presence known after dark.
We did have one wildlife sighting. A coyote went scooting across the road in front of me and darted under the fence line. It sure wasn’t wasting any time, and I think it got surprised by our light.
We got back to the house about 8:45 with 23 miles under our tires. It was a great way to spend the evening, and got us both drooling for more nights like that!
You can click the map below for the full gps track.
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