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Even After All This Time – I Never Can Quite Predict a Ride

by on July 12, 2012

Putting aside the almost crash worthy panic attack this morning, it was a gorgeous morning for a fun ride.

Many of the regulars were absent this morning.  Being Thursday, Torture Thursday, I was prepared to once again watch the taillights fade into the distance ahead.  We started with a much more sedate pace.  Chip and Bryan were trying to work out the details of a longer ride this morning.  They have a 1200k ride at the end of August and need to get miles into their legs before that big ride.  As they worked it out, the rest of us simply enjoyed the cooler temperatures and lower humidity.  We caught sight of Jeff Scho ahead, and picked up the pace to catch him, and that’s when the fast guys decided to peel off the front and move on down the road.  Jim K and I were left to take the shortcut bypassing Round Bay and pressing on with a steady effort.  That effort paid off.  This was a nice faster ride this morning without the need to spike my heart rate into Zone 5.  When I started to feel challenged to keep up the speed, I ducked behind Jim and drafted for a while.  Soon enough I was in the lead again, allowing him to draft.  The pace felt steady and my legs complained about the demands I placed on them, but with a little encouragement, they quieted down.

By the time I got to Severna Park again, my Garmin said I had 18.2 mph average for the morning.  I backed off and by the time I got home it was down to 17.8, still respectable.

The “Almost Crash Worthy Panic Attack”?  Riding up Ritchie Highway for home I was “zoned out” just pedaling that last climb home.  Suddenly, I heard a noise off to my right, and as I turned I watched as a squirrel jumped off the guardrail onto the road, dash toward me in a blur of fur, tag my right foot, immediately reverse course and disappear into the foliage along the road.  This all occurred in a fraction of a second but in that fraction of a second my heart stopped, I employed spectacular bike handling skills, and was able to re-start my heart without missing a pedal stroke.

I’ve noticed certain animals have very specific reactions to cyclists.  Horses love to run with a group of cyclists.  Some cows will watch with interest while others will join their equine cousins to run short distances.  Bunnies usually run ahead for short distances then cut perpendicular to the cyclist at the last moment.  Deer have been known to do the same.  Fox usually give wide berth as they cross in front of us.  Squirrels are often dashing onto the path to play tag with the bike or the rider or see how close they can get to proper timing to dash between the wheels.  Darwin awards those who can’t get the timing quite right.

This Ride: 21.8 miles
Month: 81.7 miles
2012: 3,037.4 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 16,891.1 miles

From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. I’ve had hawks fly above me for a hundred yards or so and I regularly startle deer in the evening/dusk when they come to the side of the road to graze. Then, there was that glorious January day in 2011 when a ten-point buck burst out of the woods and ran alongside me for about 300 yards. Simply incredible.

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