Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nice ride, eh?

Talk about sense of place. Nothing says ‘cycling in the EUP’ better than drafting off a tractor pulling an empty hay wagon. Not that it happens often. I’ve been cycling just about my whole life in farm country and never had drafted behind a hay wagon until this morning.

I was on a ride I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Everything fell in place for that ride this morning. It’s about 16 miles one way, so I needed a couple of hours in my schedule. Check. Nice weather. Check. The bonus today was that the breeze was SE, unusual for us, but making for the always desirable homeward tailwind. The destination: Dunbar Park, a place I visit often with class but have never biked to. I know several people who do and recommended the ride. There was a work aspect to the trip, too. Last year I saw a purple loosestrife plant there, so part of the motivation for the trip was to see whether it had spread.

A few miles into the trip, I heard a large vehicle coming up slowly from behind. A tractor pulling an empty haywagon passed me slowly, which gave me the chance to get into its draft. It was a nice break for about ½ mile until we got to a slight incline and I could no longer match the tractor’s speed.

Otherwise, the trip was uneventful but very pleasant. The familiar terrain rolled by with a few new sights. The _______’s are finally putting an entryway on the front door of their house 15 years after it was built. About time. Saw another house-in-the-country under construction on Riverside Rd. Saw some gardens hit by our hot dry weather and others that looked fine (probably had an irrigation system).

Traffic was practically non-existent. Lost count at 4 cars; the total could be as high as 8 or 10 passing in either direction for the whole ride.

Dunbar Park actually did look better from the bicycle than from a college van. Probably it was just the satisfaction of getting there under my own power. 

The purple loosestrife had spread. Where there was one plant, now there are several over 10s of meters. We’ll get the students on that project.

On the way home, I was feeling the old spin in the legs, a pleasant feeling I had not felt in a while. I don’t get that feeling on my more typical rides, which involve getting to and/or from school. The reminiscence of cycling past was soon replaced by the more recently familiar rubber in the legs, especially after the short, steep hill up out of the river valley onto the plain. Ride home was a bit faster with a few chances to get on the big chain ring.

Everything added up to a very nice way to spend a few hours in the EUP. 

No comments:

Post a Comment