A bright idea: why not ride up and down the road just outside town? A short, curving road, with enough rises and falls to keep it from being boring - 9 trips up and back would give me just over 40 miles (my goal for the ride), yet I would never be more than 3 miles from home. It was worth a try.
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A late Sunday afternoon, hot and windy. I've never before taken a ride at once so short and so long; I wonder how I will keep track of the "laps". A photo a lap seems like a good idea. I can keep it down to 9 photos, right? (Here the blogger emits a wild, mocking "ha ha".)
Lap 1: Lovely clouds over a sloping cornfield:
The corn is coming up well after a very late start to the growing season. I like the rows stretching away in persepective towards the green bank of trees.
Lap 2: Sunlight on pines:
My road includes a long stretch of these well-grown pines that spice the air as they sigh in the warm wind.
Lap 3: Turtle in the road.
Tallulah and I worry about the turtle all the way to the end of Lap 3, through our turn, and back to the spot where we first saw it. This road gets a steady stream of traffic; we're afraid we may find only bits of shell on the next pass. To our relief, the road is clear when we return; the turtle has made it safely across. (On the next lap we notice a depression in the sandy verge nearby; the turtle must have been laying eggs.)
Lap 4: We stop for a break, and admire the branching arms of a telephone pole across the way:
Lap 5: Shadow shot!
Still Lap 5 (the one-photo-per-lap has broken down already): An empty barn and silo stand at the far end of our road, with more dramatic clouds on the horizon behind:
Lap 6: An enticing bit of gatepost, twined with baling wire:
And just next to it, an even more enticing grassy drive beneath arching trees:
(A "For Sale" sign stands at the entrance to this drive. Do I want to see what lies beyond the curve? No - it's more fun to imagine it.)
Lap 7: We take a short break on a shady side-road where the verges are carpeted with fluffy tree seeds:
While shooting the fluffy seeds I am swarmed by mosquitoes, so it's back on the bike and up the road to take the rest of our break in a sunnier, windier, skeeter-less spot.
Tallulah stays in her basket while I eat my banana and admire the upside-down leaves on the maples across the way.
We wave at a passing dog and his man, but forbear to photograph them. The dog, who is black and comely (though with one white leg), shows great interest in making our acquaintance, but the man prefers to keep walking. They pass from view. I swig a bit of orange juice, and we resume our ride.
Lap 8: I neglect to take any photos.
Lap 9: Almost done! Just a few miles to go, and we're feeling pretty good. In just 2 weeks we'll have a new sticker here - one that reads "Bike MS 2014":
(On a side note - I'm really much pudgier than this shot makes me look. The seeming svelteness must have something to do with perspective. Perhaps I should take all my selfies while riding....)
A surprisingly good long(ish) ride on a rather short road. I felt safe the whole time (woo hoo!), and though I rode the same few miles over and over, it never once got boring. Eyes that look for beauty in the small and in the everyday will always find something to admire. :)
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P.S. Lest you think this has turned into a cycling-only blog, rest assured that I haven't stopped crocheting. Later this week I'll post a free pattern for some pretty curtain ties....
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