Went out yesterday afternoon and almost immediately after I turned left from the right-of-way onto the W&OD headed west I saw a mature buck with about 7 point antlers. He was in a swale that paralleled the trail, walking east. The disconcerting thing is that he was not anxious or perturbed at all by his proximity to moving human beings on bikes. Actually it’s just as well, because an anxious, panicked deer is a dangerous deer. They’re big enough to do real harm. At least he wasn’t in a position to veer onto the trail by mistake, or to leap impulsively. As a friend pointed out yesterday, deer are never domesticated, only acclimated, and as such poise a threat to trail users.
It’s the zenith of leaf season, and as such a frustration and temptation to the cyclist. When there are leaves to be raked and bagged, a couple of hours of yard work wear me out. I don’t feel like hopping on the exercise bike or taking a ride out when I’ve just stacked up five or six bags. Thus the frustration, and the temptation to let myself off the hook of conditioning exercise. My legs and back are sore, my knees worked by bending, my arms achy, and my hands free of blisters only by the grace of leather gloves. Yet I’ve had no aerobic exercises, and no reps for my legs, so it’s not really “cross training.” But it is what it is, and I’m not going to let myself worry about it.
I was half-tempted to go riding off into the heavy darkening gloom of early afternoon today instead of raking. It might even have been a bit of fun to ride home in the heavy mist that was falling during about the last half hour I raked. But in all truth, nah. I’m glad I wasn’t “out there” when it began getting moist, and that my bike stayed dry.
Sunday cyclists yesterday, in the pale sun and low-60s temperatures, included a number of family groups. I love seeing adults and kids riding together, especially those out yesterday. They all seemed to know what they were doing and to be aware of trail presence and safety. I wish I’d ridden with my kids when they were small, and that I could ride with my grand-kids today, especially Anne Elise, who has a nice Trek bike and apparently knows how to use it. Sigh.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2011.