Friday, January 18, 2013

Two Sunshine Rides During Weird Warm Weather

Jan. 17--goose on rail track near Cedar Lake.

Sun sinks and reflects on ice and water of Cedar Lake, Jan. 17, 2013.

Image of bird who objected to my presence on the Cedar River Trail.

Setting sun at Cedar Lake, with geese clustered around some open water.

To be honest, I would not mind a bigger, more persistent, snow pack. We’re still in a drought in Iowa, and need water however we can get it.

But, on the other hand, Thursday and today were grand biking days. I managed to get away a bit after 4 Thursday—and the late afternoon was just starting to end. I rode over to the Cedar River Trail and headed south, circling Cedar Lake before turning north to go home. At the lake, geese were abundant and flying and honking, and it was pleasant to hear and see them.

The later afternoon was brisk—probably just shy of 30—but for January, it was warm. The sound of rush hour traffic whirred beside me as I finally turned north, but I was in for at least one more encounter of the bird kind. As I approached the point where the trail goes under Collins Road, a large bird squealed at me , flow low over head, and the landed about 50 yards away on a street light. I caught one blurry image of what I think was a hawk before he or she sped off again.

Well, I have seen several hawks on rides at various times, but they’ve never vocalized at me before. Perhaps I was scaring the field mice, and this hawk did not appreciate it.

I had lights on for the later half of my ride, and I used the Harding Middle School-Noelridge Park route home, but it was a nice ride.

Today was even nicer. I didn’t go south, despite being out earlier with more sunshine, because I wanted to get home sooner—the Iowa grandkids were visiting today. As it turned out, they were all napping when I got home, but that’s OK. I took the trail north to the “Go Daddy” bypass, and headed through Hiawatha, under the bridge on Council Street and home via the behind Super Target route.

Two days, and two glorious afternoon rides—today in full sunshine with the temperature around 40. I wore neither hood nor gloves this afternoon, and after a while had to unzip my jacket to avoid being too warm.

It felt like an early March ride. Next week winter should be back in full force—I might even have to drive Monday due to extreme cold.

We’ll see. But as you can see, this has been a January of extraordinarily good biking weather.

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