Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In Which a Commute Turns Into 25 Miles

I left campus and headed south--crossed the river and went as far as the beaver pond that is just beyond the Mt. Trashmore area. Francis after I've turned around--note how dry the pavement is.
When I rode my bike to campus just before noon today, 37th Street was pretty bad. In contrast, much of the route was OK—I was pleasantly surprised at how much the sidewalk on C Avenue had improved.

But the streets around Kenwood School seem still to come from the Land That Snowplows Forgot.

Bottom of 37th Street hill. I just rode down this hill. Did not want to ride up it later in the day.
So on the way home, I decided to try the trail instead. I figured if it had been cleared (and it usually is) then it would be in better shape than the streets I rode on.

I also decided, partly because I had my nice camera with me, to head down to Cedar Lake. I’m anxious to catch some eagles this winter. As it turned out, the lake is too iced over right now to have an eagle-friendly spot.

I was enjoying the quiet and solitude of the trail in winter—passing by a few hardy dog walkers, one or two joggers and nobody else—that I kept going. I wondered if I would see eagles down by the river. I didn't, but it was a quiet, pretty ride despite the grey, cool day.

Birds on Cedar River near Federal Courthouse.
I did startle a hawk of some sort, which flew up in front of me about 10 yards away and tore off through the trees. I saw it roosting and looking broodingly at me, but it was gone by the time I got my camera out.

Still, even if I did not capture the hawk’s image or see my eagle, I did catch a murder.

It seemed like all the crows in Cedar Rapids were gathered by the lion’s bridge, most in the trees, some out on the ice of the river. I don’t know why they were gathered, just that they were.

One of the crows takes flight.
I rode about three hours, and I guess I probably did about 25 miles today. Not sure I will ride tomorrow—I have a dentist appointment, I need to do some grocery shopping and I’m planning on visiting my daughter and her children, so the speed of car commuting may be too good to pass up.

Still, a few good sunny days in the 30s, and the streets will be in good shape and there won’t be any impediment to my biking and a few more trips to try to catch the elusive eagle.

Sun seen through the clouds near Mt. Trashmore. It was a grey day, but not so uniformly grey to be dull. My feet got cold, but I liked being out on the trail.

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