Thursday, June 25, 2015

In Which a Dozen Photos Come From Two Short Rides

Argent and outdoor art at Lowe Park.

Two things you can bet on from my photos on this bike blog: Many will show flowers. And there will be a bunny.

I had too much to do today for a long bicycle ride. The morning included assembling some bookshelves (assembling kit furniture is always a trial for me—a reminder of why, when I chose a career, I wanted to work with my hands on a keyboard and not in a tool box). The afternoon included going to a nearby town to watch two cute grandsons.

But there was riding, and the riding that there was turned out to be very pleasant riding.

First, the morning ride. I was going to the gym to exercise, and though it looked cloudy, I decided to try biking. Since I was carrying my gym bag, Francis, my commuting bike, was the logical choice. I went, I exercised, and I headed home. Before going home, I decided to cycle on the paved portion of the Lindale Trail. That and doing the figure 8 on the neighborhood hill would make even just a few miles count as decent biking.

The first unusual animal I saw was a bit unpleasant—a tiny dead mole. Driven from its hole in the recent storm by water and killed by exposure in the chilly night air, I assume. Well, that didn’t exactly make my day, and I was thinking slightly dour thoughts about mortality and wondered if I should do the neighborhood hill, when, just before the end of my trail loop, a doe sauntered out of the woods some 20 yards from me and wandered a bit nonchalantly away from me before unhurriedly stepping into the brush on the other side of the trail.

What, we worry? Doe wanders across Lindale Trail.

I’m not one for omens or signs, but somehow the sight of the doe just switched my mood, and I then charged up the Brentwood hill before breakfast and felt pretty good doing it.

After working on the shelves, I had about an hour to kill before leaving town. Paging Argent, it was time for a quick ride, and Argent is my new quick bike.

I took 5 minutes to raise the seat yet again—I was tired last time I rode Argent, and conjectured I was not extending my legs enough. That seemed to have done the trick—this was a more comfortable fast ride on this fast bike.

I decided to head out to Lowe Park in Marion. My wife had told me that she had found a bike-friendly route there. There’s a trail from Lowe Park to Excelsior Middle School, and it always seemed odd to me in past years that this nice little trail was so isolated, unreachable by bike. Maybe things have changed.

Audrey said she had ridden past Novak School, so I turned north from Boyson Road to Geode Street. Crossing 29th Avenue, Geode became 3 St (that’s what the signs say, not Third Street nor 3rd Street—3 St. Marion, what the heck kind of street name is “3 St?”)

The street of odd number name terminates in Tower Terrace Road, at a stretch with very nice bike lanes. I wasn’t sure where to go next, but turned left, which turned out to be the right choice. When I came to Irish Drive, I turned right. A dire warning at the end of the street said “sidewalk closed,” but the “sidewalk” was neither closed nor really a sidewalk. It was the trail I had been seeking, the bike route between Lowe Park and Excelsior Middle School.

And what a fine enhanced trail it turned out to be. Both it and Lowe Park have changed since I last rode there. I headed first to Excelsior and got slightly sprinkled on by the dark grey sky, but then I turned back towards Lowe Park.

Here comes the train again, falling on my head like a tragedy, falling on my head like a new emotion. Fortunately, not much rain, and it was over quickly. Wet sky when I reached the Excelsior end of the trail.

Lowe Park! Egad, what happened to you? You were such a nothing baby park the last time I saw you, an isolated arty reception building in the midst of nowhere. Now the building is all surrounded by display gardens and outdoor sculptures, and it was like I’d gone through the wardrobe into springtime in Art Narnia.

I’m sure I’ll be back. Riding the whole trail and the route to and from it was just a bit over an hour—and only because I paused to take many photos. It would be a comfortable one-hour ride otherwise. Maybe a bit more on Francis with a toddler in the seat, but we’ll have to try that experiment sometime soon to see.

Well. So there will be art as well as flower photos to see, of course:

Bunny where Irish Drive "closed" sidewalk, which was not closed at all, meets bike trail. All photos below are details of arty end of trail near Lowe Park building. Very nice, worth a second look when I'm not in a hurry.

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