Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In Which Birds of Prey Continue Their Support

Zoomed all the way and from across the Cedar River. We could not be sure at the time, but I think this fuzzy image, of a very large bird with a distinctive white head, confirms it. The eagle was seen.

I did not see a hawk close up today, as I did on yesterday’s ride.

I heard one, or more. When I rode to campus for bell practice late in the afternoon, as I crossed central campus there were several rounds of distinctive screams. One or more of our Mount Mercy resident hawks was nearby, but I didn’t see it or them.

Today’s bike rides totaled 41 miles—25 with my sister and two of my daughters, and 16 commuting miles. I rode to campus three times—twice on commuting trips and once just for the thrill of the hill. So today, I climbed the Mount at MMU six times.

That ought to be a good day of RAGBRAI hill practice.

In some ways, the ride was a bit of a repeat of Tuesday’s. In other ways, it was different.

What was the same and what was different:

I encountered a bird of prey. Yesterday it was two birds—hawks on a telephone wire. Today it was a bald eagle viewed from across the Cedar River. I wasn’t sure it was an eagle from the distance, but looking at the photo on the computer confirms it. Yes, Team Joe members, it was definitely an eagle.

My group climbed the MMU Hill for practice and then posed for an ussie with a nun. Which my sister and I did on Tuesday. Only today, the nun was Frances Warde rather than Catherine McAuley. And there were four Team Joe members in the groupie today, not just two.

Victory! That's the Team Joe Battle Cry! We came, we climbed, we survived and had our group photo taken with Frances Warde.

We ate lunch at the Flying Weenie. I was surprised to learn my daughters had not been there yet. Clearly they were overdue. I didn’t ask, but I think they enjoyed their Chicago dogs. My sister got a brat and it was about 4 inches longer than the large bun that struggled to contain it. I went for the gyro, while yesterday it was the Chicago dog. It was, once again, a good biking lunch.

Bikes parked at The Flying Weenie, above. My lunch, below. Gyro, fries and a cream soda.

Like on Tuesday, our Wednesday group aimed at a southern ride. Yesterday, we rode a bit more and went down to Ely. Today, after lunch, we changed directions and headed west to the Ellis Park trail, where the eagle was seen.

Along the way, I’m afraid there was some plotting going on. The daughters are abuzz with plans for the one day of RAGBRAI when Team Joe swells in membership. Should I be afraid?


Final thoughts: After I got home and ate supper, my wife wanted to go on a walk, so I did. And it was a bit tiring—after all, I had biked more than 40miles. But walking is a feature of RAGBRAI too, and maybe something you should do if you’re planning on riding more than one day. We bike, we walk, we eat, we drink and we sleep. I’m trying to do all to prepare! And an indifferent deer appeared for use during the walk.

I have zoomed, but maybe not as much as you think. Deer ambled across trail during our evening walk. Second view below.

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