Thursday, June 16, 2016

In Which Mr. B Drinks and Rides With Me

I had an idea for a bike blog post as I rode along a 20-mile loop this morning to the Lowe Park Trail and Boyson Trail complex in Marion, Iowa.

The idea was how in tune to the route a bicycle rider has to be. In addition to watching traffic, as a car driver does, a bike rider, especially a road bike rider, must pay attention to sand, cracks, sticks, etc.

So, anticipating my theme, I took some pothole and soft trail photos.

The morning was warming as I rode, and it was around noon when I was on the Krumbholtz Trail, the side trial off the Boyson Road trail that leads to Mendards. I noticed a number of butterflies that like to sit on the warm trail, and they usually flit up dangerously close as I ride—a few seeming to pass through my front wheel.

Well, I hope no butterflies were ground up to make this post, but I think they all are OK. Although I could ride close, when I stopped to get out my camera, the butterflies would flit away.

But one didn’t go far. As I got the camera out, it landed on the left side of my chest. As I watched, it extended its curled tongue and took a drink. I must have sweet sweat.

Its photograph, I managed to take. As I got ready to put the camera away, it leapt into flight—and landed on my front wheel. Well, I wasn’t going anywhere for a few minutes, so I shot it. And it leapt again—but this time it landed on my shorts and stayed there as I took off.

Wheel rider.

I was going to write about—and probably will—the hazards of watching the street, but I guess another hazard is trying to videotape a passenger as you bicycle along. But, I did.

Anyway, that was way cool, and makes dodging holes in the street well worth it. My hole photo gallery is below. I don’t want to mislead you and make you think streets in my areas are crumbling to dust—Geode Street in Marion, where some of these images are shot, is a nice new street with fairly good pavement. I guess my point is that a biker obviously must be vigilant on an older street like Brentwood Drive NE in Cedar Rapids, but also on a new street, too. No street will be free of cracks and holes that can bump a bike.

And stopping now and then to think about holes is a whole lot better when a butterfly joins the party.

Road hazards gallery:

This photo and one above on on Geode Street, a rather nice "bike boulevard" in Marion.

Soft part of Lindale Trail. On unpaved trails, soft places and ruts are always to be watched for.

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