Sunday, January 1, 2017

In Which I Photograph a Murder in 2016

To some, that’s the kind of year 2016 has been—the election of an inexperienced narcissist president, the loss of many beloved celebrities—a year of ups and downs with more than its share of downs.

I can understand that. The year ended with me photographing a murder while I was on a bike ride. Of course, many of you have already anticipated the joke—it was a group of crows down by the Cedar River.

Dec. 28--Murder on the Cedar River Trail!

The year in which I photographed a murder was, in biking terms, a pretty good year. RAGBRAI went through a part of southern Iowa I hadn’t seen much and ended in Muscatine. Of course, a team member was also injured, which was decidedly not fun, but it was still an interesting RAGBRAI.

I went with the MMU bike club on the High Trestle Trail, our first “remote” ride, and it was a blast.

Francis, my trusty hybrid commuting bike, gave up the ghost—but I really like riding Clarence, the new commuting bike.

New bike trails, like the short one at Daniel’s Park that I rode Dec. 29, have opened in Cedar Rapids. Of course, old ones seem to be closed for a while—on my murder ride Dec. 28, I was a bit surprised to find the Cedar River Trail for now ends abruptly at the Cedar River. Well, I’m sure that’s a temporary situation which appears to be related to flood control work, and I certainly don’t mind flood control work.

New trail at Daniels Park.

Note: This is how you should put in bike racks--on paving, and set back from the trail.

Took H Avenue bike lane after leaving Daniels Park--ended up blocked by parked train. There was a long line of cars waiting, too. Fortunately, I was able to backtrack on sidewalk to side street and shoot up to J, which was not blocked.
Anyway, the pretty-good-year that was 2016 ended with a pretty good week. Sadly, I was too busy Friday to take advantage of what seemed like the final decent biking day of the year, but I did get in some decent rides Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday’s ride was almost 30 miles. I was testing a new camera, and also riding my road bike, so I went pretty far.

New back light on Clarence installed Dec. 28--although on the long ride, I took the road bike, Argent. Some photos below form that right, many more on Facebook link in paragraph above.

Thursday was just a ride to campus and back, but I did inspect a new trail at Daniels Park I had not ridden before, and rode back home via the Cedar River Trail.

Well, 2016, you’re history now. What will 2017 bring? On a macro, political level, I shudder to think. But I hope it continues to be a good biking year. I’m looking forward to a year when the Cedar Valley Nature Trail is paved all the way to Center Point, for example.

Happy biking to you all in 2017!

Two of the Wednesday ride images in black-and-white because I just like the way that they look.

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