On Today’s Bike Ride: This Guy

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Man looking at lake

It’s thanks to this guy that I got out on my bicycle at all this morning.


When I crawled back into bed after getting up to use the bathroom, my husband reminded me of my stated intentions from last night. “It’s not too late to take a ride before the day gets hot.”

He even accompanied me to the lake that is my favorite cycling destination, about four miles from our house. And he humored me by letting me set the pace rather than taking off and leaving me in the dust. This is a person who has ridden his bike virtually every day for decades.

It might be awhile before my next ride. I have a minor medical procedure schedule later this week and will probably not be saddle-ready for at least a couple of weeks after that. But the lure of the bicycle will give me something to look forward to as motivation to follow all recovery instructions and take care of myself.

See you all on the other side.

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Today’s Bike Ride: After Bicycle Surgery

I haven’t been taking Freida out much lately due to some of my own minor health issues, combined with bad weather luck and other factors. Plus my first road trip in forever. I thought about it a lot. But when I finally had my act together enough for a ride, she received an unexpected diagnosis.

Trek Bikes sent me a letter saying she was in danger of losing her pedals. It’s happened to other bikes of the same type. So today I had to take her in for a pedal transplant.

I’m happy to say they were able to handle it on an out patient basis. I waited while they performed the procedure and then took her home right after.

Fresh out of the recovery room

Unfortunately, it was drizzling when we came home, so we couldn’t go out together right away. I had to go do some other errands, too. But we went for a spin after dinner. Of course, by then, it was so late, I had to race the sunset to get in even a brief ride. I didn’t stop to take any photos.

We had a shorter, but more intense trip than we’re used to. A quick three miles at what would be average speed for my husband or son, and was Indy 500 level for me. No coasting. All went well, with no pedal loss, even with me pumping them furiously.

Looking at the shiny new parts made me realize how much Freida needs a wash. Sorry I’ve neglected you, girl. I have to work tomorrow, but I will try to give the bike a good scrub on Sunday.

Here’s hoping Freida and I both stay healthy enough for more frequent rides.

Final note: Here’s more info on the recall for anyone who thinks their bike might be affected. The pedals in question are from Bontrager.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Perfect Easter Morning

Frieda and I decided it was the perfect morning for a bike ride — temp in the 60s, sunny, with the slightest gentle breeze. We took one of our most commonly traversed trail routes to a small lake area.

Many family groups were out walking. Good thing I have this delightful little bell to let folks know when I’m about to pass.

Bicycle bell

I love the bell because there’s nothing clangy about it. It gives a cheerful and polite “excuse me” chime that sounds friendly. One of my small joys of life is that minor interaction when I’m coming up behind a trail walker and put my thumb to the bike bell, then see the person acknowledge it with a tiny wave.

Also on the trail today were many dogs making sure their humans were getting fresh air and exercise. So many good doggos. Maybe some of them were heading to the dog park on the other side of the lake from where I stopped to rest and hydrate. I heard lots of excited barking carrying across the water.

Near my take-a-break bench a man sat in a camp chair with a fishing rod propped next to him, line dropped into the water. He didn’t appear to care whether anything was biting as he relaxed with his fingers interlaced behind his head in the ultimate no worries posture. I wanted to take a photo of him, but didn’t because I couldn’t get an angle without his face and decided I should respect his privacy. I’m sharing that he was there just so I can say that the amount of relaxation and peace he was generating felt contagious. Maybe seeking inner peace really does help the world around us.

Here’s Frieda, propped against the bench where we lingered to take in the scene for a while.

Bicycle propped at bench

I did a quick internet search to see if I could find any information on the Frank Patton who is memorialized on the plaque, but didn’t come up with anything. It’s nice that somebody wanted to remember him in a way that provides something good for the community.

We had to take it a little slow on the trail section that loops the lake:

Caution sign
Loose gravel did exist.

Whether or not you celebrate Easter, I hope all my readers are having a beautiful day. If the weather allows where you are, I highly recommend some outdoors time as a personal health measure.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Peace, Geology and an Accidental Selfie

I put on blinders to everything that needs to be done at home and went out for a bike ride with Frieda this morning before the temperature reminded me too harshly that it’s still summer. Like most everyone right now, I find it a constant effort to manage my stress levels. I would love to go camping and spend a few days unwinding, but that’s not possible at the moment. So I take what micro-breaks I can get — sitting on the deck for a few minutes in the evening with a mocktail (I don’t drink much alcohol) and some music, or finding a less-traveled spur of the MKT Trail where I can be “away from it all” for a couple of minutes, right in the city.


I had this spur of the trail to myself this morning.

Frieda, freed from the confines of my shed.

The illusion of being out of the city:

Only a short distance from a major road, large apartment complex, and shopping center

On the main trail, an interesting rock with an interesting puddle in an indentation.


It’s like an entire self-contained universe in this rock depression.

In an effort to learn more about the rock, I took an accidental selfie. In case you can’t read the print, the rock is several million year old limestone. I wonder how many other creatures have stopped to look at it throughout the millennia.

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On Today’s Bike Ride: Tagging Along to the Big Tree

Poor Frieda was left at home when I went out to ride today. My husband makes a weekly bicycle pilgrimage to what locals call the Big Tree. Today, I invited myself along. He dusted off our 30-year-old Burley tandem, Tandy, and we took it. It’s the only way I can keep up with him.

We’ve nearly sold good old Tandy a time or two, and she’s spent long periods of time in storage. I’m glad we still have her, though.

Here’s the Big Tree, a 400-year-old (more or less) bur oak at McBaine, Missouri.

The tree is so big, it’s hard to get a photo of the whole thing.

Here’s Tandy:

Graffiti…grrr.

Spouse included for scale in this one.

The hubs is 5′ 10″. The tree is around 90 ft tall.

Some close-up photos of tree parts:

Tree
I always feel like someone’s watching me.

Tree leaves
Sunlit canopy.

Tree bark
Treebeard

Tree roots
Gnarly toes

Think about it. This tree was here long before George Washington was born. I imagine it’s seen some things.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Freakishly Warm Christmas

We had six inches of snow here nine days ago. Today, the temperature reached 68 degrees. The hubs and I took a leisurely bike ride together, and I was comfortable wearing leggings with a short-sleeved t-shirt. Many spots on my usual riding trail are soggy from snow melt, so we ambled around a little through town and the nearly-deserted university campus where the spousal unit works at his paid employment.

Everything about the day felt odd, from the weather to the dearth of people where there are usually crowds. I managed to stave off apocalyptic thoughts and feelings enough to enjoy the outing. It was relaxing, not having to worry much about traffic, as we saw only a handful of other folks out and about in that part of the city.

Bridge
Pedestrian and bicycle bridge
Street view through fence.
Street view through fence.
Bike parked on covered bridge
Frieda taking a break.
Fence and girders of pedestrian/bicycle bridge.
Another shot from the bridge.
Abstract metal sculpture
Artist: Ernest Trova. Abstract Variation, No. 5

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! To everyone else, wishes of peace and joy.

On Yesterday’s Bike Ride: Sights and Sounds

What you see depends on where you look. Frieda and I repeatedly ride to the same few places, for the most part. But I manage to see new things each time. Yesterday, we went to a city park where I’ve taken several photos in the past. But none look exactly like the ones I got yesterday. All of the photos below were shot from the same spot, but looking in different directions.

For one, I turned away from the creek and the natural landscape, pointing my camera toward the city instead. A little shot of Americana.

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Facing the other way, you might not know there was an urban area so close.

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I rode in the evening and stayed until I looked up and saw the lamp signaling me it was time to get home while I could still see and be seen.

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The cicadas sang me a goodbye song.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Filamentous Green Algae Edition

The waters have finally receded around here, with trails opened up once again. I’m proud of myself for getting up early, after only three alarms, and setting out with *Frieda before it got too hot to ride.

We took the Wetlands trail today, and saw lots of pond scum — er, filamentous green algae. It’s beautiful in its own way. Here’s an informational page about it from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Turns out it floats because of bubbles it produces. And it’s a healthy part of the ecosystem, as long as it doesn’t take over everything.

 

 

*Frieda is my bicycle.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Book Release Edition

Early this evening, Frieda and I went to a book release and discovered someone had left a Bird scooter blocking one side of the bike rack in front of the bookshop. Rude. Frieda was able to fit in on the other side, though.

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More important than parking is that my friend just published her first book, Equillian’s Key, the beginning of a fantasy adventure series. Check out this trailer.