January 4, 2019

Crystal Blue Persuasion

The thing is ... it was 32°F on Wednesday morning. [Well, 32.2°F, to be precise.] And 32.7°F on Thursday.

The thing is ... the forecast was showing 100% chance of rain on Saturday; the sky today was clear and oh-so-blue.

The thing is ... there would be little traffic, since many people were extending their holiday time off.

The thing is ... I have not been getting enough exercise.

The thing is ... my morning calendar was clear.

The thing is ... no more excuses!

[Yes, that's more than one thing. I know.]

I pulled myself together, pumped up the tires, and pedaled off on my first ride of 2019. I skipped the club outings on January 1st, because ... I couldn't think of a good reason to go for a bike ride when the thermometer registered 33°F. [Yes, it was colder this morning; but I would be rewarded with a flaky chocolate croissant and a nice warm shower once I arrived at work.]
The ride was ... ah, “invigorating” (once my frozen fingers stopped throbbing). There were very few people out and about, but the birds were twittering. I wondered how they managed, in the cold.

And then ...

On a city street I was startled by a sudden explosion of feathers.

It was an equally startled juvenile Cooper's Hawk, who was loath to abandon its squirrelly meal. [The carcass was still too meaty to carry off, I think.] I parked the bike and sidled ever closer, next to a conveniently parked car, without spooking the bird. [Much to the dismay of a crow with its eye on the prize, cawing high above us in a tree.]

I took the lazy/longer/flatter route (19.5 miles), which still amounted to 260 feet of climbing. [Well, I did go up the gratuitous hill. No excuses.]

It warmed up to 34°F on Friday, and the roads were even emptier. Three days, three rides to work.
There'll be peace and good, brotherhood ...