Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ride the wind

Another chilly, February ride report.

Weatherman said expect rain by noon so I planned to get up and get out early. Early slipped to a little after 8:00 am which means it’s gonna be a short ride or …. plan to get wet. Right out of the chute I ambushed the swans! Things were looking good until a nearby flock of crows spooked. They flew over the swans and well, it was all downhill (or up in the air) after that.

Those pesky dogs on Howanut road are figuring out that the water from the water bottle is just … water. Shortly this old apple tree caught my eye.

I imagine this tree has been here since before there was a road, or much of one here. It made me think about how I see winter. I’m complaining, whining about the weather, huffing and chuffing on my bike, and here stands this twisted old tree. How many winters has it had to survive?

Not far after the tree I was able to get this pic of my invisible ride partner.

Maybe I should refer to it as my evil training coach: always trying to load up the program. Yes, I had the wind on my nose for most of the first three quarters of the ride.

So down to Starbux in Centralia. The place was predictably packed but I was in dire need of some calories and a hot drink so I had my standard triple shot short Americano, I also got a hot breakfast sandwich which was excellent. That really hit the spot, but it took time and the weather appeared to be advancing.

Also during that nice little sit down in the warm coffee shop, my legs turned to lead and my toasty warm wool jersey morphed into a cold, clammy, sweat soaked burden. Only on thing for it; ride to the steam plant.

This place is supposedly closed down, but it still produces lots of steam, and it looks like they are mining and shipping coal like crazy.

See this chicken?

This little hen is probably the great, great, great granddaughter of an unlucky bird that met her untimely demise while nearly taking me out at this very corner at this very farmstead years ago. Looks like they have not gotten any smarter.

Oh, and yes Lewis County rednecks can be relied upon to park thier trucks off the road ... mostly.

I was out on the road waaaay past noon and what do you know, no rain! I was pretty wacked when I came in, but it felt good to have a ride in the legs. You know that feeling, it’s always easier to say how good it feels once you are back home. A little over 90 kilometers, average speed (rolling speed) just over 21 Kph (don't you just love those metric measures? So much more flattering than 55 miles and 13 mph). I’d brag if I was just loafing but sad to say I was pushing hard. Mrs. C was just heading out on a 20 mile jaunt out on the S Bank road when I rolled up: Wouldn't I like to join her? sounds good honey but probably better for me to stay and watch the casa, you never know who might come along!

Famished, and the cupboard was pretty bare, but we had a fantastic meal thanks to Mrs C's resourcefulness. I grilled chicken breasts and roasted vegetables on the Barbie, she did all the prep cook stuff.

It wasn’t exactly summer, as I stood in the rain staring at the grill. Standing there in something of a low blood sugar stupor, patiently waiting for food goodness to happen, the flock of swans went over making a royal ruckus, they were headed for bed. Mrs. C was able to catch the last stragglers going by. “See..” she said, “There are good reasons to be standing out in the rain".
She’s right, it was a pretty nice way to end February.

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