Monday, June 15, 2009

Ah Nature (II)

Had a great weekend with the trail race on Saturday. Sunday was another planned long bike ride. We rode from Green Lake to Orting via the Green River and Interurban trails. it was a pleasantly cloudy day with a bit of a headwind going south but good riding weather nonetheless.

I've run most of these trails and truthfully, they aren't anything special. The Green River trail is pretty especially since the river was living up to it's name. It was The Interurban is disturbingly straight and boring for miles. I'd never been to Sumner or McMillan or some of the other little towns we rode through but they were pleasant enough in that farmland / minor industrial type way. the best part was that there was very little car traffic and you could just ride without having to stop for a traffic light every few minutes.

I was happy to be riding with someone this entire ride. I thought AT would be too fast for me and I'd hoped to stay with him through at least part of the ride. I planned on drafting as necessary to try and keep up. turns out, he's just getting back on his bike after being out fishing for a while (you know on a boat in the Bering Sea) and is just developing his biking legs again. perfect!

The miles went quick as we chatted through cruise ship tourist/taxi traffic downtown, the quiet sleepy Sunday feel of South Park / Georgetown and hit the Green River Trail.

Around Mile 27, we came across another group rider K who'd had some bike trouble. AT, the ever handy guy that he is, wrangled all the broken spokes out of the way and K continued on for another 30 miles!

It was pleasant. The most we had to worry about was the occasional rogue kid weaving along on the trail and remembering to eat and drink as necessary to sustain the planned 60 miles.

And then nature reared her head. I'd been on a trail run the prior tuesday where a black bear had been spotted. I was disappointed that I didn't see the bear. I've been chased by a grouse down a trail on a trail run (sorry if this link doesn't work). I generally try to keep aware of what is going on around me because you just never know.

We were riding side by side as we had been. We were coming up along a few crows who were causing trouble in the grass alongside the trail. Crows and raccoons just always look and act like they are up to something to me. I slowed down thinking the crows might try to fly off and to let AT move over in front of me if he needed the space.

Good thinking on my part. AT however continued on straight and startled the crows who took off right into his path. One crow collided with him and got stuck in a black frenzy of feathers on his forearm and handlebars. The crow let out a gigantic "CAW" and sorted itself out before flying off. Feathers did fly! AT kept his calm during the nature experience and didn't brake, didn't veer and didn't really move I'm sure in shock but it looked like he was in control.

As I watched this, I was afraid the crow would get entangled in his wheel and he'd go flying over the handlebars but it all ended up just fine. I have never laughed so hard on my bike before. I nearly had to pull over because I was crying so hard from laughing. Everytime I think of that loud and offended "CAW" and AT's startled posture, I start giggling still.

I believe that everyone including that crow learned a lesson. Expect the unexpected!


rpd said...

Chuckle, Chuckle!

What does it take to perturb a crow?

A bike, apparently. :-P

Andy said...

Now I know how to handle the Old Crows who've taken over the trees in our neighborhood. Attack them with a bicycle!