Monday, August 15, 2011

A Weekend With a Lesson...

I just returned from a great weekend in northern Minnesota. Due to the schedule I really didn't have the time for an all day ride like I would have liked, but I did manage to get in two really good rides non the less. Some of my time was spent helping my folks around the house and in the yard. At 88 and 86 years of age they have become somewhat limited in what they can do due to health issues. So I mowed the lawn and did the trimming, cleaned the garage, fixed the fence around their patio, and took my mom on some errands that she needed to do.

Throw in a 35 year class reunion and time with friends and old classmates and the time goes. However, I will say that it was all time that was very well spent and I did enjoy every minute of it.
It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends and classmates, and make some new friends in the process.

On Friday I got away in the afternoon for a very nice thirty-eight mile ride on the local forest roads north of town. It's always a pleasure to get out into the woods on a bike and enjoy what the area has to offer.

The simple fact of the matter is that I have never ran into another person on a bike while doing these rides and I kind of prefer it that way. I did however meet a cyclist on Saturday that was looking for his way to some of the local ski trails and hiking trails. So, I guided him about a mile down the road and soon I was off on my own.

They have had a good amount of rain in some spots so many of the minimum maintenance roads were very wet and in some places underwater. One main road, the Link Lake Forest Road, was actually barricaded and closed to motorized traffic due to washouts. I've never seen anything like this before and I grew up in this area. It was so bad in spots that the old corduroy that was laid down some fifty plus years ago was exposed and washed out in spots. To top it off...no photos because of poor planning and leaving my camera at my parents. The photos posted here are from my ride on Friday.

One of my lessons learned from this...When you forget your camera it is almost certain that you are going to miss out on some fabulous photographic opportunities. I found this out about four miles into my ride Saturday. I was riding through a beautiful stand of red pines when this doe came out of the woods in front of me. She crossed the road and stopped to face me and we stared each other down for about five minutes. The amazing part was that she wasn't spooked. She was definitely nervous, but was as curious in me as I was of her. At one point she literally walked back towards me and stopped about twenty feet away. The morning light was shining through the pines on her and it would have made an absolutely beautiful photo. Unfortunately, I'll have to keep it in my mind. Our chance meeting left me smiling for the next forty-one miles. One thought I had was maybe if I had my camera the opportunity never would have presented itself.

The weather on both days was strange with intermittent clouds and sun along with the occasional thunderstorm. I lucked out Friday and missed everything, but I did get caught out in a brief thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon. Thunder, lightning, and a good downpour that only lasted about fifteen minutes until the sun came out again. Again...no camera:(

I came away from the weekend with some decent images, well exercised legs from 38 miles on Friday and forty-five miles Saturday, good memories, and a good lesson learned. From now on the camera is always one of the first things that gets readied and packed.

I'm already thinking about the next time...


One side note: The Salsa El Mariachi is one sweet ride for these gravel forest roads. Smooth as butt butter:)


2 comments:

Boz said...

Hey, the images you posted are still great, the ones you missed are probably still in your mind. Good work. Saw an El Mar at the Ski Hut the other day and can see why you guys love 'em. Very sweet!

lovethybike said...

Lovely - enjoyed the pics and the write up!