Monday 8 April 2013. Warm Wind and More Riding

30 Days of Biking II, Day 8.

Got back today from a wonderful (but bikeless, really, alas) trip to Wisconsin, where there still was snow on the ground.  Was greeted in Urbana, in contrast, by a temperature of 66 degrees F–stormy-warm.   There was no rain, but the sky was overcast with sculpted clouds with the occasional gap.  Neutral colors still predominated, but you could feel (wind) hear (bird song, even white-throated sparrows!) see (a little more green, buds and early flowers), smell (wet ground and what goes with it) the powerful stirring of spring.  Wondered what it must be like for my 15-year-old, when even this 57-year-old is getting swept up into it.

Soon as I got home, took Blue out of the garage, put a little lube on the chain, topped off the air in the tires, and headed south into a bit of wind, toward Meadowbrook Park and beyond!

Cornus mas Aflower 8 Apr 13

The creeks were running and increasingly festooned with filamentous algae, something I noticed in other places between here and Chicago also from the train on my trip.

Getting Green, McCullough:Davis Creeks

The remains of the prairie plants at Meadowbrook continued to get flattened to the ground, though several stalwart stalks of compass

Still Standing Stalks

plants still stood.   [Saying that was fun.  Makes me think of Beowulf.]

Rode E on Windsor and S on Philo. The gusty SW wind picked up.  Turned E on Old Church Road and up then down where Yankee Ridge lifts the road, not quite to High Cross.  Went down at full speed, enjoying the little danger–wheeeee!  But going back, up and into

Yankee Ridge, up and into the Wind

the wind, was more work than I’ve been used to for a while.  Whew!  Still so so good to be riding outside with no gloves!

On the way back, stopped at the Windsor/Vine Bridge and photographed the alders in bloom, catkins diagonal in the breeze.

Alder Parts in Wind

Remembered last year’s first observed rides and really felt the fullness of the turn of a year.  Felt an urge and hope to keep going with Velo du Jour (which is never guaranteed!) but also to refine it, to let it “evolve” somehow.  We shall see…


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