Wednesday 1 April–Day 1, 30 Days of Biking 2015! Two Joyful Rides to the South

Ready or not, it’s time again for 30 Days of Biking, the event from Minneapolis that enjoins joyful cyclists everywhere to ride (or ride more!) their bike every day of the month of April and share their adventures on social media. It a actually was what got me started with this blog!

Ended up taking not just one but two rides!

Ride 1. So here on Day 1, it was 41 degrees F as I took off for the south-yes, Meadowbrook Park on Rhododendron, which, after all, is faster than my plain but so comfy “new” Trek, and this is a squeezed-in ride. However, my shoulder is feeling betrayed. (It may forgive me with more yoga.)

It was emphatically but still early spring–woodpeckers hammering, robins and cardinals singing their most earnest songs, topped off with the sweet notes of white-throated sparrows (which actually have been in the neighborhood, if quiet, for a while already).

Stopped on the way to photograph the dry, still-clinging apple.
Also had to stop for the carpet of blue Scilla–oh spring color!
Rode express to Meadowbrook. Stopped just long enough to get a shot of the still strongly smoky-smelling
burnt prairie patch that was bordered by Windsor Road
and a view of McCullough Creek from the Windsor-Vine bridge.
Could see a fair amount of algae on the bottom of the creek. Heard some relatively near-by quacking (like what I heard at about 5:45 this morning above my house). Ducks are on the move. Also there was an area near the shore where it looked like some creature had been digging or conducting some kind of activity. But saw no action just then.

Enjoyed the fast pedaling homeward.
It was a brief but thoroughly joyful 30DB Day 1 ride!

Ride 2. After work the weather was so beautiful (73 degrees F, a far cry from just a couple of weeks ago!) I had to go for another ride, this one to Body and Sole in Savoy for some new swim goggles and training snorkel.

Felt almost giddy to be rolling out in the country. Funny how easy it was to go way (relatively) past the limits I’d been observing during the cold weather, even into the stiff south wind.

The landscape (e.g., at Race Street and Curtis Road) was full of black: plowed Illinois loam, prime crop land, before the crops are in.

Saw a tractor at work in one of the fields–it was doing something other than plowing, judging by the white tanks on the implement it was pulling, but it still kicked up a trail of dust.

Stopped at the bridge over the very upper Embarrass River (into which McCullough Creek flows, if I’m not mistaken) and got a shot of the creek.

Saw a crayfish walking on the bottom but no fish. Not that there were none, just didn’t spot any. Did not want to stop too long; the traffic was rather brisk. Between the traffic and the wind, conditions were not great for looking around and observing the surroundings.

Got the items at Body and Sole and then, because I was hungry, stopped for the smallest amount of unadorned raspberry sorbet at the Marble Slab Creamery, which still cost almost $5!?! It was good enough but didn’t want to do it again.

Rode home via Neil Street, on its nice wide shoulder. Stopped to photograph the sign at the Red Bison Prairie Corridor,

which, if I remember correctly and things haven’t changed since then, is not very intensively managed. It certainly had a fair amount of trash strewn about. A casualty, I guess, of being so close to a busy highway.

Turned east on Windsor, where there were plenty of cars but also a nice bike lane.

Stopped for this sign, which is my greeting to fellow joyful cyclists for this first of this year’s 30 Days of Biking.

Good riding one and all!


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