It was about 54 degrees F under mostly (but lightly) cloudy skies
this morning at 7:20, when I checked in at Parisol Records for the 2017 CU Across the Prairie ride. Yesterday when I registered online I’d thought maybe I’d go for the 20-something mile ride, but when the guy checking me in asked if I was doing the 40-something ride I said “Yes.” Ok. That’s one way to decide.
But before that, got myself to the yoga studio for a pre-ride practice.
So was ready to ride!
Took my cue sheet and headed out!
Spent a little time (as did other cyclists) figuring out a mistake in the itinerary early on, but after exploring the neighborhood just east of Crystal Lake Park, where there was, e.g., a well-laden apple tree,
soon was in familiar territory.
Headed out Brownfield Road,
Crossed Interstate 74, observing the first of the goldenrod bloom.
Farther along, noticed what I thought was a run-over garter snake.
There is a word in Sanskrit that describes this kind of mistake (Viparyaya), which is one of the disturbances of consciousness and can be the origin of a lot of personal suffering and interpersonal conflict. Btw.
Rode on, pondering the nature of mistakes and alternative perceptions, southward on 1800 E and east toward Homer Lake Road.
For the third time in a month passed “Gehenna,” which today was active and issuing smoke.
The road opened under the mostly cloudy sky. It was quite pleasant.
Crossed the Salt Fork.
Where a great blue heron waded.
Stopped at the prairie-planted Lincoln “shrine”
Met up with another cyclist who was deciding which way to go, a young woman from Canada who had just gotten a job in Champaign. We decided on a direction and chatted as we rode.
We made it to Homer Lake,
but after that there were lots of not-well-marked twists and turns on the route around and through the Homer Lake Park, and neither of us could be sure we were where the cue sheet said we should be.
Thought it might be cutting off some distance from the ride, but sensed which was the way back and wanted to proceed there. So we decided to go different ways and wished each other a good conclusion of the ride.
Eventually made it to St. Joseph and the head of the long-awaited (and just opened the day before) Kickapoo Rail to
The trail made its own beautiful crossing of the Salt Fork on what presumably was a form of a railroad bridge.
The trail was lined with prairie flowers, most notably prairie dock,