On Wednesday, I rolled out to retrieve my bank card from the bank (I left it in the ATM on Monday) and, since it was grey and rainy and about darned time, to hit the shop for some fenders.
After hanging out at Fourth Street with Tony and installing a pair of Planet Bike Speedez (review to come, but in short, my legs are dry, and -- perhaps more importantly -- so is my butt!), I headed to Rite-Aid to buy some cough medicine, then stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch. While I was dining, the sun came out, the clouds rolled away, and I realized that it was turning into the kind of day on which not riding the bike just for fun would be a sin.
So, predictably, I went home, dropped off my cough medicine and my now-unnecessary (and highly wind-catching) rain jacket -- there was a fierce headwind on the homestretch! -- then headed back out for a jaunt around the neighborhood.
Perhaps predictably, my jaunt took me up to Iroquois Park. I didn't turn on iMapMyRide+, and I stopped a bunch of times to take pictures -- so I have no idea what my average speed was or anything like that (I did ride a pretty nice pace up the hill, though, just for fun). Surprisingly, for someone who hasn't done any serious riding in a couple of weeks, I felt really strong.
Perhaps I'm experiencing the post-off season boomerang effect that I've noticed a couple of times before; perhaps it's just that I was having fun and not worrying about statistics at all, since 'cross season is a non-starter for me this year and it isn't really time to seriously train for 2012 road season by a long shot. I pushed a little here and there, and slacked off a little in other spots, and I felt as good on the bike as I've felt in months and months. I also didn't cough much, though I've been coughing my brains out since I got home -- I seem to cough less outside.
Uppill Road is now closed to auto traffic for the season (except for folks dropping off their leaves), so I had a nice quite ride, sharing the road with a few walkers and dog-walkers and two other bikes. The roads in the park past the tennis courts atop Iroquois Hill were strewn with leaves that still smelled crisp and new. I had fun sailing through them, and I rode slower because of them, which made it impossible to skip the step of stopping for pictures (please forgive the grey lines on these guys; they're artifacts of the fact that I interrupted the upload process by mistake -- I'll fix 'em later).
The overlook was actually pretty impressive today:
...and even the airport managed to look idyllic:
This pine, meanwhile, looked serene -- very Japanese-- with its black bark and graceful limbs and the golden leaves of the deciduous trees scattered at its feet:
On the backside of Toppill Road, I felt like I could've been all alone in the middle of nowhere:
...Nothing but me, the grass, the trees, and the wind.
Oh, and the dog poop. Apparently, once they close the Hill for the season, people stop picking up after their dogs. Meh. It's all good. I made a point of not rolling through any of it. Don't want to have to scrape the tires before I bring the bike in and stick it on the trainer!
As I was banging out the last stretch of the climb, I even saw an dashing young white-tailed buck who bounded, leaping, across the road and disappeared on the far side. He had a nice pair of two- or three-point antlers and looked strong and healthy. I never really get over spotting deer in Iroquois Park!
Unfortunately, I am far too slow with the Inspire-Cam to grab pix of deer. Maybe I should get a helmet cam?
There are a million reasons I absolutely love the fall. I hope these pictures make at least some of them clear :)