I had the opportunity to go mountain biking today, but opted not to. In order to pull off a mountain bike ride on Wednesdays, everything has to go right. If there are any hiccups—say a major mechanical or a couple flat tires—a six-year-old will be standing in the parking lot after school wondering where his dad is.
While I have never been late, the slim chance of it happening sometimes makes the whole effort more stressful than it need be. Riding is supposed to be fun.
Also, mountain biking involves driving, which costs money and adds to the wear-and-tear on our already high-mileage vehicles. Since I would need the truck, the SUV (which gets horrible gas mileage and uses premium fuel) would be driven all the way to Sacramento by my wife.
Then there is the pollution aspect.
Sometimes it really bugs me that I have to add to the air pollution that this region suffers from, the same pollution I complain about when I'm riding, to GO riding. Sometimes. Other times the pull of sweet singletrack riding is stronger than my conscience, and I fire up the internal combustion engine and spew pollutants all the way to the trailhead.
Today was one of the days when my conscience and desire for a more relaxed ride won out.
I took the road bike out for a tour of all my favorite country roads. The tempo was comfortable, bordering on slow, with a few hard efforts thrown in here and there. I stopped more than usual for pictures. Without consciously trying, the theme seemed to be animals.
I have ridden by this fence for years and wondered why it's so tall. What are they trying to keep out? Or trying to keep IN?
Suddenly I felt something looming above me and looked up to see this:
That pretty much explains the tall fence. The rest of the animals were a bit more common.
Uh, whatever geese are:
This shot begged for sepia:
This guy begged for food:
I put in 36 miles and enjoyed the mild temperatures, quiet roads and brilliant green scenery.