Posts tagged ‘hauling by bike’
Yesterday I worked; today I played.
Even though it is the first official day of spring, it felt more like summer. Eighty-plus degrees and sunny. The heat makes me want to ride to the river, and I figured I may as well try to do a little paddling. I have a nice set-up to tow my boat with my Xtracycle, and it’s a happy combination to be able to ride and paddle on a beautiful day.
My put-in is just up the road from our house, about 4 miles. Getting there was a breeze, literally. Gently rolling with an overall downhill grade, and I had a nice tailwind. It was definitely the easy part. Arrived and locked the bike along the guardrail by the bridge, and was reminded again of the mess that has been made of this river by Olin and their mercury dumping – which thankfully will be ending soon, with their commitment to converting the plant to mercury-free processing.
Meanwhile, I still cannot comprehend how people are still willing to fish – and keep their catch – despite the clearly posted warnings of high levels of carcinogens in the fish. Completely baffles me. I’ve discussed it with several fishermen before, but I have learned to just keep my mouth shut. There is no changing their minds; they perceive the risk as negligible. (And I secretly shudder and shake my head).
I paddled away most of the afternoon, exploring and trying to navigate the very shallow water. In places, I was paddling in only inches. The Hiwassee River levels are regulated and controlled by TVA, and at this time of year they don’t typically release water upstream for recreational use in this inlet. Hence, the lake that is filled and sparkling blue in late spring through summer, is filled with stumps and shoals and islands over the winter and into early spring. The locals call this inlet Stump Lake. A fitting name.
Dozens of Great Blue Herons were my company; I love to just sit and watch them fishing in the shallows. Turtles were out sunning on stumps and logs, but would quietly slip into the water as I raised my camera lens. One of the fishermen said he had seen a Bald Eagle near the bridge. Sadly I missed it. It was peaceful, quiet, and a beautiful afternoon to be on the water … and “pedaling” my arms rather than my legs for a change.
Having had enough sun and with fatigue setting in on my shoulders, I headed for home in the late afternoon – this time against a headwind, with a more uphill grade, requiring a bit more muscle to tow the boat. I will confess my wimpy-ness by saying it felt good to get home. Dinner was salad and veggie pizza. Not fish. Definitely not fish.
It’s been kind of a scattered few weeks. Lots of miscellany. People coming and going. Different days with different rides. Here is a sampling (although I’m leaving alot of the mundane, like grocery-getting).
The picture above was a box of ‘stuff’ that son Mason forgot, and subsequently decided he wanted shipped to college. So I packed his box, and took along some recycling to drop off, thankful as always to the trusty Xtracycle.
I still get out on the roadbike a few times a week, simply for recreation and to clear my head. I visit with the cows. On the day I took this shot, I had seen a newborn calf being attended to by his mother. I think he had to be only hours old. I was a little concerned about him being left out in the open with a storm brewing – yes, I’m ridiculous. I rode by the farm a few days later and ran into the farmer. When I asked about the calf, he said both calf and mother were shipped off to a different farm – actually just up our road a bit – because he doesn’t typically keep the little ones around his place.
When errands take me into town, I like to utilize the Greenway as much as I can. We’ve started to have the beautiful fall temps, and it’s nice to pick up a sandwich from Gardner’s Market and stop for a lunch break at on of the picnic tables along the Greenway.
Lately, when I’m not on the Xtracycle, I’ve been taking my mountain bike around town and to the YMCA to swim. I used to take the road bike, but got tired of repairing flats from all of the junk that’s on the roads around here. The mountain bike and the Xtracycle have puncture-resistant tires, which makes a big difference. (In my aggravation level, if nothing else).
We’ve hauled some goofy stuff by Xtracycle, and I will include the weedeater in that list. Had to take it in to be repaired (after Mark tried everything he could think of himself), and I know I got a few stares along the way, with the thing sticking out the back. Oh well. Just call me Crazy Bike Lady.
Someday I hope I will live in a place where I’m not looked upon as such an oddity – carrying boxes, weedeaters, small trees, etc. Someplace like Portland, or Seattle, or Amsterdam, or wherever … where people ride bikes and do amazing things on their bikes. And it all seems normal.