Tuesday, December 9, 2014

why i ride

Time for another "why I ride" post.

Almost every morning as I ride along the shared pathway on 100 Avenue, I see a woman with a stroller. We always say good morning to one another, and she has a lovely smile. I had never really looked at the stroller before, but I naturally assumed it contained a baby. Today, however, I saw her in the morning and then again after work, and both times the stroller held nothing but a purse. A large purse, to be sure, but not so big that it would be easier to push it around in a stroller instead of carry it. So now I find myself wondering -- is there ever a baby in that stroller? Do I just happen to see her after she has dropped the baby off somewhere and before she picks it up? Or does she really walk on the snow-covered trail pushing her purse in a stroller? Tomorrow I will look more closely and try to solve the mystery.

To add to today's excitement, as I rode cautiously downhill into McKinnon Ravine, something noisy and big came out of the bushes on my right. Startled, I looked in that direction and saw a hawk, holding a rabbit in its claws. I have to confess that I screamed. The hawk must have been equally surprised, because it dropped the rabbit beside the trail and flew across the path -- right in front of me. It looked huge and scary, and I had a fleeting moment of fear that perhaps a 58-kilo woman would not be too large to be tempting prey. But my fears were groundless, as it simply flew past, leaving me to continue my ride.

I was pleased to see, upon reaching the trail that leads to Ezio Faraone Park, that a city maintenance machine had gone before me, leaving bands of sand crisscrossing the path. It wasn't exactly icy, so the sand was possibly a bit superfluous, but it was good to see that the well-being of us active types -- cyclists, walkers and runners -- was being taken into consideration.

All these little things added up to make today's ride pretty awesome, and once again I felt thankful that I can use this method of getting to work, instead of driving or sitting on the bus.

And it didn't hurt that it was a warmish day, starting out at about -7, and ending at an unbelievable +11. Lots of melting going on. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm again, so I am enjoying it while it lasts.