Total miles for S4S: 985.3
A lot of people would rather tour sewers than visit their cousins.
This was the kind of morning that made even the sewage treatment plant look good. Brilliant sun and blue skies accompanied temperatures back up to the balmy 40s, while the fields emitted that mysterious and distant Mists of Avalon countenance. I'd had a weekend replete with sleep and fun, and I felt great. "And you couldn't wait to get on the bike, right?" Are you kidding? I wanted my car. I wanted to burn fossil fuels and go fast and be to work in 15 minutes. I wanted constant, instant gratification. I did not want to pedal. But... I pedaled.
A corollary to Murphy's Law states that Mother Nature is a bitch. She is certainly sneaky and capricious. As I was reluctantly pedaling along, thinking fondly of exhaust fumes and resisting the siren song of this alluring day, I passed a red-winged black bird. I kept going, then had to turn around. The bird was beautiful and made it abundantly clear that he found me annoying and intrusive. He chirped bitterly at me and petulantly refused to show his red side for the camera, then flew to another perch a few feet away. Tiring of my persistence, he finally flew away, knowing I would not.
I had barely gone another 100 feet before I was looking at an impressionist painting in 3D. Oh sure, Mom N, make me feel how wonderful it is to be going to work in nature, close to the earth, surrounded by beauty, sweet-smelling air splashing my face interwoven with the occasional odd thermal. Show me your cornucopia of flora and fauna and defy me to get this experience from the interior of an enclosed machine. You win. Bitch. I had no choice but to enjoy the rest of the ride.
Dusk was coming on in earnest when I left the office a little after 6:00. Mother Nature, the seductress, continued with her coy ploys. Something about the deepness of twilight on a clear evening gives the feeling of moving through space on a stream of silk. Smooth. Gossamer. It is an alternate universe that doesn't exist when the sun is high. Silver Beauty and I shimmied our way in the night with the bright-night-train light carving out our path. Within a couple miles of home, the cornucopia held one more gift—adolescent deer grazing just off the bike path. Their presence was ephemeral and breath-taking.
Deer may be as prevalent as taverns in Wisconsin, but to come upon one and behold it at close range for long moments, particularly without it being impaled on the grill of a car, is an uncommon and moving event.
Mother Nature is the Vegas of life. She holds the cards and stacks the deck. She can be hard and cruel. But when she pays off, it's the jackpot, baby.