Sep 292008

Saturday The Artist was bored, and I was bored, and both of us wanted to get the hell out of the house and burn some energy. So I dragged my bike out of the shed, had The Artist pump up both tires, put it into the back of my Honda Fit, and we drove to the closest trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail. We took turns riding my bike up and down the trail. The Artist wants a bike of his own for Christmas, which strikes me as a fine thing—maybe it’s my vanilla upbringing showing, but I think every American kid should have a bike.

Shortly after we got there, as I was taking the first turn down the trail, I spotted a long, thin shape stretched across the road ahead. I stopped a few yards away and called The Artist, “There’s a snake in the road!” He ran up to join me; The Artist loves snakes.

The amber-colored reptile was about three feet long, with a triangular head and a diamond pattern along his body. The shape of his head clued us that he was a viper of some kind, but neither of us could remember the species. We stood a respectful distance away and admired him; he lay perfectly still with his head raised and kept an eye on us. After a bit another couple came up on bikes, and I cautioned my son to move over so they could pass on the snake-free side of the road.

“Watch out for the snake!” he called as they approached.

They glanced over as they passed. “That’s a copperhead,” the man observed. “Don’t get too close.”

So that’s what he was. Quite a lovely creature. After the other couple passed, the snake decided the area was too busy for his liking. He moved cautiously toward the edge of the road; when we didn’t give chase, he sped up and disappeared under the brush by the side of the road.

We spent about an hour and a half riding up and down the first half-mile or so of the ATT. The Artist did most of the riding, as he hasn’t had much chance to ride a bike and needed practice. The ATT is a great place for biking; reasonably level, shady, no cars. If we can get him a bike for Christmas maybe we can ditch this back-and-forth shit and see if we can make it to the Chatham County line.

Recently my husband got his bike fitted with a small electric motor, and has been taking it to work a few days a week. He invested in a bike rack for his car, and I’m thinking I’d like to get a bike rack for mine as well. Because… when I was putting the bike back into the car after we were done… I *gasp* scratched the paint on my car’s bumper. If The Artist hadn’t been so completely euphoric about the whole bike-riding trip, I would have been really upset about that. But if we’re going to be riding bikes with any regularity, I’ll want a better way to transport them to a place we can ride them.

 Posted by at 8:20 pm

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