May 292010

Today was a fantastic day, weather-wise, so The Artist and I decided to schlep our bikes down to a nearby lake and ride around the trails.

(Trivia: the Honda dealerships wouldn’t install trailer hitches on our Fits, because the Fit is not rated for towing. We had to take them to U-Haul to get trailer hitches installed. We wanted the trailer hitches so we could mount a bike rack.)

Anyway, I dug the bike rack out of the basement and harassed Alpha Geek into making sure I had mounted it properly. I discovered my bike’s tires were nearly flat, and The Artist’s tires were pretty low, so I pumped them up to their proper pressure. Having performed the total of my bike maintenance abilities, I then harassed Alpha Geek into helping me load them up. I imagine Alpha Geek was glad to see the ass end of me heading down the road so he could have a little peace and quiet.

The Artist has been on the trails around this lake before. In fact, The Artist has a fairly extensive knowledge of the city’s greenways and bike trails, because he rides them several times a week. He will bike from our house in to downtown Raleigh.

For me, the trails were new; I’ve walked on them a bit, but I’d never gone the whole five or so miles around the lake. I went around once, then I sat in the shade while The Artist went around some more. In all he went around five times—something over twenty-five miles. I took pictures with my phone. They’re some of the worst pictures ever because the sun was so bright I couldn’t actually see the phone’s display.

As soon as I sat down, the park’s ducks and geese began to meander in my direction. When they saw that I wouldn’t be feeding them anything, most of them wandered away again. One little hen settled down a few feet away, with a pair of drakes lurking around nearby.

I think I’ve mentioned before the exhibit at the annual fair, where you can go hold baby chicks and ducklings. Apparently my poultry-sedating skills extend to wild waterfowl; the female duck near me tucked one foot up into her feathers, closed her eyes, and appeared to doze off for a while.

pair of ducks

The lake also has a number of geese, a mix of Canada geese and what appear to be geese descended from some domestic stock. There were also a couple of big white ducks competing with the mallards for the hens. They’re all quite used to humans, and went blithely about their business while a pair of teenage girls excitedly took pictures of the birds, and of themselves near the birds. One little tyke was more interested in the ducks than the birthday party group he’d come with, and followed them around trying to pet them. They’re clearly used to this, too—they never bothered to fly, they just waddled out of reach. His parents (and I) kept watch to make sure he didn’t follow them right into the lake.

ducks on lake

On the way home, we stopped at the drug store for ice cream. There were no benches to sit on, so we sat on the grass and watched the bumblebees sample the clover while we ate our ice cream. I like to see the bumblebees out. Winter’s not really over until you see the bumblebees.


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