Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Sound of Fall Leaves Under my Wheels

There is a line from a Huey Lewis song that goes "I like the sound of breaking glass and if you don't believe me why did you ask!"  Well when I hear that line I am always think I like the sound of fall leaves under my wheels.

Fall is by far my favorite time to ride even though snow cover is not far behind.  There is something so beautiful about a cycle winding down before a new one starts.  The colors, the dry cool air, the sound of fall leaves under my wheels.  It does not get better.

This last Thursday was a perfect example why I love fall riding.  The colors of the trees where bright, the sun was shining, the temps where cool and dry and the leaves where crunching under my wheels!

It takes me about three miles to get to the escape route out of Suburbia.  I am lucky that where I live about dead in the middle of Milwaukee and Chicago that I can get out of Suburbia fairly easy.

First photo is about ten miles into Thursday's ride.  A very quiet spot and some beautiful trees.

A Quiet Corner

A few more miles into the ride I saw this deer.  Actually I didn't see it until I was about ten feet away because I was having way to much fun on a gravel down hill.  She was kind enough not to run and allow me to back up a little bit so I could get the camera out and take a few photos before she had some placed to get to. 

A Short Conversation

Places to go!

There is a chain of lakes with nothing around them.  Even less traveled when you go another ten miles out.  I ran into a gentleman fly fishing who took a  few minutes to talk to me.  I wish I remembered to take a photo of him and his catch but I rarely remember to take photos, I am just to busy living the moment.  He had a basket of maybe four fish and said he had to walk about 3 miles to get to this spot.  I figure it was about five miles and it took me maybe 25 minutes by my bike.

When I remembered to take a few photos later on I think I got a few good ones.

Quiet Lake

Quiet Lake

One Side of the lake for a short bit one of the Forest Preserve gravel paths runs along a lake.  I took a selfie.  These are the selfies I like, good stuff in the background.  I know, no helmet.  I may be old school in my helmet views but I really only wear a helmet when I ma in the crazy traffic areas of the Suburbia and the City.  (Helmet People may start chattering now.....)   I ride to explore and ramble and see nature and get out of the danger of riding in busy areas.


Quiet Lake

Later on the way home there is a little branch path trail that takes you to a lake that has a few homes on it but still mostly untouched.  I could not zoom in close enough for a good shot but those block looking structures far off in the lake are huge duck blinds, just huge, I would say 30 x 30 foot square.  There are about 6 of them floating on the water.  They seem to big and complicated for duck hunters, I wonder if they are duck observation places for wildlife scientists or observers.

In the same photo you can see a flock of ducks, I estimate near 300 ducks.  They where loud and I wish I had a better lens with me to get an up close photo.

A huge flock of ducks

My bike
 I always feel a little depressed on the last miles back home riding through Suburbia, it is quit a difference from what I am searching for but I always feel refreshed and renewed.

A few things I saw and was not fast enough to photo.  A very fast moving fox, which I thought was the wrong time of day to be out.  Hundreds of squirrels.  A four foot long grass snake.  Many hawks.

A short bit about how I want the bikes I build up to be.

I build my bike to be able to get to harder to get to areas, areas that you see stuff you don't see on city streets.  I want my bikes to be able to get to these areas very comfortably because some of the places take a good long ride to get to.  A mountain bike would get you to these places fine enough but it would be a clunky ride, maybe a little slow and inefficiently and not necessarily comfortably because a mountain bike is really made for mountains.  A cyclocross would do the job but a cyclocross bike is really made for racing and throwing on your shoulder while you tackle opsticals.  

I figure the way I set up a steel frame bicycle does exactly what I want it to do to get to these places and feel good all day long exploring these places.

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