5:15AM didn’t seem any later this morning than it did yesterday. Especially not after a bad night’s sleep–poor Tisen started itching again in the middle of the night. But, I managed once again to get myself out of bed. Then things went a bit South.
It’s like a time warp occurs in the morning. I can look at the clock at 5:20, do a task that normally takes 5 minutes, and suddenly, it will be 5:45. By the time I’d had a cup of coffee, gotten myself together, taken Tisen for a short walk, and gathered together all of the required accessories for an early morning bike ride, it was 6:40. Then, still adjusting to having my bike in the parking garage and having to take all steal-able accessories off every time I ride, it took nearly 20 more minutes from the time I walked out our door to the time I’d finished re-accessorized my bike, unlocked it, and filled the tires.
At long last, I headed up the River Walk. By the time I started riding, I felt foolish for bothering with the lights–it was light enough I no longer needed them. As I made my way back across the Walnut Street Bridge and East along the Tennessee River, two Great Blue Herons flew straight at each other as if they were playing a game of chicken (I wonder if they call it “heron”?) until one suddenly swooped downward in a graceful dive, leveling out just above the water.
As I watched, my mouth dropped open just about the time I rode through a cloud of small gnat-like critters. I guess I was hungry, but it wasn’t quite the filling snack I had in mind. I have to say I preferred the mouth full of gnats over the eyeful of gnats I got simultaneously. I rinsed my mouth with water, shut it tight, and wiped as many bugs out of my eyes as possible.
I rode as hard and as fast as I dared on the river walk–it’s not really a route conducive to riding fast, in fact, one section is posted 3-5 miles per hour. I can’t imagine it’s physically possible to ride a bike 5 mph or less, but clearly the people who built the river walk weren’t cyclists.
When I came up on the Amnicola Marsh, I had to stop. The sun was rising behind the marsh, reflected in the water. 3 Canada Geese were rendered into black swans, silhouettes against the brilliant light. Near the shore, a group of Coots stretched out their gangly legs and ran back into the water as I rolled to a stop.
After taking a few photos, I remounted and made my way up to the dam. A fisherman on the pier caught something big on his line as I was turning around to return home. I wonder if it was an old tire or a giant fish?