Riding at Sunrise

Sunrise reflected on Amnicola Marsh

Sunrise reflected on Amnicola Marsh

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.

A sculpture lurking in the dim morning light

A sculpture lurking in the dim morning light

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.

The train crossing in morning light

The train crossing in morning light

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.

A Great Blue Heron perched on the rail of the pier below the bridge

A Great Blue Heron perched on the rail of the pier below the bridge

 

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.

The final stretch of the River Walk

The final stretch of the River Walk

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.

Can you spot the Great Blue Heron on the rocky shore?

Can you spot the Great Blue Heron on the rocky shore?

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?

My boy waiting patiently at home for breakfast

My boy waiting patiently at home for breakfast

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