I had a slow but otherwise uneventful ride to work this morning. The forecast was wet and dreary but it wasn't raining when I got up, just a bit misty. So I set out for work in the damp air and it worked out just fine. A bit slow, but otherwise uneventful.
The ride home was another matter. I worked late to finish a project for a client and headed out about 7:15 pm. It was warm and pleasant, if slightly overcast. No reason to expect anything but a pleasant evening ride home. As I was coasting down the trail on the east side to the airport I started thinking about Janet's experience last winter where her brakes froze up as she started down a long mountain descent. How would I handle that situation? I don't know why such thoughts come to me at odd times. But suddenly the gentle slope seemed a good place to "practice" for such a contingency. So I unclipped my right foot and pressed my toe against the mud flap of the front fender pushing it against the tire. I was doing about 14 maybe 15 mph a the time and was curious if I could slow the bike to a graceful stop this way.
No I didn't fall. But I missed a good chance. The tire grabbed the mud flap and inverted the lower portion of the fender, dragging my foot in to the spokes in one quick motion. No harm to the foot or shoe and only one broken spoke.
20 minutes later I had replaced the spoke and decided that preventing frozen brakes might be a better strategy than solving the problem after they become inoperative.
On the ride home I could hear some sort of birds or other animals, starlings I think but I can't be sure. They were incredibly loud as I passed one flock then another. But the loudest batch by far was in the marsh next to the Ranger Station. They were deafening. I stopped and turned the bike with it's light towards the marsh to see if I could see any of them, or if the noise would change at all, it didn't, and I couldn't see them. I can't even be certain the sound was from birds, but it didn't sound like any frog or cricket I've ever head. Paying attention the rest of the way home, I heard a few more cluster's near the other wet or marshy low spots along the trail, but none as loud as the Ranger Station.
Another sign of spring I suppose.