Saturday was the annual Queen City Century, put on by Springbike Bicycle Club. Although members, we did not do this ride, but went out to Strafford on our own.
As we were starting out we happened to see (how could we miss?) this sight.
We had seen them lifting off from a field to the south and soon they were traveling north on the gentle south wind, but not for long. For some reason their trip was cut pretty short and they came down not too far from where Jan and I were starting out.
As we headed on out to Strafford we noticed a number of mowed fields. Naturally, the hope is that the farmers will be able to get three cuttings this season, however, if we do not start to get more rain, the prospects are bleak.
Jan usually leaves the route picking duties up to me and with her recovering from a recent fall I did not want too much climbing which would have been hard on her knee as it is. The Strafford Run, as we call it, is predominantly flat. It was ideal for an early morning ride.
After a brief stop at Micky Ds I suggested that we head east on the north access road to I-44 for just a few more miles. Jan agreed. This road has recently been repaved and is now my route of choice for heading out east of Strafford.
Well, we stopped after a few miles and headed back home. All along the ride I had been constantly checking the ditches by the route to see if I could spy some wild raspberries. I had seen [and tasted] some on the commute home the other day and my appetite was whetted for more. Today, all I saw was plenty of poison ivy and wild grape vine, but no berries. UNTIL SUDDENLY my eyes came upon this delightful view.
Yes, fellow life-travelers, that right there is sufficient reason to stop peddling and dismount. You are looking at wild raspberries in an undisclosed spot. I yelled to Jan that I was stopping and she said that she would wait for me on ahead. I was only able to reach a handful, but that was enough for now. When I resumed, she was just about out of sight as she crested the hill, but I expected to see her soon.
I finally caught up with her at the car! She claimed that she would have waited for me but she found she had a ‘good thing going’ and decided to keep on truckin’. That was fine with me since it was evidence that she was recovering nicely. I shared the berry haul and we went home having done about 22 miles.
What better way to start the weekend? A good ride and berries.
I finish with a product review. I have read many blogs that have product reviews. Some may be paid for it, but I suspect many are just doing a type of public service. This is the latter, a public service. I have not been paid by anybody or any company to say the following.
I recently got new tires for the Steed, my commute bike. The original tires had about 5,000 miles on them and were beginning to show cracks along the treads. I went to my LBS to see what they had and I really liked the Schwalbe Mondial Performance Line tire. They are a bit heavier than the old tires, but honestly, I don’t notice the difference at all. My cycling senses are not that finely tuned (this could lead to a related story about my piano teacher, but that will have to wait for another time). I look forward to another 5,000 miles.
A minor drawback. The original tubes were schrader valves and the rim hole is larger than what would be used for presta valves. I told my wrench at the LBS that I wanted to change to presta valves on new tubes. The drawback comes when I need to air up the tire. To do so requires that I remove the lock nut that keeps the stem in place on the rim. Only then do I have enough stem length to attach the pump head.
All that is a very minor detail and in no way prevents me from being contented with these new tires. They have been a delight.