Thursday, November 26, 2020


 Warning:  Sappy Content!

I can't remember the actual year this tradition started, or the year the second ride happened so it could be considered a "tradition"  but it was a long time ago.

Every Thanksgiving, I go for a ride. 
No matter what.
There have been some beautiful days shared with friends and solo rides in snow.

This was the second with rain.  Not too bad for twentyish years.

The first rainy Thanksgiving, I rode over to the Rez to meet Officer Jeffery.  It was a steady, solid rain, with temps in the upper 30s.  
Then the wind started.
When we finished a pretty standard loop, and a ride home was offered, pride was happily swallowed and I jumped in the truck.

Today's rain was wet, but the temperature was mild, so it wasn't too hard to motivate.
It did briefly stopped while I was eating breakfast, but had resumed by the time I was kitted up.

The tradition is important because what the bike means to me.
It saved my life,
diverting me from becoming an over weight, alcoholic smoker.
It is freedom.
It has carried me through my darkest days.
It supports my family.

The tradition is gratitude.

and of course, as soon as I get home, the rain secedes

Who am I shitting; riding bikes is just fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Rabbit Season

 Ah 2020.

As we've seen with the biking boom, the corona virus is also giving hunting  a bump.  

Either that or people are trying to protect themselves from socialist forcing affordable health care down their throats.

I digress.

Hunting season began last week.  Well shotgun season, people have been bow hunting since September. but that's like singlespeed so the majority thinks you're some primitive weirdo doing things the hard way. The actual date it started varied by source but some time midweek.

We have a lot of great places to ride in the Nutmeg State.  State and town parks, MDC land, even some private land that owners have built trails on and promote their use!  

These great riding spots abutt or are also the limited great hunting spots of this tiny densely populated state.

They say hunting is best at dawn or dusk.  Ok, I buy that.  

I see a lot of deer riding.  It is unusual if I don't.  They don't seem to pay much mind to me.  They'll look up from their grazing, give me the ol' "hey guy" nod and go back about their business.  Sometimes they'll saunter off.  Rarely is there any urgence to their retreat.

I have a theory that deer can sense a hunting pheromone that hunters are emitting.  Clearly I do not have it.  On my rides deer don't care.

Last Wednesday must have been one of those days that hunting season may or my not have begun.

The Stone Rd trailhead was empty...wait over the crest of the hill, a white pickup.


Climbing the White trail to one of my favorite pee spots I hear a shotgun blast from the other side of the hill.  


Shortly there after deer gallup West


then East.


this continues  for the next 4 miles.

It's well after dawn.  Clearly there is no shortage of deer who didn't get the memo.

Cromwell Rd, another pickup, but this area is more landlocked and both deer and hunter are out of sight.

I've ridden this area during hunting season for 25 years and have only twice run into hunters.  First time, two bow hunters at the top of "the fat kid climb"  on a weekday afternoon.  The second on a Saturday morning ironically on "poacher" ("poacher" was built to avoid a particularly nasty hiking trail).

I don't want to be a buzzkill or be dead, but much like with new and renewed interest in cycling, there is/will be an increased interest in hunting.  "Noobs" often enjoy the sweet nectar of low hanging fruit.  They want the "flow" trails and the easy access.  They don't want to have to go over logs and navigate difficult terrain.

(thank you captain generalization)

This means more hunters in less remote areas.

Respect their short season, and stay safe.