Expect The Unexpected

Today, I went on a rather “vanilla” ride out to the Handymart and back.  It’s about 40 miles and I’ve traveled it many times.  There’s really nothing new to discuss on this route and I toyed with the idea of not bringing my camera.  In the end, I decided to throw it in a jersey pocket and off I went.

About 12 miles into the trip, I came across three vultures sitting on the fence by the side of the road.  I’ve never seen them so close.  I grabbed my camera and took a picture to commemorate the moment.  Unfortunately, I don’t have Tootlepedal’s camera dexterity and one bird flew off while I fiddled with turning it on.  Two of the birds were good enough to pose for me despite my fussing.

Then, at Mile 23, I got to draft some farm equipment.  This plow was puttering along at 14 mph, which was actually a tad slow for me, but it was a unique experience all the same.  After a mile, he pulled over to let us pass, which I thought was nice.  The Mustang behind me then gunned his engine to prove to all of us that he has a fast car.  We were all properly impressed, I guess.

So there you have it – two unusual events captured for posterity due to a last-minute decision to bring the camera, and another example of why we should follow the Boy Scout Motto, and always be prepared.

P.S.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the crash of a U.S. Navy F-18 in Virginia Beach yesterday, the day after we concluded our vacation there.  The crash occurred about a mile from Naval Air Station Oceana, which I pedaled past on my ride Tuesday morning.  The plane slammed into some apartment buildings, destroying three of them and damaging two others.  Amazingly, nobody was killed.  There are, however, 16 families who lost everything they owned and are now homeless.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

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9 thoughts on “Expect The Unexpected

    • Thanks. You would be very brave to travel in distant lands without a phone. I’ve never toured a submarine – I imagine it would be quite interesting!

  1. Steve, I’m curious as to how you plan your bike routes. Your routes always have special landmarks or are on quiet country roads. I’m starting to run out of ideas with my city. Do you usually google cycling routes around the city or do you create your own? Or is your city fortunately filled with “bike-friendly” routes?

    • I do a fair amount of staring at maps and using mapmyrides.com. I like to have some sort of objective with my longer rides – some road or place I haven’t been to (or haven’t been to recently). I live on the edge of Washington DC’s urban sprawl, which actually limits my options a great deal. I basically have to pedal west for all my longer routes unless I am willing to put up with a ton of traffic.

  2. I read about the plane crash and wondered how close to your holiday it was. Thank you for the update.

    Your vultures are very fine. The buzzards here never stop on a hedge long enough for me when I am pedalling so I am lost in admiration for your stealthy approach.

    • You are too kind. I did nothing special except ride up on these fellows(?) from behind. They were too lazy to move once they noticed me. Perhaps they thought I was near death and was a potential meal.

    • Thanks, and I know exactly how you feel. Some of the most amazing things I have seen are so fleeting that I’m not able to get it photographed. I’ve surprised any number of deer, including a very handsome buck who ran alongside me for 100 yards. I’ve had a hawk loiter 20 feet over my head for a brief period. Lots of cool stuff and no pictures.

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