- We should be able to make the house payments
- We liked all the trees
- We liked that our neighborhood isn’t on the way to anywhere else — local traffic only
- We liked the nature trails in the neighborhood
- Um, that’s about it
And so I cannot claim any foresight or genius planning on my part for the fact that my neighborhood is right at the mouth of a portal to what I am discovering is a road cyclist’s paradise. Redmond Way / Hwy 202 connects me up to one great ride after another, and I get the feeling that I’ve only scratched the surface.
Why the enthusiasm? Well, I got up this morning and went on an early ride. I cruised along farmland, through mossy evergreen forests, up a couple challenging hills (my personal trainer is still insisting I seek out hills — idiot), past the Carnation city golf course. It’s a beautiful ride on great road surface, with very little traffic (at least at 6:00AM). Nice.
One thing I noticed while riding the RAMROD last week is that I’m — finally! — comfortable riding in the drops (ie, holding the lowest part of my handlebars) again. My legs don’t squish against my stomach — at least, not very much — and the lower position helps me be a little more aerodynamic. Well, I feel more aerodynamic anyway.
There’s just one problem, though. When you ride in the drops, you are heads-down. You are pretty much committed to looking at the road and not much else. And that’s a shame, when you’re riding such a scenic route.
Still, I was happily spinning along my route this morning — riding in the drops – when I got to the Carnation Marsh. There, I sat up for a moment, stretched, and looked around.
And that’s when I saw the bald eagle, sitting in its nest. Sitting atop a large dead tree, the nest looks like it’s about 5-6 feet in diameter.
I pulled over, grabbed my phone — with its cheesy little camera — and tried to get a shot. By the time I did, the eagle had taken off, but you can — just barely – see the nest. It’s right in the middle of the photo, and looks like a really bad shot of the space needle.
I’m sure thousands of people have seen this nest — and thank you, Audobon Society of Seattle, for maintaining the Carnation Marsh so beautifully, by the way — but it was a first for me, and I was fairly amazed. I watched the eagle fly ’til I lost sight of it, then looked at the nest again for a minute — it’s incredible how big it is — and then I got back on my bike and finished the ride.
So, note to self: riding in the drops is cool, but if you don’t sit up and look around once in a while, you’re missing a big part of what makes cycling great.
Today’s weight: 166.2