Spring training

I haven’t ridden this one yet.

It was a good week on the bike.

Actually, make that “bikes.”

The red Steelman Eurocross, Jones, and Sam Hillborne all enjoyed some quality springtime during the week, and the New Albion Privateer got the nod on Sunday.

Nothing outlandish, mind you. I’m not training for anything; just trying to avoid collapsing into a smelly heap of bone splinters and bad ideas. We’re talking 90 minutes per outing, or thereabouts, with a thousand or so feet of vertical gain, and an average speed that wouldn’t impress anyone, especially me.

I’ve never been what you would call fast, but I’ve been faster.

“Listen up, you kids, don’t make me stop this tree and come back there.”

Still, who cares? The idea is to be above ground and moving around, amirite? You know what my dad was doing when he was my age? Nothing! Because he had been dead for seven years.

So when Herself and I rolled out for our Sunday ride we were focused not on heart rate, average speed, or mileage, but on how many Gambel’s quail we might see (that would be a half-dozen, plus a couple deer).

Back at the ranch we have hummingbirds re-enacting the Battle of Midway around our three feeders, finches of various types bellied up to two tubes of birdseed while the doves prowl the ground for dropped morsels, and a northern flicker feeding babies bunkered up in a dead limb on our backyard maple.

And our young Chinese pistache tree is coming along, too.

It’s starting to get warm, so I expect we’ll start seeing buzzworms soon. But it’s OK. Every garden has its snake. Just steer clear of the fruit stand.

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11 Responses to “Spring training”

  1. Shawn Says:

    That’s quite a one speed. Lugged tubing and all. Lot’s of clearance under the fenders. How did it ride on those hefty O’Grady Roubaix pathway cobbles?

    I had a Flicker tapping away on the house last Fall. After various times of chasing the bird away, I realized that a birdhouse was in order. I obtained info on the correct size for the Flicker and hammered something together. It was my intent to mount it in our Douglas Fir about 25 feet or so up, but as I was reconnoitering the tree for a choice location, a raccoon peering down from one of the upper branches reminded me that they were already in residence there. So the birdhouse mounting was halted. After recently talking with my neighbor, she recently discovered that a bird had knocked a whole in her home and had taken up a nesting residence there. It is likely that it was the same Flicker that had been tap, tap, tapping at my outer siding.

    Do any of you out there know anything about the problems of mounting a birdhouse in the same tree that raccoons reside up in? Is it ok so long as the birdhouse is raccoon proofed?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’ve had a flicker (or flickers) tapping on our place, too. When I heard they eat ants I thought, “Tap away, pal.”

      But the other day I heard this odd sound coming from somewhere in the backyard, and damme if I could ID it. Was it the weather station? A herald of some weird catastrophe about to strike the A/C or sprinkler system?

      Nope. It was the baby birds in their treehouse hollering for mama.

      As to raccoon-proofing a birdhouse, man, I am at a loss. Those ’coons are pretty clever. We have ’em here, too. They keep the skunks and foxes on their toes.

    • B Lester Says:

      Racoons will dutifully watch the nest. Patiently. When the eggs are laid, LUNCH!

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    That’s so nice. Glad that Rancho Pendejo is walking in beauty. Reminds me of a song.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. Dude has written a ton of music. And who wouldn’t want to play with Emmylou Harris?

      And yup, it’s been pretty pleasant around here lately. Mornings are cool, but the day warms up quickly. Herself the Elder is at rest with her kinfolk down to Nacogdoches, and Herself had a fine road trip getting her there.

      Elsewhere, the news is reliably hideous. But when is it not?

    • Randolph Says:

      Gorgeous song. I’ve been listening to a Rodney Crowell songs for the last few days but this is one I wasn’t familiar with. Thanks for posting!

  3. Steve E Orlik Says:

    Yep, we feel your state of consciousness. I recall George Mount once famous said the older I get the faster I was!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Alas, I have no delusions as to my velo-prowess, having made the mistake of keeping training logs dating back to 1988. It’s all down in black and white. I should compile them into a memoir. How’s “The OTB Chronicles” sound for a title?

      • Steve E Orlik Says:

        Out the back is certainly an appropriate title.
        I kinda like “It only gets easier from here”.

  4. Bob Hollister Says:

    Sorry Patrick, but that is not a Flicker in the picture. Flickers are mostly brown with yellow or red not black an white. From the picture it looks like a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

    Bob in CT who’s still chasing PR’s that I set 5 years ago when I was just 66, not that I’m catching any mind you. As you say, just stay above ground and keep moving. I’ve enjoyed your writing since the Friday Foaming Rant days

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