I was feeling a lot stronger yesterday, so decided it was time for another long ride. Essentially it was a big rectangle: east on Reno Avenue to Harrah Road, then north to Wilshire Boulevard, then back home. I clipped corners by zigzagging but it was still a full 44 miles. Plus, it had plenty of really tough hills, and I faced a headwind all the way back. Needless to say, I was wiped out when I got home.
Our early spring green-up continues. You can see the carpet of henbit flowers above and this farm field was just starting to turn green. In fact, I ran into several acreages of henbit with blazing purple in sun, but that front yard was easier to approach.
In this pasture scene, you can see that some trees are sprouting leaves, but the oaks will come last. But it was such a warm day that the pines and cedars were offering up their fragrance in generous portions whenever I got downwind of them.
There was plenty of those conifers on Harrah’s bike trail. The northern end of the trail hits the middle of their high school campus and the entire sports complex has been torn down for replacement. That meant that part of the trail was just packed gravel, and I need to hurry through to stay out of the way of moving equipment, so I didn’t get any pictures of that mess.
A lot has happened since the last time I passed this way. More of the land has washed away on the north bank, so the county put up new barriers and dumped some rubble to reduce the washout. There was also one blessing here: Some agency finally got around to sweeping the margins of the road over the bridge. I saw very little shattered glass that normally infests the safety lanes.
I rode on up to NE 63rd to cross the hills and passed through the Seventh Day Adventist campus. They had this gorgeous redbud in full blossom. They often fare well when properly tended; most of the ones I saw in the wild weren’t this full of red. Those dogs in the background are a new addition, guarding a very large fenced area that appeared ready for plowing, likely for a vegetable garden. The store manager once indicated to me they would prefer to stock their own produce.
Down from the ridge, the valley floor is abloom with all sorts of early crops. This is where I saw a couple dozen acres of henbit. I hadn’t noticed this antique tractor before, so I assume it’s a new decoration in that yard. This whole area is one of the loveliest sections of the North Canadian Valley. I knew I would have to go south or north to cross the river, and I opted to take it up to Wilshire just because I love this area.
Over close to the State Center school I stopped to picnic in this shady spot. I prefer any rising surface because it’s easier to sit down and then get back up with my bad knee. I sat on a carpet of chickweed. This may be the last time it’s this easy, because during the warmer weather we have too many chiggers and ticks unless someone mows the greenery down low regularly.
This was the point where I was starting to get tired. I stayed on Wilshire out to Anderson Road, then dropped back down to NE 63rd again. Given the vagaries of how the ridges and streams run out this way, that meant one last brutal hill facing a headwind and it wiped me out. I decided to take a final rest stop on the bridge over the river at Midwest Boulevard. That made the last five miles a little less onerous.