Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Aynes Loop

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

I rode the Aynes loop tonight. I took my time and rode at a nice leisurely pace, taking some photos along the way. Of course, I brought Sarah’s old digital camera with me, not one of our nice ones, and the photos really didn’t turn out. Part of the problem is that there just isn’t enough light back there, with all the trees. I’ll post some photos, even though they’re crappy.

Map/elevation profile

It had been a pretty crappy day, with quitting smoking being hard, and a headache and upset stomach earlier. I worked from home today — it’s nice to be able to do that sometimes.

Anyway, I had a nice low key ride — well, as low key as it can be, given the activity. I am starting to build up some endurance — I didn’t have to stop often to catch my breath. On the other hand, I did stop fairly frequently to take photos during the first half. I pretty much gave up on that during the second half — I just wanted to ride.

Obligatory bike shot

Part of the long climb in the Aynes Loop

I had a mishap at the point where Ken almost crashed on Saturday. We really had opposite problems. He caught too much air and almost ran into a tree. I didn’t jump enough and came down on my front wheel, throwing myself over the top of it in the process. Fortunately, I managed to land softly. I did throw one of my bar ends out of alignment.

View from the trail. Not one of the more scenic points in Brown County, but fairly typical terrain for this area.

I saw 6 deer on my ride, all does. I had a really cool experience with two of them as I was on my way back. I was riding on an easier section of trail, and saw these two deer. I was fairly close to them, within 20 feet or so. They watched me go by and started running with me! They stuck with me for about 15-20 seconds. We were going about the same speed, and since it was an easy section, I was able to look over at them, to find them looking back at me. I tried to stay as quiet as possible, not shifting or pedaling too hard, so I wouldn’t scare them away. It seemed to work fairly well, but once I had to shift, they ran away.

This is cheesy as hell, but I was really inspired by their grace. I try to ride as fluidly as possible in general, but riding with those deer, somehow the riding just came more naturally to me and I didn’t even have to think about it. Which was good, because I certainly wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been.

I actually had a number of times tonight where I was able to ride by instinct. It’s always a great feeling when that happens. I’m also getting a lot better at anticipating what’s coming and shifting my weight to control the bike. Those things combined are starting to make for some extremely fun and less stressful riding.

An example of how the trail sometimes goes right to the edge.

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