Ride to the Wildcats – with wind

This post has a lot of photos of cars, and also of some birds.

I shall ‘splain.

Last Sunday, Bugman and I needed to be done riding by about 1pm, so we decided to go for difficulty over distance. Destination: Wildcat Hills up Highway 71. Total distance: 29.79 miles. Total climb: 1,259 feet.

We’d already biked this route a couple of months ago, so we figured it would be no problem.

While it was windy last time we’d ridden up there, the hills had blocked the wind on the ascent.

Not this time. We were riding uphill into a 15 mph wind, gusting to 30.

We wound up having to stop stop for a breather midway up the hill.

Between the hill and the wind, this also meant that on the way home, we coasted for the first five miles and never dropped under 18 mph. That was with Bugman applying the brakes on the downhill. (We are not comfortable going more than 30 mph on our tandem.)

But the notable parts of our ride, other than the gorgeous scenery of the Wildcat Hills, were the antique cars and the birds.

The antique cars were part of the Sugar Valley Rally. I think we on our tandem might have been as much a curiosity to the antique car drivers as they were to us. Several of them waved as I held up my camera.

The birds were around the feeder at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, near the deck where we picnicked. We saw, at a minimum: lazuli bunting (first time seeing one!), spotted towhee, red crossbill, American goldfinch, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch, some kind of swallow, various “little brown jobbers,” and a turkey. I only got decent photos of the goldfinches and the turkey.

And now, the photos.

Bugman, waiting patiently for me after I had to run back into the house to get my camera.

Bugman, waiting patiently for me after I had to run back into the house to get my camera.

CARS, with Highway 71 scenery. (I did not get all 60-some cars in the rally. I only caught somewhat clear images of 15 of them.)

SVR 1 SVR2 SVR3 SVR4 SVR5 SVR6 SVR7 SVR8 SVR9 SVR10 SVR11 SVR12 SVR13 SVR14 SVR15And now, the nature photos:

beautiful day in wildcat hills

Beautiful day in the Wildcat Hills

"Goldfinch confetti"

“Goldfinch confetti”. There were at least a dozen of them bouncing around looking for seed.

"Oh crud! I've been spotted! I'll just melt back into the shrubbery ..."

“Oh crud! I’ve been spotted! I’ll just melt back into the shrubbery …”

Bugman in a faceoff with a swallow perched on the corner of the soda machine. The bird's nest was in the adjacent rafters of the nature center deck.

Bugman in a faceoff with a swallow perched on the corner of the soda machine. The bird’s nest was in the adjacent rafters of the nature center deck.

Downhill!

Downhill home!

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

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