Ah, the first serious bike ride of spring!
(Och, my legs are tired!)
Bugman and I did my favorite ride today – south from Scottsbluff on Highway 71 to the Wildcat Hills Nature Center and back.
It’s a 30-mile ride with 1,200 feet of climb – a challenge, but not too bad, and it doesn’t take too long. It almost seemed like cheating today, with a north wind of 15 mph (gusting to 25) helping to push us up the hill.
I love this ride because the road is nice and wide (four lanes, divided, two in each direction) with decent shoulders and little traffic.
I also love this ride because it’s a great training ride.
Come to think of it, this would be a great place for flatlanders to come train for mountainous bike rides further west (like Cycle Greater Yellowstone). We’re at 4,000 feet elevation here, and between the Wildcat Hills and Scotts Bluff National Monument, there’s plenty of vertical challenge.
Also, I love the scenery on this ride.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but I saw something else lovely today, as we were speeding downhill towards home. (I don’t tend to take pictures when we are speeding downhill. I tend to keep a death grip on the handlebars.)
My eye caught some movement up on one of the bluffs.
No, shadows. Bird shadows. Three of them.
I looked up, expecting to see turkey vultures, but instead there were three white-bellied hawks hovering and whirling on the eddy of air forced over the blufftop by the wind.
It made my soul happy.
Yes, today was a good ride.
Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw