After yesterday’s terrific ride, I figured I’d sleep a little late this morning, have breakfast with Darla, and head out for a quick ride before running some errands.
I ended up doing my errands first, and stopped at West County Cycles to pick up a chain-lock so I can park my bike, and a real speedometer. The Garmin works great overall on the trail, but there are sections where the cliffs will block the satellite reception, and that causes my distance and speed to be unrecorded until they’re visible again.
I’m really impressed with them. The father helped me today, and remembered me and Beck visiting them Tuesday, and Beck looking at bikes. He assured me that they could find a bike for her that was comfortable for her, and more importantly, would make her feel comfortable cycling. I’m more and more impressed with those guys.
New toys in hand, I headed to the Weldon Spring trailhead. On on Highway 94, it happened: I hit a deer with the TrailBlazer.
This deer was flying across a field and into the opposite lane where another truck hit it pretty square on, and I think flopped the carcass into my lane where I ran it over pretty good. No damage to me — other than my wits! — but the truck has an “ow-ee”. The drivers side front quarter panel took the brunt of a head or haunches, pushing it back under the front edge of the drivers door. The running board has been bent down too.
In fact, there’s deer fur on the outside of the front tire, all the way down the top of the running board, and a big tuft at the front of the rear wheelwell. Bleccch!
Truthfully, it could’ve been a lot worse. If I’d been driving Beck’s Intrepid, the carcass would’ve been in the windshield, flipped up by the low nose of the car. I was really fortunate to have the ground clearance and flat front end to help make this an inconvenience, rather than a horrible event.
I continued on to the trailhead, and discovered the damage first hand when I couldn’t hardly get the driver’s door open. The metal from the quarter panel had been shoved back, and door couldn’t swing to it’s full opening. It opened enough though, and I surveyed the damage, decided it wasn’t bad enough to cancel my ride, and plugged along.
I got the speedometer installed in the parking lot. Those have changed dramatically since my last one. I remember the one on my Schwinn twenty-five years ago having some kind of device that attached to the axle to measure when it was spinning. Now, it’s all sensors and magnets. I attached a sensor to the fork, and then attached this tiny magnet to one of my spokes, and with that, I was in business, and off to the trail.
Today’s ride was really nowhere as good as last night’s. It was humid, hot, and there were no cool spots. I’d really waited too long I think, having hit the trail right around 10:30am. As a result, it was a tough ride, and I only went as far as Defiance before circling back to Weldon. I’m sure my mind was preoccupied with the truck damage, and that probably didn’t help me too much.
I think I’ve learned that I need to really watch the weather for optimum ride times. I suspect earlier in the morning — 7am or so — would be the best, with cool evenings just before sunset being a close second. The rest of the trailriders can have the middle of the day — I’m just not quite up for that yet!