Friday, May 29, 2009

Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

We've had some pretty darn nice days this past week. Even with a rather chilly-but-decent day on Wednesday (55 degrees!), temps hopped back up to around 80 yesterday and into the mid 70's today. This has been a near ideal stretch of weather.

I went running on both Wednesday and Thursday, both were decent 5 milers. Wednesday was a particularly good run because it was so cool. Yesterday being 25 degrees warmer made it somewhat slower, but it was productive nonetheless. The sedge wrens are still quite active and vocal along my route, so they kept me entertained once again. The meadow and the forested areas I run though are alive with bird life, chock full of cardinals, yellow warblers, orioles, bluebirds, kingbirds, tree swallows, along with red-bellied and downy woodpeckers. It is a great time to be in Minnesota.

With the nicer weather, the bikers are really coming out of the woodwork. I do most of my running on a paved, 8-foot wide trail that is shared by walkers, rollerbladers (and occassionally roller skaters), runners, and bikers alike. When bikers are coming up behind you, most of the time you can't hear them. They generally do one of two things:

1. They blow right past and scare the hell out of you

2. As a courtesy, they scream "On your left!" as they are approaching, which also scares the hell out of you

The best solution to this issue that I have observed is practiced by an older gentleman who I see riding in my neighborhood from time to time. He has one of those little kid's bike bells affixed to the handlebars (that circular device with the little flipper used to ring it), which he starts ringing with reckless abandon as he approaches. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved. One can hear the gentle ringing as the biker is approaching, which is not nearly as alarming as getting shouted at. And, the biker doesn't have to say anything to notify pedestrians of his presence.

Of course, I am guessing we won't be seeing any of the hard-core bikers affixing these little bike bells to their expensive Cannondales. But I am suggesting it, because it works! :)

Tomorrow I am doing my first race since Fargo, a 10 miler over in White Bear Lake. Looks like it will be another nice morning, too. I am looking forward to it. No desire to be fast; I just felt like running! Full report to come.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and good luck to those of you racing!

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