My last update was for a "MapQuest/Yahoo" loop that had a dirt road as the last part of the loop. Strikeout!
I tried a second loop off that same road the next week, with different results! Completely paved (questionable surfaces in some spots), but major rural-dog risk. I biked in the middle of the road the entire time, watching every single driveway. Some mattresses and dead chairs along the way, and a too-isolated feeling in a wooded area. I won't repeat this route, BUT I did start a cattle stampede. :D This happens every now and then, and it cracks me up every time. Big rigs go by, motorcycles, rickety trailers, endless cars. Bovine boredom. Then one little bicycle shows up and "Eeeee!" One overreaction leads to the herd rushing away from the Dreaded Terrifying Bicycle. Cows-- they'll never run this planet.
Last Fall I had some recurring adventures at the end of our fabulous urban bike trail. The first time I went there, I rounded a wooded corner and "Gee, the bike path is awfully narrow here... Augh! I'm on dirt!" I knew the path ended somewhere along there, but I was expecting at least a SIGN. The second trip was "Hmmm, bridge, a bunch of bushes and... Augh!"
The third time I paid attention to that bridge and stopped before I rounded that deceptive corner. When I stopped, I looked down and across the pavement there was a bright pink spray-painted line and the word "NO." Hey. Nice warning. :(
So the first failed Loop-O-Dirt-Disaster produced a ratty Emu, several Brahma Bulls, and a Pomeranian that nearly choked itself trying to bark at me (leashed, thank goodness). The second loop featured the Cattle Stampede.
The bike path the following week had some rare discoveries. Our usual critters include squirrels (suicidal ones-- they wait frozen until you get really close, and then bolt under your bike tires), way too many wild turkeys, jackrabbits/hares, black-tailed deer, snowy egrets, abandoned housecats, quail, and an occasional pheasant. We also have a single Night Crane that hangs out in a particular grassy park. But then in a single week, I also saw
Tour de Roadkill
This is what waits for the summer. It progresses every year, until by the time the Tour de France is going on, my riding is the Tour De Roadkill. This is where the Parkway gets more attractive, but I don't have that option biking near work. Ugh. 100-degree heat, roadkill, and eternal construction projects mark the summers here. Because there is ALWAYS something that requires digging up the road and laying pipe. :0