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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Long-ish Ride

Where were you? All you cyclists I usually see when I'm out on a ride? Today was perfect riding weather and I saw all of two cyclists on my ride and I was out for almost three hours.

Not that I meant to be out that long. I took the girls to my Dad's after the last service at the Lamar building for Heartland, and told him I'd be gone about two hours.

Headed up Switzer to 67th, took that east to Antioch, to 71st to Santa Fe, went north to Johnson Drive, took that down to Merriam Lane, to 55th, out to Pflumn.

Love that hill on 55th past Rosehill, but I only hit 41 mph on it today. I've gone (slightly) faster on that one. It's a beast to climb coming the other way, too.

Passing Shawnee Mission 'Death' Park, I took a snap of the protesters. One of them asked me how come the park administration hadn't done something sooner if they knew the deer were overpopulating it five years ago. I offered the possibility that they would have acted sooner except they'd attract protesters calling it 'Death Park.' He suggested nonlethal methods would be better, even saying it would be okay to move them to the country and hunt them there.

My head hurts when I try to imagine what it's like to be someone who thinks it makes sense to move the deer to the country and then bring the bow hunters along. They're deer. They aren't endangered, they're the opposite of that. You don't want a wolf pack and a couple of mountain lions in a suburban park, you sure wouldn't want rifles, so let the bow hunters try to cull the herd. It's not cruelty: unlike the meat on a Whopper at least this meat has a chance to make a break for it.

I'd even be okay with an annual bow hunt at the park. Close it to non-hunting use for one weekend in November, say, and sell special hunting licenses that are only good in the park. Concentrate it on the one weekend because if you spread it out the deer will get cagey and your bow hunters will be less effective. Right now, the deer in Shawnee Mission Park are so fearless of people (because they've never been given cause for fear), you could hunt them with hammers or power drills.

Anyway, Pflumn to Midland to Renner to 95th, and the plan was, over to Legler, Santa Fe Trail Dr., Plflumn to get back north, but the bridge over I-435 on 95th is closed.

So I could back track, which (I was 1:15 into the ride at this point) would put me well past two hours, or I could go further south with similar results.

I went past College but then got to thinking about how hairy 119th would be where it crosses I-35. Didn't want to end up having to go all the way to 127th, which is the next bridge, so I U-turned and went back to College. Which looked so inviting, smooth brand new asphalt.

Big mistake. After maybe a mile of new road, I got to where they've shaved it down to prep for new asphalt. Like riding on freakin' cobblestones. If I wanted to ride on shit like that, I'd be on a mountain bike seeking out tree roots. A fully suspended mountain bike, not my hard tail hybrid.

College to Plfumn then, Blackfish to that side street we take on some of the Trek rides to the office park, eventually around to Nieman and back to Switzer on back roads. 31.1 miles. Only averaged 11.8, speed wise, which is probably because of the hills. When I did 14.6 in Garder the other night, that's mostly in the flat. And on a level surface, barring nasty headwinds, I can maintain a 20-ish pace. Big as I am, even if I got skinny, I'd be an improbable king of any mountain.

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