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Rode hard for 18.3 miles; New sites and sounds (heard a big cat out there!)

Monday, August 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Bike on a Trail for August 28, 2011.

Bike on a Trail for August 28, 2011.

I was especially excited about mountain biking yesterday because I got to transport my bike to the trailhead in my new truck. I found that I could lay the bike in the truck bed (which has a bed liner) and then close/lock the hard tonneau cover for a perfect fit. The bike didn’t shift around at all while driving, however for for longer trips I’ll probably lash it down. I also found that I could raise the rear seats in the supercab and fit the bike in the truck’s interior; that could come in very handy in some situations.

It was really nice to just throw the bike in the back of the truck instead of going through the usual hassle of installing the bike mount on the car and strapping everything down. Loading up/unloading took just a few seconds. I also enjoyed looking in the rear view mirror and not seeing my expensive bike shaking around in the wind as I drove (and also that the bike is no longer my car’s rear bumper!)

The first Little Blue Heron I've seen out here!

The first Little Blue Heron I've seen out here!

As for the ride, I hit the trails very early but only wound up doing a little over 18 miles. I decided to do something a little different yesterday: I divided the ride into two sections with a nice long break for photographs in the middle. I rode very aggressively and very fast. My average heart rate while riding on the first segment was an insane 188 BPM, and a still intense 185 BPM on the second segment. I hit my maximum HR (196 BPM) at least 6 times that I saw.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spot a beautiful Little Blue Heron! This is the very first Little Blue Heron I’ve seen at Wekiwa. She let me get very close for a nice shot. I took this photograph at Prevatt Lake, which was bone dry just two months ago. The rains have continued to replenish the lake, and it’s attracting quite a bit of wildlife. Yesterday I saw wild turkeys, a couple of red shouldered hawks, a bald eagle, a little blue heron, a few egret, a beautiful young buck and countless butterflies.

It's nice to see egret returning to the lake to feed!

It's nice to see egret returning to the lake to feed!

Also, while I was on my photography break I was on the telephone with my mom and I heard something I’ve never heard out there before: it was a very distinctive and loud “Rowwwwwwl!” It sounded just like this. Needless to say I interrupted the conversation with, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!” I know that there are bobcats and even Florida panthers in Wekiwa forest, but I’ve never see one. Both cats are quite rare, especially the panthers. I got off the phone with my mom and sat quietly, but I never heard the kitty again.

Wow, what an incredible weekend it’s been! It sure went by in a flash.

I’d better get to work, the hurricane has created some issues with one of my networks in North Carolina. Later today I’ll be thrashing my legs in the gym. 🙂

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