It certainly did not feel like spring when I left the house this morning. My weather app listed the temperature at 34 degrees Fahrenheit, and it definitely felt that cold! But, after an insane couple of weeks I needed to get my bike out on the trail and blow off some steam before presenting at my group meeting. So, I made sure to bundle up and head for the trusted and true Lake Crabtree trail system.
After arriving at the trail head, I took off down the trail chasing the local KOM (King of the Mountain) time and my hands were instantly reminded about the cold (I should have worn heavier gloves!). I have just started tracking my rides using the Strava app and there’s no better motivator to help you push your limits then chasing a KOM. (It also helps if you need to get off the trail quickly, it would be a shame if I was late to my own presentation). Unfortunately, I am still a long way off from being a legitimate contender to this mountain (about 6 minutes to be exact), but I can still dream of distant glory.
When I first entered the trail system, I scared about 5 blue herons into flight. They love to land and hang out right on the edge of the lake by the trail. I will admit, one of my favorite things to watch is when these birds decide to take flight. On the ride back in I discovered that these beautiful birds had returned to their spots, so this time I stopped to snap a couple of photos. The green of the brush in lower right of the photo certainly provides a sharp contrast to the surrounding browns.
After stopping to take some photos I had to try and get some classic ‘bike on the trail’ pics. First, I tried playing around with it near some brush with the lake in the background. Using a center-focus filter I tried to white out the edges to draw your focus towards the water. Did it work?
After using the brush for framing, I had to go for the more traditional picture with Lake Crabtree in the backdrop. This time you can really see the green of the grass indicating that spring is finally starting to get here!
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I am constantly amazed at my bike’s ability to instantly reduce my stress levels from 1,000 to almost zero. There’s something magical about the sensation of flying down singletrack, hopping logs, and narrowly dodging trees. It creates a peaceful serenity where the only sounds you hear is the wind, the noises of your bike, and even traffic from I-40. It provides an instant escape from whatever worries are occupying my mind. Even pausing on the trail to take some photos is enjoyable (it actually helps me to pause and appreciate the surrounding scenery).