Daylight savings and warm weather, this is my bike riding season. From April until the end of September I will ride my bicycle over 4,000 miles. The roads I travel, for 80% of those miles, are rural country roads. We call them farm to market roads roughly wide enough for a pick-up truck and a tractor. The views; grass, trees, squirrels, birds, barns, cows and goats. Honestly it doesn’t get any better than that.
The hazards, believe it or not, are dogs not cars. I am more terrified of being taken out by a pit bull than being hit by a Ford F-150. Hopefully it will be an uneventful dog season, and by uneventful I mean being chased by less than ten. I have already had one friend go over his handle bars because of a dog. We will see.
The other beautiful thing I get to do while turning the pedals is rescuing turtles, mostly box turtles, from the middle of the road. I got my first two this past Saturday, a good start to the season. My best year was 37 turtles (yes it may seem weird that I keep track but I really love turtles).
The house I grew up in had a very wide creek in the backyard. As a kid I spent days with my friends wading barefoot in the murky water searching for crayfish, salamanders, snakes and my favorite turtles. It seemed I found thousands of turtles but in reality I was probably catching the same three over and over. Never the less for a 10-year-old it was still a magical time.
I really can’t explain my love or fascination with these creatures except to tell you that I will risk life and limb, okay maybe not life, to save one from being hit by a car. I know that sounds silly but it is something I feel deep in my soul that I need to do. Maybe its Karma, or maybe its just my way of building up store credit with the head cashier upstairs, or maybe I am just pucking nuts. Whatever the reason rest assured if I can help one of these unique creatures escape the indignity of becoming a turtle pancake I will. Honestly how could anyone resist that cute little turtle face, I can’t.