After many years of flying a desk and living a sedentary lifestyle, I once again find myself trying to get back some of the conditioning I’ve lost. As I’ve said before, this includes riding back and forth on a two and half mile stretch of 80% uphill and 20% downhill road in front of my house. At least I spend 80% of my time climbing the uphill parts and 20% on the downhill parts. I’m climbing at about 3.5 mph when I haven’t stopped to rest. All my effort goes into this and I am getting better. Really, I’m making progress.
If you ride a bike outside the city, I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. Dead or alive, skunks stink. I live in the country and this is an occasional unpleasant experience to which I’ve never adjusted. This past week a particularly unpleasant smelling skunk died on one of the uphill parts of my daily workout. My longest uphill climb, near the top. I slowly pass this smelly part 8 times daily on my Tour de County Road 3103.
The first day I passed the offending critter I couldn’t tell if he/she was dead or alive or exactly where it was located. The offensive smell seemed to come from everywhere. My assumption was that the critter was alive and would surly be gone by the morrow.
Next day, I’m making my first climb up the hill with a light breeze at my back when I catch movement in the cattle pasture next to the road. Just across the fence line, six buzzards are calling my attention to the exact location of the offending smell. With a tail wind, I have not yet caught the smell that day old skunk and six buzzards can make. Soon enough, with all six buzzards taking flight, I’m left alone amidst the rank essence of the deceased. It’s amazing what the results of sulfurous chemicals, methyl and butyl thoils will do to hasten your cadence.
Day three, my assumption is that the six buzzards would have done their duty of cleansing the country side of unwanted smelly demise. This day there is a cold front blowing in from the northwest at 20+ mph. You know, one of those cold fronts blowing hard enough that you have to pedal on the downhill thus slowing my cadence to a crawl on the climbs. From the northwest it came. From the smelly part of the hill. From the northwest at 20+ mph slowing my climb past this still smelly part to a unmercifully slow assault while my lungs aggressively inhale toxic fumes from the demise of 3 day old skunk.
Tomorrow will a rest day for sure.