So we’re having a discussion with the children and the adults over dinner- as the leader, I have a lot on my plate- watching for road signs, remembering the route that i memorized, besides the shared responsibility of being aware of traffic, maintaining control of your bike, etc.that everyone must do. I raise my arm above my head like my horseback riding leader friend taught me- to signal my slowing or coming to a gradual stop- but if I happen to run off the road for a moment or make a similiar erratic movement- is it my reponsibility to make sure the person cycling behind me does not plow into my but? and should they not be traveling a safe enough distance behind me to allow for some flexibilty in my riding style ? My dearest daughter rides about one foot from my rear wheel and complains loudly when I slow or deviate. Who is right? What are the proper etiquette practices of cycling in a group? The children say one thing- the adults another.
Today we rode in the rain as we circled up the eastern shore of Mobile Bay…Black dripping splashing water from a fenderless rear wheel made a long skunk-like stripe up our backs- rainwater seemed into all cracks and spaces-down the neck, sponged up by the cotton underwear. Our saving grace was a homemade Candy’s Kitchen store that had an amazing amount of free samples- candied pecans, marguarita pecans- we must have all eaten $25 worth of sweets, fueling our wet, cold bodies down the trail. We bought a bunch for later at least. We also stopped at a flea market store and found two necklaces (left over from Mardi Gras) with beads and three large plastic dalmations on them. They are sightly on the obnoxious side, esp with cycling gear on, but great fun nonetheless. My friend Beth’s daughter Espleth was the only other woman brave enough to wear them, besides me. If one of us (Elspeth) is embarrassed to be seen with them and tucks them into her jacket, I said, “Elspeth, let your puppies out.” When I met the one CVB person- (Chamber of Visitor’s Bureau), who had a nice crystal (normal) necklace on, she eyed my necklace as soon as I dismounted my bike and when I saw her eyes go to it, I said, “Ladonna, do you like my new necklace I just bought it?”and it was a riot to see her stutter and become embarrassed because as Todd said, “That necklace is hideous. You should take it off.” I don’t think so. Elspeth and I have a plan to” let our puppies out” on every shared trip from now on.
We learned about “Hurricane Balls” at the Weeks Bay Estuary Preserve today-massive 3 foot long balls of small sticks that cling together during a hurricane (much like tumbleweed)and grow in size as the wind tosses them. We also learned that the dozen of somewhat rare white pelicans that we saw flying high bove Wolf Bay yesterday have a glorious 9-foot wide wing span. And there’s such a thing as Fish Maggots that get inside fish that are caught on a long line and eat it from the inside out, leaving just the skin, if you don’t haul your fish up in time.
One more day to learn about Alabama’s Mobile Bay until it’s back on the plane to PA. The Alabama battleship tour remains tomorrow, however, and a long, very cool ride across the causeway at the head of the bay that brings us back to Mobile where this fun trip all began.