I'm still, amazingly enough, riding the bike. I'm still enjoying the scenery. The cats are gone and it's still pretty secluded up there. The wildlife is the most amazing part about the ride. The other day I startled a hawk which flew over my head and landed on a telephone wire that sagged under it's weight. It watched me as I came closer. It was about six feet directly over my head when it flew off again. I continued pushing up the hill, wishing I had a camera. I looked back and it had landed on the top of one of the poles. I kept going and it followed me, flapping to the next pole and then the next.
Today was different. A neighbor of mine heard I was riding and wanted to come along. His bike is one speed because his derailer broke and he just took it off, so I thought he'd have a hard time keeping up. Fine with me, I'm not a racer--more of a meanderer. Boy! was I wrong. He cruised up the hills like they were flat, saying, "Lance Armstrong loves these kinds of hills." I had a hard time hear this, though, because I was so far behind him. Twenty minutes later (it's usually thirty when I'm alone), he was waiting for me at the top of the hill. I slogged up, sucking wind, and turned around, grateful for the rest I'd have coasting back down the hill. Back home, we talked for awhile, then he said, "Do it again tomorrow?" "Sure," I said, wondering how I was going to manage getting up at 6am again. So my pretend workout is becoming real. Scary.