This week was Bike to Work Week and I bicycled to work all five days. Whew.
The weather was good for it excepting the storm that rolled in during commute time Tuesday evening. Then my wife had to pick me up.
During my morning rides I discovered I had a nemesis: an aggressively territorial red-winged blackbird. The blackbirds are ubiquitous along the route. They nest in the grassy ditches along the farm fields. The males perch above their little kingdoms on the telephone wires that line the road.
I’ve been attacked by blackbirds before, but this one was particularly regular and devious. His particular stretch of road curved steeply over a ridge, so I was moving slow and couldn’t quite look all the way up to see him. I could hear him chirping overhead as he launched himself from the wire and then suddenly a whirring of feathers as he buzzed my right ear from behind. Every single morning in the exact same place (right down to the same crack in the asphalt). I knew he was coming but in my concentration pedaling up the hill he’d still startle me. “Damn you!” I shouted as I shook my fist at him.