I did not want to get up at 6:15 this morning when my alarm went off, but I did it anyway. My triathlon training group was meeting at 7 for a bike ride around a local plake. (Spellcheck is telling me that it has never heard of a plake, but I think it is a very sensible name for something bigger than a pond and smaller than a lake.)
I'd never biked there before, so I gave myself 15 minutes to cover the distance. I didn't see anybody in the parking lot; I didn't encounter anybody on my first circuit. Well, that's not true: I suppose I encountered somebody. Just not a human somebody.
(That's not my picture; it was taken by Flickr user Ken Slade and is CC-licensed.)
A pair of nesting geese had very strong opinions about my presence on the bike path. The papa in particular thought that I might prefer to bike on the grass, far away from his babies. Like an anserine version of Gandalf (Gander-alf, one might say), he stood his ground. YOU SHALL NOT PASS, he hissed at me.
Since I weigh at least eight times as much as a goose and was up high on a bike traveling 15mph, I announced I was going to pass after all. "Hey," I said in balrog tones, "get off the bike path."
Bravely defending his tiny band of goslings, Gander-alf took aim at my leg. He missed, thankfully.
I did four circuits around the plake, and Gander-alf never did wrap his bird brain around the fact that I was not in fact going to veer off the bike path. YOU SHALL NOT PASS, he told me every single time.
I didn't have an orc army to back me up, and I forgot to bring a flaming whip with which to topple him down into an endless abyss (don't know why that's not included in my triathlon books), but I emerged victorious anyway.
I was just reading this post at Salty Running and thinking they were overstating the aggressiveness of Canada geese, but they were not at all overstating the aggressiveness of Canada geese. Yikes! While I am writing about Salty Running: I've been meaning to share this post for a while. It's about the mind games you can play with yourself in which you talk yourself out of running because it's probably going to hurt. I am the queen or perhaps the empress of anticipatory running pain, friends. Though perhaps today that should be the Subterranean Monster Lord of anticipatory running pain. Off I go to smite and subdue...