Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spring Approacheth

Headed out on a glorious winter day yesterday for a 40km bike ride. I rode south west and into the countryside. There was a slight breeze which was lifting but punching into it felt good. The legs were tired, or more specifically my quads were complaining from the sprint work we had done at the running track the day before, but after a while of me ignoring them they quit their whining and decided to warm up and do the job.

I passed lazy cows (the dairy kind) laying in the padocks chewing their cud all heavily pregnant with spring calves. Magpies were warbling high in the trees, another sign that spring is approaching. For now they are happy observing us targets from a distance, but soon enough our glorious spring days will become thawt with terror as these sweet sounding birds turn into ferocious bombers.

There is nothing funnier than watching someone get swooped by a maggie until it's you being swooped. We have names for these little pests when they start their antics.

Stalker - the dude who flys from light pole to light pole seeing you off his territory.

Swooper - the maniac who dives at you only to pull away at the last second.

Striker - the nutter who actually has the balls to take a lunge and ends up ripping your best cycling jersey, damn him! and,

Slammer - the kamikaze terrorist who actually thinks it's ok to use his entire body as a missile and slams a scud straight into you. He gets up shaking his head and flys off meanwhile the poor cyclist is in a pile on the floor and wondering if he can glue carbon fibre back together.


And now we have another name to add to the list. This one is only a discovery from late last year. My husband was riding by himself and heading home down a hill that is notoriously defended by a crazed maggie who we all know as Slammer. Well, hubby is hurtling down said hill, keeping one weary eye out for Slammer. He has to brake as the lights at the bottom of the hill have turned red. He hears the familiar swoosh of Slammers wings as the flying menace sets hubby up in his cross hairs.....Hubby does the flailing of the arms hopelessly in the air which only serves to spur Slammer on even more... "Challenge!" and then hubby feels this weight land on his head. He thinks at first that he has been whacked across the helmet. Hubby looks at a car parked next to him and the occupants of the car are wetting themselves with laughter. In the reflection of the glass window hubby realises that Slammer has now become Squatter and is perched on his helmet still. Claws gripping through the air vents and now he starts to peck at the plastic attempting to poke through the vents. Hubby flails both arms now as he has stopped at the lights and Squatter begrungingly flys off. The nerve!

So for now as spring approaches I enjoy my last days of peaceful riding to the sounds of songbirds knowing that all too soon I will be running the gauntlet of winged hell. But for now let the days get longer, the sun stay toasty and warm, the breeze stay soft at our backs and the flys??? well that's a whole other blog!

BTW, the Latin word for magpie, “pica” is also the term for the weird psychological disorder, where sufferers eat non-nutritive substances such as nails, glass, buttons, dirt etc. The origin for the word comes from the belief that magpies eat and collect almost anything and especially have an eye for shiny things. WEIRDOS!!!!

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