Posted by: GeekHiker | April 28, 2013


Saturday I decided to go for a bike ride.  In so doing, I was also risking my sanity.

Not because the bike trails around here are particularly dangerous.  No, my sanity was on the line because I suffer from spring allergies and hayfever.  Having lived near the coast for 20 years, I’d forgotten just how bad it could be.

I went on the ride because I needed to get out of the house and do a little exercise.  It wasn’t a very long ride, only about 10 miles or so, taking about an hour.  Which was followed when I arrived home by two hours of sneezing, a runny nose, and red, itchy eyes.  So, it seems I have a choice in springtime (in the Central Valley, at least): 1) stay inside, and go batshit stir-crazy or 2) get outside and get some exercise and sneeze for two hours straight which, as you may have guessed, can also drive a man batshit stir-crazy.

If it weren’t for the allergies, I might actually like spring.  Instead, I tend to prefer fall.  Nothing is pollinating, everything that pollinates is dying off… yeah, morbid, but it works for me.  Or my sinuses, at least.

* * *

As part of the ride, I rode out towards was the edge of town, where the suburbs end and a mix of rolling grassland, farmland, and ranchland begins.  It’s a bit of a ride out there, but it’s a good destination: quiet, little traffic, rather peaceful.  Since the local government has made an effort to preserve wilderness corridors, mostly along stream riparian areas, it’s also a good place to stop next to a quiet creek under some oak trees and relax a bit (or blow one’s nose, accordingly), before turning around and heading back into the city.

Bike Path Const 01
Looking down on one of the preserved stream courses

As I approached the area, though, I heard beeping.  Then grinding.  Then the noise of diesel engines.  Not exactly the burbling creek and chirping birds I normally encounter.

Curious, I turned to cross over an abandoned bridge, heading towards the loud noises on the other side of the creek.  As I slowed to a stop, a rabbit hopped up onto the bridge, and stopped in his tracks, staring at me.  Now the rabbits around here are notoriously skittish, and will hop away from you at a moments notice.  It was easy to see why a couple of weeks ago when, walking through one of the wilderness areas further south, I saw a terrified rabbit ripping through the brush at full speed, someone’s off-leash dog tearing at its heels.

So I fully expected this one to do the same.

Instead, the rabbit stared at me for a moment, apparently decided that I was far less of a threat than the loud mechanical noises behind him, and hopped right past my bike’s rear tire.

A few yards later, I got a glimpse at what he was running from:

Bike Path Const 02
The march of progress continues (this picture is just to the right of the picture above)

My peaceful Saturday morning ride, interrupted by the noise of construction, growth, progress.

I sighed, snapped a picture, and turned around to ride home…

…after sneezing three times and blowing my nose.  Maybe, along with everything else that blooms in springtime, I’m allergic to “progress,” too…



  1. Drugs! Druuuuuuugs!

    Don’t give up if the first one doesn’t work or has lousy side effects, and don’t forget about the old cheapo drugs—they sometimes work better than the buck-a-pill types.

    Given how much you’re rejuvenated whenever you venture outdoors, you might want to consider the antihistamines a kind of ersatz anti-depressant. . . . .

    • I’ve tried a couple of things but, thus far, no success…

  2. Carry many tissues 🙂 I don’t like too much progress, but just enough so that we don’t get giant ass bugs like they do in New Zealand. Did you SEE Leaf’s FB post on that? CRAZY.

    Oh wait, this is about you! I think it’s awesome you got out there and didn’t let it keep you from having a good bike. Even if the stupid progress got in the way. AND you made a bunny friend!

    • I dunno… I kinda liked everything about NZ, including the giant bugs. At least there’s less things trying to kill you there than in Australia…

      • You can always go back there and blog about your Australian hiking adventures where the bunnies are ferocious! FEROCIOUS! 🙂

  3. This made me think of The Lorax or some other great Seuss tale. Progress…ugh.

    • True. Though, lets face it, where you and I are sitting right now was, once, free and open space…

  4. What you need to do is make progress with your allergies. Have to agree that drugs may be the key. See an allergist if you haven’t already and get out there.

    • Well, they should be going away soon, given the paltry rainfall this year…

  5. Allergy meds don’t help?

    • I picked up some stuff the other day that seems to be helping. I just haven’t needed any since high school, living by the coast and all!

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