Tasty butterflies and other discoveries: BikeAbout 2008

The 2008 Columbia BikeAbout happened on a gorgeous spring-summer day, sunny with the temperature somewhere in the 70s and a light breeze. I covered the thirteen miles of woodsy Columbia trails in two hours exactly, stopping on occasion to take in some exhibits on Columbia's history and suck down water.

Any time I am in the woods it is akin to a religious experience. Call it some Gaia religious belief riding alongside my (nonsecular) humanism: I worship nature and humanity. If that sounds flaky or contradictory, consider that I have no embarrassing clergy or bizarre rules to explain. And since humanity is part of nature, then the two actually go together like cereal and milk.

A rabbit raced me down one trail, scared witless, a squirrel did its best to run under my front tire, but missed, and a butterfly flew right at my mouth, which thankfully was closed. I could feel both its wings flatten against my lips like it was a feathery light bandage covering my lower face. Then it flew off. Since I was whipping along downhill at the moment and it was capable of flight, I didn't stop to see if it was okay. It didn't check on me either. Nature loving can be rough sometimes.

Maybe I'm drinking the Columbia Kool-Aid in saying this, but I think the Columbia street naming convention is neat. All Columbia street names are based on poetry, literature or in some cases the usual forgotten historical sources. Lots of people think these names are bizarre and that street names ought to be boring old and familiar (1st st, 2nd st, etc). Liquid Laughter Lane and Rippling Water Walk are unique and lyrical. In many cases, the original poetry has been expanded by the addition of the street type.

All in all, a very pleasant morning in suburban utopia.

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