Monday, May 23, 2011

A Haunting 10 Mile Ride

Sunday was such a beautiful morning, Evelyn and I decided to load up the bikes on top of the car and head out to our favorite cycling path; The American Tobacco Trail Bike Path (A Rails To Trails Project).  I rode Robert's Trek 6000 mountain bike which goes very well on the crushed, packed limestone of the bike path.

This bike path goes from around New Hill NC to downtown Durham NC.  We typically get on the trail at the second Wake County parking entrance about 5 miles from the New Hill end.  We then have the choice of riding back toward the New Hill end or north toward Durham.  Both are beautiful rides and we wind up going between 10 to 18 miles total.  This day we traveled toward New Hill.

When we got to the parking lot we heard what sounded like a loud distant mournful tone.  At first I thought it was some sort of machinery.  Evelyn said she mistook it for the warning siren at the nearby Sharon Harris Nuclear  Plant.  It was neither it was the song of the Cicada.  Usually it is a high pitched whine but these Cicadas have a lower mournful tone.  We recalled that Cary NC even put out a press release this year about the Cicadas Song.  They only come out ever ten years or so and this years bloom is quite large and to folks who have not heard this particular song it can be alarming.

As we rode through the Tunnel-Of-Green that is the ATT cycling trail along this stretch, we found the temperature just right and the grade of the trail very slight either up or down with a few flat spots and the constant, seemingly distant haunting song of the Cicadas to all combine to be an almost fantasy like atmosphere .  The Cicada's song lent just the right air to the lonely woods-ride.

I got a picture of a worn out Cicada along the trail and once we got back to the parking lot I found myself ducking as one headed across the parking lot straight toward my head.  I took a couple of pictures of this one where it landed in a nearby tree.

Here is a link to the pictures for this ride.  And here is a short video of the ATT where you can hear the sound in the background.

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