Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

An enjoyable ride on Janesville's bike trails

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Greg Peck
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Maybe my wife, Cheryl, and I don't get our tandem bicycle out often enough. As we prepared for our first ride of the season last night, two neighbors stopped to voice envy, not realizing we even owned a bicycle built for two. As I pumped up the tires, Molly, our cairn terrier, was inside, crying in protest. On Monday she had joined us for an evening walk of more than two miles past the library and back. On Tuesday we'd gone for a short jaunt on our separate bikes, Molly getting her first ride of the year in a basket I set up for her behind my seat. Obviously, she was starting to feel entitled and wasn't happy being left behind this time.

Once Cheryl and I got going, we hit the bike trail in Palmer Park and headed several miles north, stopping where the trail segment ends at Sandhill Drive past Highway 14. We turned around and headed back.

Along the way, we saw other trail users walking or jogging or bicycling. Some kids were riding skateboards, including one who sped down a gentle slope while lying flat, facing forward on his board. Twice we saw someone taking portraits of someone else—including one young lady whose gown and mortarboard told us she's graduating this week from Janesville Craig.

We also saw wildlife—chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits, and even a family of woodchucks where we often spot them across Beloit Avenue from Dawson Ball Fields.

Earlier, as we sped downhill from Wuthering Hills Drive, I shouted back to Cheryl that, should a deer step into our path, we might wish we weren't going so fast. Only a few hundred yards later, a turkey walked out onto the pavement. Fortunately, it was far enough ahead of us that it saw us approaching and quickly retreated into the adjacent woods.

For some reason, I felt stronger the longer we pedaled. We decided to tackle the seven uphill blocks of Oakland Avenue starting at Main Street on our way home. Cheryl and I left the trail near Marling Lumber and soon hit that hill. We were going pretty slowly by the time we reached the top. It made for a vigorous workout.

We rolled into our driveway, only to hear Molly howling. We hoped she hadn't been howling the whole time. We quickly went inside to reunite and console her. The poor thing. After joining us for after-supper outings the previous two nights, she obviously felt distraught and left out.

Her distress was a heart-tugging end to an otherwise enjoyable evening ride.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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