Dairy cows make me happy. Tractors make me fast.

With the help of a few rainy days, a thick, lush layer of grass now covers the ground. Farmers have begun to let their cows out to the pastures to graze. This makes me very happy indeed because a herd of Holsteins, grazing peacefully in a green field is one of my favorite things to see.

This morning, during my ride, I stopped at such a field to take a few pictures. I don’t know what it is about black and white bovine calmly munching green grass, but this common scene never fails to tug at my soul.  All the cows were spread out evenly throughout the field, but none were close by the fence so I started trying to coax them towards me.DSC00489

“C’mon babes. Just come a little closer.”

They stopped eating and turned to stare at me but remained motionless. For a few minutes we just stared at each other and I was about to move along when one brave bovine started to trot towards me.

Herd mentality can be a glorious thing. Soon every single cow was moving across the pasture to the place where I was standing. We are all friends now. DSC00504

Not long after my little cattle encounter, my ride took a turn for the serious. A giant tractor swung into the road behind me and suddenly it was game time.

I read blog posts about various cyclists out on a ride and often they mention being passed or passing other cyclists. That never seems to happen to me. On the rare occasion that I do see someone out on their bike, they are always headed in the opposite direction. I can smile and wave at them, but I can’t test my pace against theirs.

But living in a rural area does have an upside: I get to race farm vehicles. Whether it is a pickup truck pulling a swaying wagon of hay, a manure spreader or a tractor pulling various farm implements, my duty in life is to stay ahead of them.

So instantly when I heard the roar of the tractor’s engine, my legs went into overdrive. As I came up to each farm along the road, I would think, “Okay, the tractor will probably turn into this farmyard.” But no, it kept chugged steadily right behind me. Horrors, was it gaining on me? I pounded the pedals for all I was worth. Surely the tractor would turn off the road before the next hill came up! But at the bottom of the incline I could still hear the engine rumbling in the background. So I raced with all of my might to the top of that hill and then-blessed silence. I showed that tractor who owns this road!

It turned out to be a very agriculturally-oriented ride.

Got milk?