Driving and Biking in the Big City

In search of the Yeti on Kingwood bike trails

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When the kids were younger and we all were biking from the same starting point (home), I devised a game for our competitive souls. It was a point system based on the uniqueness of the creatures we might see along our bike rides. The goals were to keep us biking more, to help us stay alert to our surroundings and, as is the Hensley way, for someone to win.

Bizarrely, my family full of athletes and varsity players from an extremely competitive school system consider me to be the most of competitive of all of us. How can that be true? I never played anything but intramural sports in school and women’s tennis in Kingwood. Oh, that’s right. Women’s tennis in Kingwood might be more competitive than all of the sports in the school system. We won’t even mention the tough neighborhood block of hellions who raised me – the youngest of them all and a girl to boot.

On really slow and hot bike rides, the Hensleys had a version of this game where we couldn’t head back to the house unless we saw a certain number of bunnies. Two would be a short ride; four even longer.

To play our bike riding game, we first had to devise a list of expected sightings. Deer being the rarest and, therefore, the highest scoring. That is before we spotted the coyote on the gully with an innocent bunny in his mouth. We listed bunnies and turtles, of course. Snakes were big point earners. Nutria and possums. I once saw a family of raccoons, mama raccoon and two babies, holding hands and walking under an underpass. Game over for the other Hensleys.

We ruled out people and dog sightings because those are so common. Then, we decided that birds were too numerous to count. Of course, we gave points to more unusual birds like egrets, herons, falcons and hawks.

Finally, we kept an empty blank at the bottom of our score card for incredibly rare sightings of whatever that all of our family members could agree would be worth the points. Then again, our family has never truly agreed on anything, so I’m not for sure this caveat was ever used.

These days it’s mostly me and My Precious (my smart phone) along for my bike rides. I’m still looking and when I come home with a tall tale, I like to show my proof.

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Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

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