Suddenly I see a herd of cows in my peripheral vision, a flicker of black and white and bouncing tails on a distant patch of soft green. Every other farm along this stretch is absolutely devoid of life - their animals were probably smart enough to head inside in advance of the rain. But this farm is different. Lots of cows, as far as the eye can see.
For some unexplained reason, I allow myself to coast to a stop. The winds are getting stronger and the rain is now beginning to streak my sunglasses. I should be on the bike, gunning for home, but something makes me stop and take in this pastoral pasture scene.
Out comes the smartphone - because pictures! - and I quickly snap off a few selfies and landscapes before tucking it back in my bike bag. That should be the end of it, but as I secure the bag and prepare to head out, I hear a rustling behind me. The cows are coming closer, which strikes me as bizarre. Don't cows run away when weirdo-cyclists show up on the other side of the fence? Maybe they do, but this particular herd never seems to have gotten the memo.
I hear faint echoes of a Clint Eastwood-esque standoff as I stare alternately at the flimsy-looking wire fence and the dozens of massive bovine now standing shoulder-to-shoulder, staring me down. While logic and history have taught me that these gentle giants are more curious than nasty, I shudder in the wind as my imagination paints a worst-case scene for me.
So I reach for the camera one more time to grab a few more images before I button it up for good and hit the pedals for home.
What I wouldn't give to know what they're thinking.