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Old 05-02-13, 06:02 AM   #1
NOS88
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The olfactory joys of cycling...

As I was completing my early evening ride, I was once again struck by how beautiful SE Pennsylvania is this time of year. No sooner did I have this thought when my olfactory senses picked up one of my favorite fragrances. Yes, the lilacs are in bloom here. That means they are soon to be followed by the wild roses and then the honey suckle, and so it goes. One of the things I like a great deal about cycling is the intimate contact all of your senses encounter with nature. So, where you cycle regularly, what are the pleasant olfactory experiences you enjoy?
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Old 05-02-13, 07:38 AM   #2
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I have a few campgrounds on some of the routes I do. Often catch a whiff of grilling meat over charcoal.

OTOH, I live in a rural area with a few farms along other rides. Cow and horse manure has an olfactory experience, but pleasant, it ain't.
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Old 05-02-13, 07:58 AM   #3
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Lilacs and wildrose send me to a place of complete misery, it's hard to ride when you can't breathe and your nose is running like a fire hose, and your eyes are watering. Honey suckle on the other hand aint so bad. The working farms aren't too bad in the spring, but on a hot humid summer night, you can actually taste it. YECH!
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Old 05-02-13, 09:55 AM   #4
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Taco trucks. Yum.
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Old 05-02-13, 10:30 AM   #5
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- I love the smell of Multi Flora Rose in bloom (May/June) along the sides of some roads.
- Bacon and home fries obviously on the stove at some homes I ride by on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
- BBQ chicken on the grill off in the distance.
-The smell of a charcoal grill just being fired up.
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Old 05-02-13, 10:31 AM   #6
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OTOH, I live in a rural area with a few farms along other rides. Cow and horse manure has an olfactory experience, but pleasant, it ain't.
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Lilacs and wildrose send me to a place of complete misery, it's hard to ride when you can't breathe and your nose is running like a fire hose, and your eyes are watering. Honey suckle on the other hand aint so bad. The working farms aren't too bad in the spring, but on a hot humid summer night, you can actually taste it. YECH!
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Thanks for the reminders.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:11 AM   #7
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My morning commute takes me near a bakery. Sometimes I get a nice smell from that. Other odors come from taquerias, fast food places and the winos hanging out in front of Mickey Dees in the morning.

Flowers? Yeah we have a few. The only ones I really smelled were citrus and jacaranda this year. Great for the allergies.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:15 AM   #8
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I like the spring and summer BBQ's that fill the air.

There is a strip of restaurants along Horizon Ridge. The wind blows past their garbage bins. Rotting chicken "fouls" the air for a bit. I get a special motivation to SPRINT!
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Old 05-02-13, 11:16 AM   #9
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My morning commute takes me near a bakery. Sometimes I get a nice smell from that. Other odors come from taquerias, fast food places and the winos hanging out in front of Mickey Dees in the morning.

Flowers? Yeah we have a few. The only ones I really smelled were citrus and jacaranda this year. Great for the allergies.
Are there still Japanese flower gardens along Baseline?
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Old 05-02-13, 11:23 AM   #10
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Are there still Japanese flower gardens along Baseline?
No. They're gone. Very little farmland along baseline nowadays. Unless you go way west or east.
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Old 05-02-13, 04:10 PM   #11
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On hot days riding through a pine grove. That smell reminds me of hot summers going to the beach.....and riding my 10-speed to get there.

And then you have road kill.....
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Old 05-02-13, 05:02 PM   #12
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A blessing and a curse. We live close to some major orange groves and fruit orchards. On some mornings the orange flowers waft over the roads. However between the orchards the Bee Keepers put out hundreds of hives. On those days wearing yellow or orange can be a hazard.
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Old 05-02-13, 05:04 PM   #13
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The smell of a good slow cooked BBQ going on in someone's backyard.
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Old 05-02-13, 05:13 PM   #14
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The most intense smell I've experienced cycling was in Berrien County, MI.
When the vineyards are ripening, breathing the air is like inhaling grape juice.
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Old 05-02-13, 05:39 PM   #15
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We are past the lilacs blooming here, they were so nice this year, they made my rides smell great. Now its the fresh plowed earth where the farmers are getting ready to put in the cotton and soy bean seeds. Fresh mown grass in the yards, including ours every spring and summer, and in the summer it is the magnolias that fill the air. Always some horse apples from the riders to keep us on our toes and add to that fresh baked smell when the asphalt is steaming up after the rains. Rides always bring me memories from the smells each season.

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Old 05-02-13, 06:07 PM   #16
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On my commute, there is only the 'freshness' of outside air (better than inside a building), and the occasional whiff of a streetcorner griller who makes what are reportedly some of the best ribs in town. On utility rides downtown, there are a couple bakeries, and on HOT days, the local rivers can be like open Porta-Jons. My nose is about as sensitive as an amputated foot.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:10 PM   #17
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I have a few campgrounds on some of the routes I do. Often catch a whiff of grilling meat over charcoal.

OTOH, I live in a rural area with a few farms along other rides. Cow and horse manure has an olfactory experience, but pleasant, it ain't.
Chicken manure is much more pungent. Nothing is worse than someone getting their septic tank pumped out. Peeeyooooo

On the plus side, the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the early morning is heavenly.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:29 PM   #18
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Since the river is receding, it's leaving all these pools of water, so I get to smell that wonderful aroma of dead-fish-and-rotting-algae, that comes from standing pools of stagnant water. On the plus side, today I was pelted by falling petals and the smell from the blossoms of a small tree, while I took a lawn-gazing tour of nearby neighborhoods this afternoon. It's amazing how much work some folks put into sculpting the perfect lawn-garden experience, complete with fountains and/or artificial waterfalls and ponds/pools.

I also get frequent whiffs of Spring from all those barbecue grills being fired up recently.

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Old 05-02-13, 06:29 PM   #19
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Nothing is worse than someone getting their septic tank pumped out. Peeeyooooo
Thanks for reminding me. Forgot that one.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:37 PM   #20
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Ive lived all over from Vermont to South Florida and places inbetween, and the NE offers two spectacular seasons . . . Fall and Spring
Even living on the beach in Florida I couldnt wait to get back to four seasons.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:49 PM   #21
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I'm amazed. I asked folks what the pleasant experiences were. Wow! My idea of pleasant is VERY different than some of the responses. I guess I really am much more fortunate than I realize.
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Old 05-02-13, 07:53 PM   #22
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I have a usual 18 mile route I ride when I'm just out for a quick one. If not for the inherent dangers involved in riding a bicycle blindfolded, I could probably ride that route by scent.
Throughout the woods I can smell the scent of sun-warmed pine needles, (I love that smell), then on to the fragrance of Ceanothus (also known as New Jersey Tea), out of the woods and past the house that always smells like someone has clothes in the dryer, on to Dunkin' Donuts, but I have to dismount and go in to experience the glorious aroma of coffee. On the way home, I pass the house that, on Sundays, always makes my mouth water with the smell of pork on the grill. After six or seven years of these experiences I now associate some of them with my bike!
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Old 05-02-13, 07:55 PM   #23
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Oh, the aroma of bacon on my Saturday morning rides. Mmmmm
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Old 05-02-13, 07:59 PM   #24
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Spring is stunningly beautiful in north Florida. Wisteria is now in bloom and smells great.

But riding is rural areas as I do I often manure smells as well. I actually like the smell in the right amount. Horse manure always smells good to me. Cow manure being spread on fields also has a pleasant earthy smell. A feedlot of cows is another matter.
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Old 05-02-13, 08:25 PM   #25
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One of my favorites is the smell of new mown alfalfa hay. Of course this season's new mown hay is next season's cattle manure. We have plenty of both out here on the great plains.
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