Despite a restless night of little sleep I got up this morning, shook off the fatigue and got on my bike from my location in San Diego’s Mission Valley for a bit of a destination-unknown ride. Roughly 24 miles later (granted, just a drop in the gridscape bucket), I do hereby declare this city to be Bike-Awesome. Not only did I encounter a nice connected network of bike lanes, paths and routes, but on two separate occasions motorists I encountered (once at the “v” of two converging roads and the next at a roundabout) yielded their right of way and decisively motioned me to cross their paths.

Of course as has been known to happen on several of my past rides, I had an animal encounter on my way back to the hotel — in this case a cormorant in some distress. Heading back to the hotel along the bike path that traverses around Sea World I came upon the bird that was unable to fly up against the k-rail that separates the path from the entry drive into the water park. My approach spooked it and it attempted a running take off that took it off the path and across To the middle of busy Ingraham Stret where a couple attentive motorists were able to avoid hitting the poor creature.

Dismounting I was able to half-assedly guide it out of the street to relative safety and it made its way back to the bike path where it moved along the k-rail away from me as  I put in a call first to the San Diego Humane Society who connected me with an organization called Project Wildlife who told me my best bet was to knock on Sea World’s door to see if someone there would come to the bird’s aid.

So I did. But rather than buy a ticket to the park and search out assistance, I entered an adjacent building with a sign reading Hubbs Sea World Research Institute and the receptionist there was kind enough to make some calls until she got a hold of someone who said they’d come check it out.

Thanking her I returned to where I’d last seen the cormorant and found it had moved across the institute’s parking lot to rocky banks by the water where it was looking a little ragged and holding out its wings trying to dry itself off.

cormi

In a few minutes, a cart pulled up with two young men from Sea World pulled up and they attempted to net the bird:

While you can hear me express my disappointment when it was able to escape into the water, they said the bird looked more to be waterlogged than oil-covered, explaining that cormorants have the ability to shed their waterproofing in order to be able to dive deeper in search of food. It was some consolation that the bird might be able to recover on its own. Plus the duo said they would check back later to see if the bird returns and try to catch it up again.

Tomorrow or Saturday morning I’m going to follow my friend Ted’s advice and head the other way down to San Diego Bay for a roll around downtown and the Gas Lamp District and maybe Coronado.