Two days ago, after another rider had
passed me on route, I could see him cycling away from me up a long straight incline. My glasses were coated with rain spots so I was having some difficulty seeing clearly. I could tell that the rider had moved into the road to pedal up the centerline, so I thought "Hmm, I wonder if he is moving away from a dog." When I got closer, I could see that there were four cows next to the road--not in a pasture, not behind a fence. Two large adults, two calves. While I stopped to take their picture, they studied me and decided to cross the road.
Three of them ended up on the left and one on the right. As I slowly started pedaling, all the cows took off running up the road. The group of three crossed back to the right in front of me, and kept running up the road. When they veered suddenly and disappeared in the brush to the right, I thought that might be that. Wrong! Just as I was starting to pick up speed, they leapt out of the brush (the way I see deer leap out of the brush back home) and ran back across the road in front of me. I did not collide with a cow, so all was fine in the end. I felt like I was "running with the cows."
Then yesterday, as I cycled in an arc around a large pasture, the cows not only looked up, they started running towards me.
When I stopped to take their picture, more cows got in the act and started jostling for position.
I apologized to the cows if they thought I had food or some such thing. When I cycled away, they followed me, running along the fence line. None of the other riders report having similar cow encounters. Maybe the cows think I'm one of them?
We have a layover day in two days. Hopefully I'll have access to power and cell service and will be able to add some posts. We crossed into Mississippi today; we're about seven miles northwest of Columbus.