WITH LIGHT, HELMET and reflective vest, Jeff Hopp is safe. Skunks? Not so much. 			submitted photo
WITH LIGHT, HELMET and reflective vest, Jeff Hopp is safe. Skunks? Not so much. submitted photo

     RIPONITE JEFF HOPP’S morning bike rides with wife Julie and friend Loraine Carley are usually a good chance to clear his head and start the day fresh.

     “We bike every morning at about a quarter to 5 in the morning with lights,” he said. “We go out toward Fairwater on [County Road] E and cover about 10 miles. Very quiet. Very little traffic. Very peaceful.”

     Maybe they’ll see some deer, maybe they will catch a sunrise.

     At that time of the day, he usually has little to worry about: “Traffic is one [concern]; cars — it’s dark. Otherwise not too much.”

     But on one recent Wednesday morning, his ride stunk.

     Really, truly stunk.

     And it’s an experience he likely will never forget — or be allowed to live down by either Julie or Loraine. ...

     “So we’re riding and the girls were out ahead of me,” Jeff said of Wednesday, Aug. 21.

     He was riding on the cement along the shoulder of the road, peddling along in the dark.

     The headlight on his bike illuminated little, but what would one worry about at that hour along the edge of a country road?

     Then, something happened.

     “I don’t even know if I felt something [hit my tires]. But something’s squirted me in my face,” Jeff said, noting he had no idea what was going on....

     To read the entire column, see the Sept. 5, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.