Ride From Hell, Part I

8 Jun

Last weekend my husband and I went for a bike ride. It was a nice, warm Saturday and people were taking advantage of it everywhere; walking their dogs, jogging, and riding bikes with their kids. It was a bit crowded on the trail, but still fun.

About halfway through the ride I crested the top of a long hill (a good distance behind my husband, who is like, in ridiculous shape), when I noticed two kids in front of me. They looked like they were probably 6 or 7 years old, and were both riding thin little razor scooters. And because they were kids, they were taking up the whole path, swerving back and forth all over both lanes as they rode.

I slowed down as I came up behind them, and loudly said, “On the left,” hoping to pass the swerving derby without incident.  As if. I should’ve just unclipped, gotten off and walked by. Oh well.

Speed Racer #1 looked behind him, and as soon as he saw me, his eyes got wide and fearful. He was stunned, like a deer caught in headlights, his whole body quivering with indecision. You could almost hear his little brain clicking as the gears turned:

Which way is my left? Which way is my left?

And then, just as I was about to pass, he made his decision. He put his head down and turned his scooter, you guessed it, to the left. Nice.

Stupidly, I hadn’t anticipated that.

So I took a dive. I threw my bike (and myself, completely clipped in to my pedals) over to the right, desperately trying to avoid running over this cute little boy on his scooter.

A minute later, after the dust settled and my head stopped spinning, I crawled to my feet with the help of an older guy who was also on the path. Both of the kids were standing beside me, dumbfounded, their faces lit with amazement.

Geez, lady, what’d ya’ do that for?

I looked Speed Racer over and made sure he was alright. I knew I hadn’t hit him, but I wanted some reassurance.

So I said, “Are you okay?” And I wasn’t even mad. Kids are stupid about stuff like that and no one had gotten hurt. To be honest, I probably should’ve seen it coming.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” he said, the slightly irritated tone in his voice catching me a little off guard.

I walked around and looked him over again, much to his dismay, just to be sure he wasn’t bleeding or something. Though I’m not sure how he would’ve been bleeding. He didn’t do anything but stand there, wide-mouthed and full of wonderment as I careened past, flying from the paved path into a tangled and twisted heap in the scrubby dirt, like some circus clown who’s late for the bigtop. The only thing that could’ve made it better was if I’d been singing a song or something as I went sailing by. “Da da dadadada da da da da…”

I walked away and was picking my bike up as I heard him say, “I’m fine, even though you did hit me.”

Before I even had time to answer, the old guy spoke up. Yeah? Remember him?

“She didn’t hit you. Either one of you. And you should pick a lane. You can’t just swerve all over like that! Somebody could get hurt.”

My hero. YES! Score one for the grown ups!!!

So, mildly amused by the gruff old man and the clumsy lady who had attacked them with her bike, the two kids took off.

And just like that, it was over. Except my bike was jacked. My back wheel wouldn’t move. About this time my husband showed up. He had gotten worried and back tracked, trying to find me. I was telling him what had just happened as he fixed my wheel. Turns out the brakes were just a little stuck. From the sudden impact with the ground, I imagine.

We were still working on it as the two boys rode by again. I half expected the parents to be trailing along, angrily searching for the maniac who had run their kid over with a bike. But no, they were alone.

They slowed down, and with the complete assurance of someone who still believes in Santa Claus, Speed Racer looked at me, nodded his head and said, “You’re prob’ly having trouble ‘cause you hit me back there, a minute ago.”

Swear to god.

I just looked at my husband. Yeah, kid. That’s why. It wouldn’t have anything to do with how you freaked out like I was speaking in tongues when I tried to pass you. It wouldn’t be because I threw myself to the ground to avoid running over your smug little ass. I’m having trouble ‘cause I hit you a minute ago. You got it.

I just smiled and they rode off. I think I handled it pretty well, considering. My only regret is that I’ll never get to hear his version of the story, the one you know he told his parents later that night.

Johnny and I were just riding along the bike path, and then OUT OF NOWHERE this crazy lady on a bike came up behind us. It was scary too, ‘cause she was screaming, “You’re DEAF! You’re DEAF!” the whole time. You should’ve seen her, dad. She had big red eyes and under her scary spiked helmet, her hair was on fire! I could see the flames! Honest! As soon as I saw her coming, I got right out of her way, just like you taught me, dad. But she came at me anyway, pedaling faster and faster, trying to run me over! And then, she pointed her icky claw hand out in front of her. It must’ve been a secret signal too, ‘cause then this wrinkly old man who was beside us just started pushing me until I was right in her way! But then, just in time, Johnny pulled me back by my lucky vest and saved me, otherwise I’d be dead. Dead I tell you. Except then, don’t listen to this part mom, she turned around and came back. And that’s when (sniff sniff) she hit me with her bike. Her front handlebars crashed right into my chest and almost poked a hole right in my heart. Honest! You can’t see the bruise because the force was deflected by my vest. Thank goodness I had it on. It saved my life! Well, Johnny helped some, too. Can I have some more ice cream now? It really numbs the pain. And mom, you’re not really going to make me give my lucky vest to the poor kids anymore now, are you? It did actually save my life and stuff, just like I always knew it would.

Yeah, that’s just about how I imagine it went. I must admit that his story is much better than mine.  Honest!


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One Response to “Ride From Hell, Part I”

  1. Mom June 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    OMG! I am crying! From nasty little creeps on the ski slopes to silly fools on the rail trail who ring their silly bells but don’t tell you which side they are on, these morons are everywhere! Thank God you almost got one of them! Lead the rebellion!

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