Saturday, October 15, 2005

10/15/05 Today's Ride

Route: 26.7 km. Campground Road to Oak Ridge Church Road to Ohler Road to Buffalo Branch to Echo Valley to Robinson Creek to Dorthae Road.

Weather: Mostly sunny, upper 60s, wind 10-15 mph.

Performance: average speed 25 kmph, time 1:04:03. Average HR 133.

Comment: I didn't push too hard today...didn't have too much energy after the layoff, all the overtime this week, and the meager lunches.

After barely avoiding another faceplant initiated a much bigger dog, I was beginning the push up the Robinson Creek hill when I heard a car coming up behind me. It was one of those nondescript early-80s model tank-cars, black with an equally aged motor. As I glanced to the side, I saw a youngish woman looking out at me with a bemused half-grin. As the car lumbered past with its hoarse drone, I saw the pale faces of three little kids swivel and stare blankly at me out the back window.

Out of the passenger's side comes a Gatorade bottle. It lands a couple of feet in front of me and I run over it. Thankfully, it was empty. I feel a slight hiccup as it passes under me.

Ok, I think. Do I know you? I instantly start to pedal harder, hoping in vain to catch up with the car, now advancing steadily away from me. But the good ol' Robinson Creek hill has physics on its side. I soldier up it steadily. When I reach level ground again, I start looking side to side at every driveway I pass. I've had drivers / passengers yell / throw / spit at me before but have never had the privilege of catching up with them later. They know this. That's why they do what they do when they do it.

But this time is different. Over to the right, in a smallish ersatz trailer park, sits a black tank-car. Kids are scurrying here and there as a couple of adults remove what appear to be grocery bags from the trunk. I brake and circle back around slowly, keeping my eyes on the car the whole time. The driveway is a good 400 feet off the main road, so I can't tell if it is THE car, but it definitely looks like it. I ride slowly back down the hill a way and turn back. A deliberate pace. Staring at the car. I want them to see me, to know that I see them, to know that what they thought was an anonymous prank was a real act against a real person. But there are kids around. I ride this route all the time. The last thing I need is a trailer park full of enemies. So I head on home.

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