PART II – OUT ON THE TOWNIE
I practiced my new/old sport around the neighborhood for a few days until I felt confident to take Tallulah out for a spin on the trail. When the day came, I wrestled the rack onto the trunk of my sedan, secured my new companion into place and headed out.
I picked a Sunday morning, hoping for minimum trail congestion, thereby lessening the likelihood of harming innocent bystanders. Sure enough the path was clear, except for a few power walkers. I cruised along smiling and nodding at passersby, staying well to one side as experienced road warriors whizzed by on their all-terrain, multi-gear-combination superbikes.
Throughout the ride, I remained hyper vigilant about making my presence known when passing others walking ahead of me.
“On your left,” I said cheerfully, as I approached a woman, walking smack dab in the middle of the pavement. No response. As I got closer, I noticed she had earbuds in, carrying on a conversation.
“On your left, “ I repeated, as I snaked past her. She didn’t budge an inch out of her lane. I don’t know whether she didn’t hear me or just didn’t care.
About halfway to my goal destination, my thighs staged a mutiny. They had no intention of covering the distance I had charted. I down shifted and convinced them to reconsider. They begrudingly complied. After pedaling about a mile, I reached the end of the trail and dismounted. A sense of pride washed over me. I grabbed one ankle then the other to stretch out the disgruntled thighs, took a deep breath, climbed on and headed back down. I soon discovered that the reason the seemingly flat terrain was challenging to cover was that it’s at a nearly imperceptible incline. Well, imperceptible to the average athlete. But my thighs were well aware, hence the near mutiny. I coasted much of the distance on the way back, to the delight of my lower extremities.
On the way back, there seemed to be more folks out enjoying the sunny morning. My antennae went up when I caught sight of a group of young girls up ahead walking towards me, giggling and darting around, spanning the entire trail width.
I hope they see me. I can’t go off the pavement into the weeds. Do they see me? Surely they’ll move over when I get close.
Sure enough, they huddled together as I approached. Then just as I was about to reach them, one of their hats blew off right into my path!
With seconds to spare, the owner ran out, grabbed the errant accessory and lurched back out of my way.
Huzzah! Mission accomplished. I couldn’t wait to tell Kristen and Jackson. But in case they harbored any skepticism, I took selfies at both ends of the journey for proof.
I’ll bring my new best buddy with me on my next visit. With Tallulah’s help, I’ll show off my recently acquired gearing and hand braking skills. I only hope I can convince my thighs to play along.