I’ve become pretty comfortable on my bike. Because I learned that a heavily populated recreational path is a bad place to ride for speed and stamina, I have taken to riding on country back roads. This is pretty great except for two things: the wind and the dog.
First the wind. Illinois is not a hilly state. Yeah, I know. Real shocker to all of you. But what most don’t realize is that without any mountains or trees for miles, the wind can be killer. It’s a trade off for sure. I see to have developed a magic power to control the wind while on my bike. It is really amazing. All I have to do is start pedaling in a direction and it seems the wind is always coming straight at me! Seriously though, it isn’t so awful. I look at it as something to make me tougher.
Now the dog. I’m riding down a mostly empty road. For a rare change of pace the wind is at my back, and I am flying down the road compared to the speed I am normally going. As I pass a farm house, a dog comes running out at me. I want you to know I love dogs. I am the first to pet a friendly dog and give it a good scratch, but this was a mean dog. This thing must have been first generation whelp of Cerberus, the three-headed hell hound, and Cujo, the dog from the Stephen King book, because it did not have one bit of friendliness in its eyes.
But as I said, wind at my back, moving at a good speed, the dog kept pace with me for a few yards and then stopped to snarl and bark for a while. I’ll admit I had a good chuckle as I continued my ride. I shifted my focus back to my ride and kept up the pace.
Did I mention my rides are out and back?
After turning around and riding head first into the same awful wind that was once my greatest ally, I was feeling pretty tired. And that’s when I came back upon the farm house. I knew what was going to happen. So still out of distance I pulled over, took a two-minute breather, had some water, then got back on my bike and hammered on those pedals for dear life.
This time the dog could see me coming and had a good start on getting to the road. He also wasn’t moving into the wind like I was. He also hadn’t been out exercising for an hour like I had. But he remembered me and was plenty angry I got away.
I swear the dog followed me growling, barking, and biting at my feet for a quarter of a mile. I was tired and down, but not beaten! I FINALLY outlasted that dog, forcing it to turn tail and return home. My heart was pounding from the workout and the prospect of becoming Puppy Chow, but I am still here and stronger for it.
TAKE THAT FIDO!!!