I tend to go through different phases when it comes to cycling. After riding for so many years, I need to change things up when I start feeling bored. I guess that's why there is a garage full of different bikes. I am always ready when the next mood strikes me. Right now I am riding a lot on single speeds and enjoying it.
Yesterday I went out to do a little riding around Granite Bay. I parked in Folsom and took the bike trail up to Beal's Point where I then hit the dirt.
Along the way I happened upon a pair of women walking up the trail with their backs to me. They were spread across both lanes of the trail, as women walkers are prone to do. As I approached I politely announced, "Coming by on your left."
The woman closest to me jumped in the air and said, "Oh my god, you scared me!"
I offered my apologies and continued on. Less than a mile later the EXACT same thing happened with another pair of women.
Now, I know the bicycle is a recent invention. Sightings are still quite rare, especially on a bike trail, so I can understand how seeing a bicycle might strike fear in the faint of heart.
Seriously, I'm a little 165-pound guy on a bike, and I am not that scary. In fact, some (fat girls, older Chinese women and gay men) find me quite fetching.
If you are that scared of being outside in general, do us all a favor and stay indoors and read a nice book. Maybe something safe and comforting, like Curious George or Dr. Seuss. You might even learn something.
Once I made it to the safety of the dirt trails, away from the crazy people, I started to have a good time. Nothing like a nice, quiet piece of singletrack.
However, the peace was short-lived, as I quickly came upon a pair of equestrians. I pulled over well before reaching them, but this did little to reassure the brown horse that I was not going to eat it.
Anyone who knows me even casually has probably heard me say something negative about horses and their riders. I do not care for them. Still, I am always polite because the collective intelligence of the horse and rider is roughly equal to that of a bunny, and who can be mean to a bunny?
As the jittery brown horse tentatively passed me, its dim-witted rider said, "He is afraid of your bright orange bike."
To this I could only roll my eyes at her behind my sunglasses. Like most prey animals, horses possess eyes that are more sensitive to movement than color. Studies have shown they are actually orange-blue color blind, seeing these colors only in shades of gray. I would expect a horse person to know these things. Then again, their little bunny brains are undoubtedly incapable of comprehending color cone photoreceptor retinal cells and how they function.
After that my ride was quite pleasant for the most part. I did see another group of four equestrians, but they were cordial enough. I made a few really hard efforts on some of the climbs, and rode at a good tempo for the most part. I only stopped to take a few pictures. Here a hawk looks for bunnies:
I ended up with 28 miles before I had to head back to pick up my son from school. It was a nice ride, even with all the unwanted human interaction.