Monday, April 29, 2013
When The Dog Bites
My riding partner, who couldn't care less about trophies or status awards, assured me that we could turn back at the first sign of trouble. He also, generously, dubbed the ride as "Maria's perm" and patiently softpedaled while I struggled to keep an average pace of 12.5 miles per hour.
A few blocks from the Grand Central Bakery start, I noticed a broken egg in the bike lane. It reminded me of a story Tyler Hamilton tells in his book The Secret Race. Something about a coach viewing the athletes almost as disposable - toss a dozen eggs against the wall and keep the ones that don't break.
And that's how the day went for me. Riding on eggshells and unable to take a hand off the bars, even to signal, I promised myself I wouldn't break. I tried to use the Wheatland Ferry crossing as a rest stop, but it took halfway across the river just to dismount my bike. Getting back on was a similar challenge. I continued, egged on by any egg references I could get my eyes on. And I took even more pills and pep-talked the crap out of myself.
We'd ridden many of these roads many times, so it felt like home territory. Stag Hollow gravel was fun. That's where the first dog of the day chased us. I forgot where we met the second one, although I recall yelling NO at it. The third one, I'll never forget.
We were on Stringtown Road, in the middle of farm country, coming up a small rise. Two dogs, a pit bull mix and a white lab, came running at us from across the street. I rode my fastest, a paltry 15 miles per hour, but failed to outrun the pit bull. It grabbed on to my calf with its teeth. A stream of swearwords later, we stood on the grass talking with the dog's owner. Molly May was her name. May is short for mayhem, naturally.
The skin was broken and the bite smarted, but my tights escaped without damage. It was almost refreshing to feel pain from somewhere besides my back for once. So, we pedaled on to Gales Creek. Downed cans of (medicinal!) beer at the Shell station before heading back to town. Lots of bullets were dodged that day. With my back in that condition, if I had fallen when tangling with the dog, I don't know if I'd have gotten back up. But I didn't fall. And I didn't break.
Posted by Bicycle Kitty