Last week I had a new experience. I had ridden about 4 miles alongside the railroad tracks on an adjoining service road and decided to cut across the pasture(owned by a good friend who gave me permission to ride anywhere) about 1/2 mile to the county road and then ride about 5 miles back to my house. I carried my bike acroos the tracks and lifted it across the fence and was pausing to get a drink of water when a railroad worker comes along in his pickup and starts yelling at me. He wants to know what the he!! I am doing out there ( I am about 30 yards away from the tracks) I told him I rode down the service road and decided to cut over to the county road rather than ride back up the service road. So he yelps at me to stay off "my" service road and to "get on that county road" - which is where I am headed anyway.
I tried to understand his concern. I am fully aware of the hightened security concerns with 9/11 and 7/7, but for crying out loud, I live 50 miles from the nearest city. It is his job to make certain the tracks are safe for the coal and freight trains that use the tracks, so maybe he was really concerned that I was a terrorist. As I bounced through the pasture and over to the county road and then back home on the gravel, I was struck by how some folks are really threatened by bicyles and us feeble minded folks who ride them.
I would love to hear others' thoughts about this philosophical question: What is so threatening about a bike or a bicylist?