The ride with a little bit of everything...
It was short ride, only ten miles, but more eventful than most. Allow me if you will...
I wheeled over to Balboa Park, one of the prettiest urban parks in America, on what has been a fine day with moderate temperatures and a wonderful breeze. The first thing I remember about this ride was getting into that zone of feeling absolutely, and stunningly, complete. I was riding, it was a gorgeous day, and I know I was smiling broadly. I remember thinking -- it doesn't get any better than this.
A couple of miles later I found myself in a bit of a spot near the Arboretum, and realized it would be easier to walk my bike down a short half-flight of outdoor cement stairs, but I made the mistake of thinking I could do that without getting OFF the bike. Of course, things went south quickly, and (in slow motion and in front of a parade of wedding guests in the park) I fell and fractured my ego. I immediately remembered The Humbling Thread on the forum and realized I had experienced a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Okay, I get up, hammer out the dents in my ego, and pedal off, still marvelling at the beautiful day. A few miles later, I'm on Park Boulevard passing a row of diagonally parked cars, and an SUV is backing out of his space. I wave like a madman to make sure he sees me as I glide by, and yes, he sees me, and he decides I have no right to be on the road, so he gives me a few choice words that I can't repeat here.
I shouldn't have, but I couldn't resist offering him a one finger salute and so I do, which is a tactical error, because in a few moments, he's on the road, behind me, and gaining ground. Of course he brushes me back with his Escalade (or whatever) and continues yelling obsenities at me. And, of course I repeat my one-finger salute even as I realize I'm only making it worse.
Then I watch as he pulls to a stop at the next red light -- a signal I'll be reaching in just moments. FINALLY reason kicks in, and I realize he could be drunk, have a weapon, or a bottle, rock, or 2x4 (plus there are three other passengers), so I veer off into a parking lot pretending that was my plan all along.
He disappears soon enough, and I resume my ride, only to be passed by a guy on a road bike who calls out to me -- "Good for you!" he says. I take that to mean he agrees with my giving the SUV driver 'what-for' and I smile and give him a thumbs up.
Oddly, the angry cager doesn't rattle me, and once again I find myself musing how fortunate I am to have a bike, to have the health to enjoy it, and to have the San Diego environment to enjoy on two wheels.
So, I got into the zen of riding, then fell off my bike and embarrassed myself, then got into a roundabout with an SUV driver, then got congratulated by a fellow cyclist, and then got back into the zen moment. All in ten short miles!
Sorry to ramble but it just cracked me up!