Today was the strangest day I have ever experienced on my bike. Maybe some of you have similiar stories. I ride in the Inland Empire, mostly in Ontario and parts of Rancho Cucamonga, Alta Loma, and Northern Fontana. The route I decided to take today was a 40 miler which consists of a steady climb for about 15 miles. You can find the route at www.routeslip.com, if your interested.
Anyways, after making a left turn onto a moderate ascent, I came upon a house next to a big field. There was a large brown dog standing at attention as I started to pass by. He defended his territory by charging forward a few feet and barking aggressively. Thinking he might come after me, I yelled a loud "NO" while grabbing my water bottle just in case. The dog looked menacing, but grabbing my bottle was a knee-jerk reaction, and in a few moments it would prove to be more of a hindrance than a good defense.
The defending dog remained on his property, so I relaxed a bit as I continued past the house. As I reached down to replace the waterbottle, I heard another bark and, oh yes, more snarling and growling, but this time a large, white dog appeared out of the darkness of the open garage hurling his body towards me with great velocity. I knew he wanted me. Again, adrenaline shot through me, but my legs felt heavy. The ascent rendered me helpless. The distance between us was about 40 feet and closing fast. To make things worse, this beast appeared to be a Pit Bull. With one hand on my water bottle, I tried to grip my bars but I couldn't. I hammered as hard as I could while trying to change gears with the bottle in my right hand. Going no more than 15 miles an hour, I looked back and saw the wicked thing coming right for me and closing in at about 15 feet. Luckily a van was heading right towards me. I noticed I had just enough time to cross in front of the van and hug the curb on the opposite side of the street. I was hoping to create some separation from my body and the vicious animal's sharp teeth. The lady driving the van must have seen the beast pursuing it's prey because she blew her horn like mad. The sound of the horn must have caused the devil to give up on me. Finally, I had a chance to put my waterbottle away and recover. For the next 15 minutes, I debated calling the cops on the real offender. the dogs abusive owner.
However, this was not the typical dog chases me, I escape, type of day. As I continued up the road towards a freeway overpass and the top of the climb, my phone rang. I pulled off to check and see if it was a work emergency. At that moment, a beat up, old 70's style van drove past me on the opposite side of the two lane street. The old two lane, rural road didn't see much traffic, so when a car drive by it's noticeable. The driver of the van streched his long, tatooed arm out the window, and as he passed slowly by, he hurled a long string of expletives my direction. After the shock wore off, I took note of his weather- beaten, sunken face and dirty blonde, wild hair. Last night I saw a special on Meth users, so the first thing to come to my mind was, I'm being harrased by a pack of rabid Meth addicts. Out loud I muttered to myself "you gotta be kidding me." The van continued on to the stop sign 100 yards behind me. Intead of going away, like I hoped, they just stayed there. Normally, I'm not concerned with abusive people. I'm not a light weight at 215 pounds and 6.2," but I'm not the aggressive kind either. Needless to say, I didn't want to have to deal with a group of crazy, Meth induced, psychopaths. I got back on my bike and headed up the hill towards a short, steap section of the two-lane road. I turned around too see where the van went, and to my horror, they were coming back towards me. Yet another rush of adrenaline pulsed through me. I had no idea what they wanted from me if anything. I decided that it not be smart to go up the narrow road hidden from everyones view, so I turned around and headed right towards the van acting as if I wasn't intimidated. They past me again slowly screaming and hollering that they intended to beat my *ss. I just looked at them, and tried to show absolutley no fear or alarm. Now that I was heading back down the hill I picked up some speed trying not to appear to flee. The van did u-turn this time. Now I knew for sure they wanted to either harrase me for fun, try to rob me, or who knows. I didn't think a group of 40 year old men would get off on yelling at cyclists, so I assumed the worst. I got off my saddle and sprinted about 100 yards. I turned right onto another rural street under construction. There were construction workers present, so I figured if they want to come after me or try to hit me, then it would have to be in front of a bunch of people. Reason took over, I think. I got off my bike when I found a sidewalk, grabbed my cell phone and called the cops. After I gave the description, I waited around for about 10 minutes before I decided it was probably safer to just ride into a more populated area. I never saw them again.
On my way home, while turning left on a green arrow, a white SUV turned right in front of me from a stopped position at a red light. I yelled at the driver to let him know I was there, he responded by flipping me off. When I got home I was exhausted from the drama, and decided it would be therapuetic to write about it. The drama was intense, but the ride was awesome. I wasn't bitten or shot, hit by a car, or attacked by some crazies, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Anyone want to ride?