It was just going to be a quick workout, less than an hour. I grabbed a water bottle and my bike, and set off down the familiar little back roads. The turnaround point was about 5 1/2 miles from home, at an underpass where the surface road crosses the highway.
Just before I got there, a big diesel pickup overtook me and slowed down for the stop sign, check-mating my planned U-turn. No matter–the guy crossed the highway, giving me a chance to cross alongside him without having to stop. That doesn’t happen too often, so I went for it. I’d just go a quarter mile west on the two-way access road, turn around, and come back. It would only add half a mile to my distance, right?
Yeah, right. Fifty yards from the new turnaround point, there was a disturbance in the idyllic countryside. Two muscle-bound dogs came tearing toward the road in a fury of barking. I sped up, managing to leave them behind. When I came to an intersection with a little blacktop road, I looked back. The dogs had pulled up beside their mailbox and sat down to glare after me. As I stopped, they both stood and seemed to leeeean toward me in an intimidating manner. I’d swear they had oiled their coats so their muscles would show up more. Discretion being the better part of valor, I high-tailed it down the smaller road.
Never mind a turnaround point–now I needed an alternate route. I could go four miles out of my way to the west, then circle back home from the north. This would increase my distance, by… let’s see… MORE THAN DOUBLE. Normally I could do that, but it was almost noon and I was already getting a bit hungry. My sport wallet held $3 cash… not much in fast-food terms. A couple of bananas from the grocery store, five miles away? That might work… except you can’t go inside without shoes, and the last time I walked in there on my cleats I nearly broke a hip skidding around on the shiny, waxed concrete floor.
Clearly, it was time to call in backup. Someone who had bicycled every inch of these roads and always remembered even the most obscure little connections. If it was paved, he could tell me all about it.
Who ya gonna call…?
Yep, I married the right guy. All I needed was a peaceful place to call from. So I rode a little farther and crossed the railroad tracks, lest I get trapped between a slow freight train and the Hounds of the Baskervilles. I had just brought up Brent’s number when, “Arf! Arf! Grrrr….ruf!”
Great. More dogs. I stuffed the phone back into my pocket and took yet another side road. A hundred yards later I stopped again. This time three big dogs in a kennel challenged my right to exist within view of their property. They couldn’t eat me but they were noisy enough to interfere with a conversation. Besides, I didn’t want to give them an aneurysm. After all, as I have mentioned before, I really like dogs.
Sigh. Fine. I kept going, determined to find a quiet spot where I could avoid being either eaten OR run over. Finally I came to a little local cemetery. I could pull off onto the driveway, and not a dog in sight. Nothing across the road but empty pasture.
Brent answered his phone on the second ring. >whew!<“Hey, hon–I’m at the cemetery.”
“Brent? Um, I’m not being interred.”
“Well that’s good news,” he finally said.
My status among the living firmly established, I explained about the never-before-seen angry dogs. Would you believe it, Brent remembered a safe route that would add only a mile (not twelve miles) to my distance. He hadn’t used it in, like, eight years.
I did have to cross a busy four-lane highway but, hey, there’s a median. Just two lanes at a time. Better that than taking on those pooches, “Fast” and “Furious,” again.
Sure enough, the roads seemed to open before me as I rode. I got home in one piece and with energy to spare. So, here’s to bicycling husbands who never forget a shortcut. Thank you, Dial-a-Detour. You’re the best!
Today I am linking up with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters.
Thanks for reading!