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!<

Different cemetery, for illustrative purposes only. I'm not interred here, either.

Different cemetery, for illustrative purposes only. I’m not interred here, either.

“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!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
This entry was posted in I Remember When... (my OWN stories), Thoughts on Two Wheels and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dial-A-Detour

  1. I love dogs too (I’ve always had big scary dogs, but I’m responsible about them). I am terrified when I’m on my trike and dogs come at me. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have a huge loud whistle attached to my wrist band. I don’t know what else to do. It’s not fair in a leash-law area to have aggressive dogs come after me. And trying politely and sweetly to ask an owner to keep their dog on a leash? Hah! Never happens. Love this story, Jan. Love you too!


  2. Jeannine says:

    Jan, Am glad you got away from Fast and Furious. Sounds like you had to make a lot of detours before you thought of Dial-a-detour! I always knew Brent had a good memory. Thank goodness you are OK. Enjoyed!
    Love, Mom


    • Susan Williams says:

      Jan, I kept reading & wondering what was going to happen to you next? I am not into murder mysteries so thankful Brent did not have to finish your story. Glad Syra & Katy never gave you such a scare. They are doing great at the old age of 12!. How are Aggie and “fiesty?” (Can’t remember the real name but you know who I mean.) Like living here okay but miss lots about living in Midlothian. Let us know when you are heading to Cypress to visit Brent’s sister in Cole’s Crossing and hope you have time to stop by Towne Lake. Lots of bike trails if Brent has his bike and needs a quick fix. We haven’t come back up your way but if we do will certainly stop by. I have heard about the land development off Walnut Creek Rd. Doesn’t sound very attractive. Be careful on your rides and stay safe!!! Miss you all, Susan


  3. jodyo70 says:

    My friend, I’m a week late catching up on my reading, but it was worth the wait. I SO love your sense of humor. Glad you got home safely. I look forward to meeting Brent in person one o’ these days……..


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