Yesterday I awoke to find it absolutely pouring rain. I don't mean misty, or even a moderate rain. I mean sheets upon sheets of furious raindrops pounding down with a vengeance. I don't mind riding in the wind and rain, but I will not ride if A) I worry the rain is strong enough to damage my bicycle and B) I worry the SoCal drivers are already going to be not so great already.
That said, it was nice to get back on the bike this morning. Then I remembered that storms always render the bike path a minefield of small sand dunes. My ride suddenly became a minigame of dodge the dune, which is a lot of fun until you lose. Fortunately, I had only one close call, a slightly wobble, but I quickly recovered.
Then I encountered Her.
I don't know what it is about Southern California Jogger Mothers. But I see them out all the time - they have a double stroller, 90% of the time containing only one child, and said stroller is so wide that it takes up the entire width of the bike path (because you see, Southern California Jogger Mothers are far, far better than any cyclist, and can use the bike path all they want as opposed to the lowly pedestrian path that they should be using). What little space is left on the bike path is taken up by a small, untrained dog on a leash who is running erratically all over the bike path, preventing any chance of anyone passing these woman and their cargo. If you politely inform a Southern California Jogger Mother that you need to pass, you will be met with a glare and some unkind words on common courtesy as she clutches her latte with her fake nails, iPod blaring some terrible boy band.
"Thanks, have a nice day!" I'll say.
"Get a job and car like everyone else! F***ing cyclist!" She'll say.
I really enjoy encounters with Southern California Jogger Mothers. But today was especially interesting due to the sand dunes. I saw her, up ahead, and there was nothing I could do. I kindly asked to pass, and was promptly ignored. So I slowed down and stayed on her tail, biding my time. There was a widening in the path up ahead. I knew it, she knew it. My mental soundtrack switched to Ride of the Valkyries, and I began to make my move, pacing myself just right. She was speeding up. She knew. And she would be damned if some entitled cyclist tried to pass her on this bicycle path.
I made my move.
She made hers.
For a brief moment, our eyes met. My gaze was calm, cool, collected, and hers full of seething rage - the rage was almost palpable. Her tiny, yappy dog had a sense of something wrong, and was lunging at my wheels while emitting high pitched noises that may or may not have been attempts to bark. She tried to say something, flecks of white saliva flying from her mouth, her face red from running and hate. I thought I heard something as I switched into my high gear and sped off, avoiding the dunes along the way. It sounded like a banshee howling.
The rest of my ride was fairly uneventful.
2012 Distance Count: 147 Miles | 236.6 Kilometers