Oh the lazy, crazy, HOT days of Summer
Actually, it wasn't all that bad today but the thermometer said 95 degrees. Amanda and I rode around Sacramento again today, this time riding the Sacramento Northern Bikeway trails instead of "urban riding." Having not spent a lot of time on bike trails in favor of the open road, I must admit I don't really like them. They're too narrow for any real ped/bike traffic, they're always full of people going the wrong direction, and they often take you to areas remote enough that I would be worried about my girlfriend (or sister, mom, daughter, friend who is a girl) using them by herself. Anywho after riding around on these trails (which we found quite difficult to navigate BTW) for about an hour we dead-ended on one of them and cruised out onto the road. Fortunately we figured out where we were based on the location of the river and skyline so we knew which way to go. As we made our way back through a sorta-shady neighborhood a thick-necked white fellow called out to me, What up wood?" I ignored him and continued on my way. For those not in the know, "wood" is short for "pecker-wood", a slang term coined by southern blacks in the 19th century to describe poor white people whom they considered to be loud and pesky like a woodpecker. Since the 1940s it has been used by white supremacists to describe each-other. Thus, he was identifying me as a white supremacist, which I am not, and I felt no obligation to respond to him. He took offense at my non-response, and let loose a barrage of insulting and threatening comments which I also ignored. Amanda, who was riding in front of me turned the next corner and immediately had a blow out on her rear tire. "Awesome" she said sarcastically, looking in the direction from which we expected the moron to barge at any moment. I smiled at our poor luck and went about fixing her tube, occasionally glancing up at approaching footsteps which were never him. When I was done we took off again, only to be cut off by a large truck driven by another moron as soon as I'd gotten up to speed. The driver did it while staring right at me, smiling smugly. Normally I would just slide around him and give him a glance that said tisk tisk but I was already a little ticked at people's general stupidity so I slowed down and flipped the driver off with both hands, staring into his eyes. He stopped smiling but did nothing else. I immediately felt stupid and embarrassed at my response (it was immature, unChristlike and I put Amanda in danger by doing it) and I was glad Amanda didn't see it. I realize this story makes it sound like I didn't have fun on the ride, but I did. We saw the city from a new angle, rode in the trees and worked off the watermelon Merlino's Freeze drinks that we got at Mr. Pickles. I guess the moral of the story is that every bike ride, no matter how seemingly mundane can become an exercise in self-control... or something. In any case: ride on, have fun, be careful and use your head.