Thursday, July 12, 2007

a few nice folks on the sunset ride

I was enjoying a nice leisurely ride yesterday evening when at about 2 1/2 miles up the trail I came around a sharp turn and glanced down the trail behind me. I spotted another rider a couple hundred yards behind me. Suddenly, without consciously deciding to do so, my pace bumped way up and that old competitive spirit spiked my veins. I don’t even know why. I didn’t even know this other person and suddenly I just had to make it to the top ahead of him.

At the first saddle/trail junction I stopped as usual to take a break and get a good drink of water. Here, I met John, who was asking a few questions about the riding/trail options. Apparently, he hadn’t been up here for a few years. He was just coming back from surgery on both knees after a bike crash in La Tuna canyon (ouch!). He was waiting for some of his friends. I thought maybe that other rider was one of his friends so I stayed and talked with John awhile to find out.

But, that other rider continued on ahead up the trail. It wasn’t John’s friend. So, now the race was on again and I was behind – oh, dear no! So I wished John well and headed off. I was a little more in control of my senses, so I just rode casually up the trail for a while, not wanting to crowd the ride for the other rider. But, then, there he was again right in front of me and I just had to creep up behind him. We both said “Hey, how’s it going” at exactly the same time, so I felt obliged to add “Nice day for a ride,” to which he responded “Yeah, it’s perfect,” And, he was right. It was nice and cool with plenty of shade in the corners of the trail. But I couldn’t stay to ride with him ‘cause once you get that competitiveness into the blood it’s really hard to let go of it.

I saw him again at the top after I’d finished the last of my water and was ready to head back down. We both came back down the same way we had come up. He caught up with me toward the bottom of the trail (I guess a full suspension bike really does hold some tiny advantage over a no suspension bike after all.) We chatted briefly again and I found out that he rides this trail twice a week. So, maybe we’ll run into each other again soon and we’ll be able to ride together without being so competitive. Maybe John will show up again, too. It would be nice to have a few nice folks to ride with.

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