Sunday, May 23, 2010

Close Encounter of the Furry Kind


Is there anything quite as scary as having a deer jump out in front of your car? Well, yes there is. Having a deer jump out in front of your bike.

Even if it wasn't raining, the roads were wet from the hard overnight rain that fell. But I had gone one mile when the rain started to fall. Oh well. A ride in the rain is better than sitting on the sofa.

I followed Country Club Road to Flowing Springs and then to Job Corps Road. I was just getting some speed up and out of nowhere (actually it had to be out of somewhere) a deer jumped right in front of me. I was riding head down with my hands on the "hoods" and had no time to brake. Probably best. If I had panicked and touched the brakes on the wet roads I may have wiped out anyhow. Instead I steered through it. And let out a scream. A manly scream.

I think it missed it by less than six inches. What a scare! That was followed by an adrenalin rush.

What a scary moment. A lot of "what ifs"played through my mind including what if I had collided and crashed? And I remembered that I didn't have my Road ID on these shoes nor was I carrying my Jimi Wallet with my ID in it. I might be sprawled along side this lightly traveled road, and if unconscious, no one would know who I was.

Surely the deer was scared too. It actually did not bolt straight across in front of me but took a jump forward in the direction I was traveling. I think its forward momentum made me avoid it.

Most of the rest of the ride was spent thinking about my near collision.

Railroad Bridge at Harpers Ferry

My three-state ride took me to Harpers Ferry, across the railroad bridge, to the C&O Canal Tow Path. And that brought back pleasant memories. The river was flowing high and the sounds of the white water along with the river smell was enjoyable.

Railroad Bridge at Harpers Ferry

I had to ride on the tow path for about 1/2 mile or so until I came to a foot bridge that crossed over the canal to Sandy Hook Road. I followed that to Brunswick then crossed the 340 Bridge into Virginia.

Potomac River looking down river at
US 340 bridge between Md. (left) and Va. (right)

I was in Virginia less than two miles then began the climb up Chestnut Hill Road. I know it to be 12% grade but Garmin showed 1%. Teasing me, I guess. Earlier I was on 340 on a 6-7% grade and it showed 44%. Even Garmin has a bad day.

I reached Route 9, followed it back to Cattrell Road and back to Bethany's. Once I got over the scare of the close encounter of the furry kind I could sit back and relish my rainy 31 mile, three-state ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment