Saturday was quite eventful and I was going to save this for a Friday Confession post but as I typed it out I realized it needed to be it’s own post. Enjoy my shenangians and paranoia.
On Saturday when Hugo and I went for our ride in the hills on country roads north of the “big city”, he got a flat tire just as I thought my bladder was going to burst. Yeah, gross. I REALLY had to pee. I told him I may learn to pee on the bike that day and bounced around from foot to foot doing the pee-pee dance. Hugo let me know that there was a quickie mart about a half mile up the road and I could ride there as he changed his tire. [Angels singing]
Let me paint you a picture of said country roads. There are few cars on these roads but the ones that do come rolling along consist mostly of pickup trucks with those deer decals or some form of camo decoration, a few horse trailers, small packs of motorcyclists (who like the hills just as much as bicyclists), and the occasional regular car. The terrain consists of a few scattered mobile homes, horse farms, orange groves, and a spattering of cow fields. There are some “regular” looking houses but I cannot imagine living that far out in the boonies. No judgement here, I just prefer less driving for groceries. And malls. And street lights.
Anyway, I am a fairly paranoid person. I always have my keys in hand walking out of Target at night. I double check that I have locked the front door. I don’t run alone at night. I give only my car key off the ring when I get my car serviced. Therefore, cycling down this country road to the quickie mart made me a tad uneasy. Yes, even in broad daylight. (Ever see Deliverance?)
As I passed a crossroad, a truck with two men inside turned out behind me and followed me to the quickie mart. Said quickie mart is as unsavory a quickie mart as you could find. No gas pumps. Crumbly exterior. Non brand name of “Something Or Other Mart.” Cue heebie jeebies.
I rode up to the front door and noticed the pickup truck didn’t park. They drove a bit past me and positioned the car as if they were going to exit the parking lot. I took a glance at them, and a glance at my bike, and though, “Oh hell no.” I opened the door to the mart and pulled my bike inside with me.
The attendant just looked at me and nodded yes I could use the restroom. I wheeled my bike to the back of the store with me, found the scariest bathroom of all time (I’m probably being overly dramatic here), and noted the two older homeless looking men playing some sort of video machine poker near the bathroom. Odd. Fortunately, neither I, nor my bike, even registered with these two. They were THAT into their gambling. I did my business and grabbed my bike (which didn’t fit in the bathroom with me dammit!) and walked back outside. Guess what? The pickup truck was still there.
I looked warily at the two dudes in the truck. They looked at me and left. Another man in the parking lot told me, “Be careful out there,” as he walked in. I said thanks and headed back to Hugo. I had a near heart attack every time a car came up behind me thinking it was the pickup truck from the store. It never was.
The rest of the ride was uneventful and I was happy to see parking lot at the end of our 33 miles. Hugo and I finished our ride, meeting up at the cars with the S.O. who had ridden faster and a longer route than we had.
We all had runs to fit in and slapped on our running shoes. Now, I have actually never run in this area after a bike ride before so I asked Hugo the best route. He told me to take a left passed the stop sign and keep taking lefts and I’d have a two mile run back to the parking lot. This sounded easy enough and as the S.O. took off in front of me, I just followed him.
The S.O. took the first left and I figured he was doing the two mile route since he said he was running four miles so I just followed him. I stupidly assumed he was just going to do the loop twice. I was running rather fast for some reason so I kept him in my sights as he again made another left turn. He hit the two mile mark and turned around. He passed me and I told him I would keep going because Hugo said to just keep turning left. I realize how dumb this is because I was already at two miles and I just figured maybe Hugo meant this was a three mile loop. I blame 33 miles of hills on this brain farty logic.
I keep on running and as I get to about two and a half miles a guy in a classic car drives up past me. He’s going pretty slowly and I feel eyes on me. I keep running. I keep thinking, I know if I turn left again I’ll see the parking lot up the road. But, of course, I don’t. And at this point, I am on a desolate, rapey-country-murdery-road. I mean, no shoulder, only fields and barbed wire on either sides. I am not very bright. But, the sun is shining and birds are chirping and I must be close to making a square back, right? I take another left hoping to see the parking lot.
I hit another quarter mile and here comes classic car again, only this time driving toward me. I keep running and the dude leans way over to stare (and give me a freakin’ heart attack). I start sprinting. I’m thinking that if I can get to three miles then I’ll see the lot. Only I get to three miles and see a major highway. I am clearly not a very smart person today. I run for a few more minutes and decide to stop at 3.15 miles. I realize that I have to turn around and run back the way I came. I hate that I have to run six miles and I’m really nervous about the guy in the classic car. (Who probably just ogled a weirdo because she was running down the damn road in the sun on a Saturday morning in the middle of nowhere and is not actually a mass murderer. Sorry Classic Car Guy!)
I start to turn back and I hear a car. As it drives toward me, I flag it down. It’s two ladies, a mom and daughter on their way to the beach. I explain that I don’t want to run three miles back to my car and that I’m a bit nervous about Classic Car Guy. They kindly offer to drive me back to the parking lot. I am saved! Hooray for the kindness of strangers! I sweat all up in their backseat and tell them they are done with good deeds for the year.
We pull into the parking lot and I hop out of the car as Hugo and the S.O. look at me in surprise. I say goodbye to the good deed doers and they drive off. Heading to the beach with a story to tell about the idiot woman who made them take her to her car. The S.O. tells me he just made the first left and was running an out and back. Hugo tells us that the left was at the stop sign, not the first left where we turned. Oops.
I’ll let you all decide the moral of the story by choosing from the answers below.
The moral of the story is:
A. Don’t ride to quickie marts in the country by yourself.
B. Don’t keep running when your S.O. turns around right in front of you.
C. Stop being such a paranoid maniac. You probably made Classic Car Guy feel bad.
D. All of the above.