"Did you see
those two guys watching you?"
disgustedly, "Did you hear what they said?"
sent a shock through my body. "Oh, no!" I thought, "Here we go
My wife (Mad
Mary, her nom carried over from the horse world) and I were pulling
onto the Heritage Trail in Chester to begin our warm-up on the way
to Harriman State Park. I had seen two guys in an
Orange & Rockland truck watching her intensely as we prepared our
bikes for the ride. I thought, "Well, maybe she looks good in her
new biking shorts." I figured she'd be flattered to hear about it,
assuming she'd not noticed for herself. I wasn't ready for her angry
reply— couldn't have imagined they'd say something inappropriate.
set my hair on end. The last time we'd had an encounter at the
Chester train station, it happened as we were coming in from a long
hard ride and some guy sitting on a bench let his unleashed dogs run
barking up to our bikes.
This is Mad
Mary's first year riding. She's still new to getting out of her
clips; so, when the dogs ran up, I held back to make sure I didn't
become part of the problem. By the time I caught back up the guy was
sneering, "You got something to say... say it out loud."
turned toward me, "F***G Bikers!"
What with my
endorphins and insulin surging full throttle, I couldn't stop my
save-the-little-woman autopilot from tripping on. I pulled to an
intense stop at the trail's entrance.
at my wife for no good reason. Nobody calls me names for no good
reason." Those sorts of thoughts flashed through my head on the curl
of a tidal wave of rider's high hormones. I glared directly at this
dog moron and prepared for the fireworks.
wasn't so much a matter of having thoughts, as it was maintaining a
position. I wasn't budging an inch. If this guy wanted to learn
something about endurance sports... he could just bring it on over to
my geezer ass and receive his Cannondale suppository.
On the other
hand I kept hearing Judge Judy in my head admonishing, "Now MR.
SLINGSHOT... when this guy said this to you, why didn't you just
So I didn't
approach him. I just stood planted astride my bike full of raging
macho... waiting. Fortunately this guy had more of his wits about
him than I, so just mumbled some more rubbish and went the other
I rode out
onto the street where my wife was spinning her warm down. "What was
HIS problem?! You didn't say something to him, did you?"
"I called him
an A__hole," she grunted.
So we had a
little discussion about the exact nature of my bicycling enhanced
testosterone. How it's better left unstirred. Far better not to say
a word. Best not to awaken the slumbering giant.
So now after two
guys in an Orange & Rockland truck had said something untoward to my
wife, it's understandable that I had a nerve shattered knee jerk
reaction. "Not more of this!" thinks I.
time neither of us did a thing to incite it. We had merely gotten
our bikes ready for the ride. I finished putting a few extra pounds
in my Calfee's tires while Mad Mary merely bent over to stick her
water bottles on her new bike. Nothing wrong with that!
Her bike is
the newest of the Kestrel line. She'd found it hanging in the
upstairs stairwell at Joe-Fix-It's—aggressive
black aero with colorful bright details, all carbon fiber, all shiny
new and dangling on a wire.
smitten like a 6-year-old looking at her first two-wheeler. All
grins and giggles.
But now we
were on the Heritage Trail and once again in trouble.
confirmed Mary had in fact seen those guys watching, was
very much flattered and thought, "Guess I'm not doin' too bad
for an old broad!? The driver even gave her a big smile with a "HI"
as he ducked back into the cab and motioned his friend (another
young buff & tan work-buck of summer) to lean over and take a look.
So why'd they
have to go too far? Why say something inappropriate?
My hackles were up.
venom, "Did you hear what they said?"
"I think it's