My Friday night ride’s goal was simple, get out and get some miles. One of the great benefits of living in the rural countryside is the ability to bike with very little road traffic and endless back roads. Since I moved into my rural home months ago I have explored and discovered numerous good routes of varying distances. My favorite evening route so far is a simple 11-12 mile route that has fewer climbs than most routes, but its challenging enough to provide a good hour workout. What I love about this route is its meandering nature as it weaves in and out of cattle farms with scenic views of the surrounding hills. Eventually the road winds through a few small, sleepy little dead and dying towns. Most of these houses and areas have seen better days, most are worn and run down with a few boarded up windows. The shops are all closed. But on some nights as I roll into the little unincorporated towns I witness a local man with a big bushy beard, a pair of worn jeans and a white t-shirt sitting out on the front porch with his acoustic guitar, playing tunes while the sun finishes its trip below the horizon. Kids ride around on bikes without shirts or shoes, just their jeans without a care in the world. Its a quiet little town. The world has moved on and left them behind, they do not seem to care.
I ride this route because it has fewer climbs and is pretty balanced in its challenge. Also, I can usually get home from work and finish this ride before the sunlight fully fades. Friday night I had decided I would go for a quick spin, taking this route, it would only take an hour, but it was later than usual. After the first four miles I began to make my way into the first little dead town. At this place I would take a right and continue on to the next. This town housed the local dump and a leather shop, not much else. The locals were out, sitting on their porch and hanging out at the leather shop, later I found out the owner is on disability and only passes time making leather goods. As I headed to the intersection I would turn at, I heard sirens coming towards me. While they were moving in the opposite direction, I decided to get off the road.
This proved to be the wise decision as seconds later a white SUV came barreling at me in the wrong lane, cop car in pursuit with sirens blaring and lights flashing. The SUV made a sharp left turn, the cop in tow. I could hear they were going to come back my way again so I moved to where the locals were standing and joined them. They offered me a beer while I watched the show but I declined and stood and chatted with them as we watched the SUV and police go in the same circle several times. Eventually the SUV plunged forward, choosing not to go in circles any longer, the cop car followed. Seconds later four or five more cop cars came whizzing by and flew off in the direction of the pursuit. I chatted for a few minutes before hearing a change in the sirens. The locals informed me those were first responders, they knew the sounds of the local sirens and knew that meant the chase did not end well for someone involved. They all grabbed their beers and mixed drinks and hopped into their vehicles, determined to see how this chase ended. Me.. well I had enough excitement for the day, and light was growing sparse, so I turned around and conceded the ride over due to police chase. Til next time.
What is the craziest thing you witnessed while out riding?