Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Close Calls

with 3 comments

For the most part, my week of biking and camping was perfect. Weather was good, trails and roads were great, and my body delivered everything I asked of it. I was in the company of really great companions who fed my soul and entertained my brain.

However, my performance wasn’t entirely without incident.

IMG_iP1425eJKThe first occasion happened when I was cruising the trail with Rich and Steve on the day we coincidentally chose to wear our blue sleeveless jerseys. While some cat-callers threw out a moniker with the word “smurf” in it, Rich anointed us the “Blue Man Crew.”

There are many driveways and a few roads that the trail crosses, and at each one there is a stop sign. We are supposed to stop at each one, but in the rural setting there is very little traffic present. Instead of stopping, we would most often yield, pausing to look for cars.

After miles of no traffic, we arrived at one where a large truck had just crossed our trail and was waiting to turn onto the adjacent highway. We were talking and Rich had pulled out his water bottle as we approached. Suddenly I spotted a pickup truck pulling up behind the larger truck.

In a split second decision, I raised my hand in a wave and rolled through between the two vehicles, but Rich and Steve abruptly hit their brakes. I figured the pickup couldn’t go anywhere with the larger truck stopped in front of it. The other two made the proper decision, but paid a price when their rapid deceleration led to their bikes tangling and a spoke on Rich’s front wheel getting bent.

Our behavior seemed to rile the driver of the pickup truck, as he then raced around the large truck and cut across it in a right turn, racing his engine as he sped off.

Thinking that the spoke was broken, we gingerly made our way to the day’s destination, worried about a risk the wheel might collapse. Luckily, it wasn’t a broken spoke after all. Mike, our trusty Penn Cycle mechanic supporting the trip, was able to straighten it out and true the wheel, good as new.

The second close call happened at the end of the week as we pulled back into the town of Brainerd. I was in a small group of riders who were all seeking the best route to the fair grounds. We crossed a street at an intersection with cars waiting their turn.

Folks announced their intentions with calls of “Slowing!” and “Stopping!” I twisted my right foot out of the clipless pedal in preparation of stopping, and then got caught with my weight on the other foot. I followed their calls with one of my own.


I came out of it with nothing more than a bruised hip, forearm and ego.

Just another close call.












Written by johnwhays

June 30, 2016 at 6:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Glad you weren’t hurt more seriously, John!


    July 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

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