to go: 529.28
targeted our next victim.
punk in the green
helmet," he growls menacingly. A quarter of a mile ahead of
the gleam of a green bicycle helmet, moving very slowly up the Iron
Horse Trail. David leans forward into the wind ... shifts the
Cannondale into 'attack' ... and
then, saying the three words I've come to dread -- "Let's
smoke 'em!" -- he shoots off
down the trail like a heat-seeking missile. I have no choice but to
gear up and follow him.
we go again.
So far today we have
"smoked" an elderly Asian-American gentleman, a fat guy in striped
sweatpants and most of a Cub Scout troop. (I'm not counting Wheelchair
Guy or the little girl on the purple training bike: they both saw us
coming and moved off to one side of the trail, which -- unless I'm
mistaken -- sort of negates the whole principle of "smoking"
Now we're going to smoke Green Helmet Guy, whose only crime, as far
as I can tell, has been to dawdle on the bike trail directly in the
path of The Mighty
and his Chariot of Fire.
have only myself to
blame for this.
the one who got all
bent out of shape by those two Power Rangers last month. They crowded
ahead of us on the bike trail, in their fancy-pants USPS jerseys and
their skinny bazillion-dollar bicycles, full of twitchy impatient
energy and "On your left!"
snootiness ... and then they promptly dropped down to .000675 mph,
directly in front of us for the next half hour, essentially trapping us
behind them on the trail. I'm the one who
deliberately dogged them the entire way, riding close enough behind
them to hear them panting and farting and arguing with each other. ("You
take the lead!" "No, YOU take the lead!") And
I'm the one who eventually zoomed around them both -- "Passing
on YOUR left!" -- and left them
in the proverbial cloud of dust. Within thirty seconds they were mere
dots on the horizon behind us. Later, David and I saw
them sitting in Danville, eating doughnuts.
David crowed in the car, after the ride. "You totally SMOKED
those Power Rangers!"
I didn't bother explaining that I'd been almost
as annoyed by their clothing as I was their crappy riding technique. My
philosophy is that if you're going to dress like a Power Ranger,
forcryingoutloud, you'd damn well better RIDE
like one. (Which is basically why I'm content to not dress like a Power
Ranger: I don't want that much responsibility.) David didn't care,
anyway: he was just turned on by new Aggressive Athlete Secra. We
played three rounds
of Yahtzee that night, as I recall.
gradually gaining on Green Helmet Guy, who -- god help him -- is
crawling along even more slowly than he was when we first spotted
"Look at him up there," David sneers contemptuously. "He's just sitting
there! He's not even trying!" I
feel a momentary pang of sympathy for the guy. This isn't
a race, after all: it's a bike trail. We're all supposed to be out here
having fun ... right? When did this become one
big Smoking Contest, anyway?
bikes, passing on
your left!" David trumpets, in his very best Radio Announcer Voice, as
we approach Green Helmet Guy from behind. "One more, right behind me!"
Helmet Guy swivels
around and looks at me as we pass him. I shrug apologetically -- Sorry
about my husband: he's a maniac
-- but Green Helmet Guy doesn't seem to care at all that he's being
smoked. In fact, he seems downright overjoyed to see us. He holds up
a battered Oreo, in one pudgy fist, and beams at me with a mouth mostly
devoid of teeth.
"I godda gookie!" he beams
happily. And he kicks at
the harness of his infant seat, his little green bike helmet gleaming
in the sun, while his daddy stoically pedals their bike along the trail
without looking up at us.
I turn to say to David. Isn't
David, having left
Green Helmet Guy in a glorious cloud of dust and smoke, is already
halfway up the trail ... no doubt in search of our next victim.
in 2002 index