September 29, 2002

miles to go: 529.28

David has already targeted our next victim. 

"The punk in the green helmet," he growls menacingly.  A quarter of a mile ahead of us, I see 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.

Here 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" someone.)  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 Ю僱êrvØ¡ and his Chariot of Fire.

I have only myself to blame for this.

I'm 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.

"That was amazing!" 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.

Meanwhile, we're gradually gaining on Green Helmet Guy, who -- god help him -- is crawling along even more slowly than he was when we first spotted him. 

"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?

"Two 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!"

Green 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.

Awwwwwww, I turn to say to David. Isn't he adorable?

But 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.

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hi gayle! i LOVE the jacket!!!!!!!!!!