On July 4th, the Mister tried to kill me.
No, he didn’t try using conventional means, like death by chocolate. Instead he suggested we ride our bikes on what he said was a nice, short, off-road trail near the mighty Brazos River (aka the longest river in Texas). Sounded gentle enough to me, so off we went.
I quickly figured that this was not going to be an easy-peasy ride when we had a rather steep (for me) downhill drop to where the trail starts. Then I checked out the helpful information on the trail map and saw what might be encountered during our ride: Feral hogs, poison, ivy, and snakes. Yikes! I have an enormous aversion to all three.
Next I looked to the right of the trail map and saw the above sign. “Advanced skills?” What about just plain old skills?!? Did the Mister have an ulterior motive?
Of course, I can ride a bike, but I’m really a big chicken when I’m spinning the pedals, because I have a fear of falling off. Here I was in a place that required actual ability while trying to avoid animals and slithery stuff. Oh, and trees, too. Lots of ’em.
When I’m on a bike, trees are like magnets, and my Specialized is made of steel. There’s just no doubt in my mind that I’m going to smack into at least one, if not several.
As tempted as I was to walk back up that hill and return to flat ground, I decided to be brave and see what the trail had to offer . . . which was a fair amount of walking down steep descents for me. It was my own scary version of the Tour de France in the Alps. Believe me, I gave new meaning to the term “slow cyclist” (we used to call them “daisy pickers”; no daisies to be found on this trail, though).
When I managed to be on my bike, I found myself holding my breath as I waited to see what the next obstacle would be. Twice the trail squeezed through two trees that barely had enough room for our bodies to pass through. It was harrowing for me!
Of course, the Mister claimed that he had no idea that the trail was so technical. And I’m sure the price of gas will be two bucks today as feral pigs fly over the station.
I discovered, though, that it was worth it to brave the trail when the Mister and I stopped at an opening overlooking the Brazos River.
Whenever I see that long waterway, I think about the courageous pioneers who crossed it and decided to settle in this great state of mine. Oh, the future they must have imagined! All those green forests just waiting to be explored and thinned out to make space for them to build log cabins.
I just hope that they were kinder to their spouses!