This afternoon N and I hit the trails near our house for a head clearing mountain bike ride. At this time of year it’s rare that we encounter other riders, as the days are shorter and even with the current warm spell you still need long sleeves. It’s usually the diehard riders we see, and even those are few and far between.
So when I saw a rider coming down the trail I was climbing up, I was mildly surprised. That surprise turned to near shock as it got closer, for it was an old woman on what looked to be a commuter bike with fat tires. She wore no helmet, but instead had a wide-brimmed fabric sunhat, whose brim flopped behind her like the Flying Nun, and sported nothing resembling technical gear, just keds on her feet, said sunhat and some pretty strong perfume. The old gal was hauling, and either was truly fearless or did not remember where her brakes were, as she did not slow down a whit as she passed me.
On our ride back on this same trail we came across her again, and again she whizzed by with such reckless speed that she forced N off the trail. If it were any other person I think he would have said something, but the shock of seeing a speeding granny on a mountain bike trail slowed his reaction time.
I have to admit I was impressed. I can only hope that I’m still riding bikes with that much speed and abandon when I get to be her age. Though I might concede to wearing a helmet. And less perfume.