Monday, October 13, 2008

My Biggest Fear Part 3

Back before my pregnancy with Critter, I was busy discovering the joys of bicycling. I worked a 38 hour work week, and the scheduling of my hours actually gave me every Friday afternoon off. With Smooch in already paid for daycare and Critter barely a thought on the horizon, I could be a bit selfish and use Friday afternoons for me time. Naps, shopping, the occasional mid afternoon rendezvous with the hubby, time was mine to waste as my whimsy saw fit. Occasionally, Bonehead would take the afternoon off with me and we would venture out for bike rides together.

This was an opportune time for a bike date with Bonehead because the child sitting was already taken care of. One Friday morning I rode my bike to work, and he met me there on his bike when I was able to leave. We set off for our ride together, pedaling along and enjoying a beautiful summer day.

I love riding with Bonehead. He’s always sweet and lets me take the lead at my pace and never complains about the fact that my pace is usually 5-10mph slower than his. He’s never impatient with me, even though he could leave me behind in a nanosecond. And he is usually the event moderator, making wise crack comments every now and then, just enough to help me forget that my ass is killing me, my legs are screaming with burn, or my lungs are about to seize up from the last mole hill I had to climb.

We set off for the trail head of a trail I had not ridden before. The trail its self is nestled under a canopy of trees with breaks periodically, leading you through the perimeter of farmer’s fields here and there. As we rode further and further down the trail I took in the beauty of the quiet forest around us, noticing the occasional furry creature or two scamper or hop across the trail in front of me. It was beautiful, and breathing in the freshly tree filtered air filled me to the brim with a love of summer rides.

We hit a clearing and I happened to notice a bird or two swooping down toward us. But before I could get too worked up over it, we hit another canopy of trees and it was all too soon forgotten.

On the way back through, Bonehead, who knows my fear of birds, warned me.

“Chas, we’re coming up on where the birds swooped at us before, so you might want to pick up your pace a bit.”

I completely agreed, so I picked the pace up from about 7mph to around 10mph and felt I was doing a pretty good clip when I hit that clearing. And I saw it, a black bird with red wings, and it looked like it just might be chasing me. So I picked up the pace a little more. And I wasn’t sure, but I thought it was just maybe chasing me faster, so I picked up the pace even more.

From out of nowhere, the bird swooped down and pecked my helmet. I didn’t see it, but I felt the whack as it hit the plastic at the back of the helmet. I let out a scream and from that point on, I only had room in my head for visions of Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds followed immediately by vivid images of Crows eating carrion, followed by the image of this particular black bird missing my helmet and pecking through my neck and coming back out with a piece or two of brainstem.

That clicking sound of beak against my bike helmet was all I needed to locate the rocket propulsion in my legs. They moved at a speed I was not previously aware I was capable of, and I couldn’t stop even once I reached the next crop of trees. I was deathly afraid the bird was still chasing me, and I wasn’t sure where hubby was because I just knew if I turned around I would give it all inclusive access to my eyeballs.

My rush of adrenaline finally left and I stopped and collapsed like a bowl of warm Jell-o. And found Bonehead laughing himself silly at my trail side shenanigans. It was then I noticed the sign “Beware of Redwing Blackbirds protecting their nests”.

Fine time to notice the darned sign.

But at least Bonehead got a good laugh, because I’m pretty sure I resembled a clown on a tricycle- knees and elbows at 100mph must be a sight to see. And I learned I could exceed 18mph without going downhill.

However, I haven’t been back on that trail since.

Disclaimer: The picture above was in no way, shape or form taken by me.

To learn more about my fear of birds, check out My Biggest Fear Part 1 and Part 2.


for a different kind of girl said...

I do not blame you at all! No way I would go near those hostile birds again! Birds in general freak me out.

thedomesticfringe said...

That was pretty funny. My first visit to your sight...hello! I'm going to keep reading now.