It has not been a quiet week in the land of Arienna… Well, two weeks really. First, I lost my job. My perfect, wonderful job that I was constantly grateful for having… Gone. Then, I broke my tablet laptop, that which I use for school notes and art work… And being freshly unemployed am in sort of an awkward place about replacing. Merf. While I was whimpering about that, my young man announced he’s trying to get into a training school (he’s a soldier) that will take him out of state for at least a year. And my great aunt died. I’ve been pretty tempted to feel overwhelmed.
My parents went away to attend a wedding, so I had promised to house and cat sit. I almost canceled as, after this whole mess, the thought of being alone in a large house in the middle of nowhere for a whole week was pretty distressing… but they had no one else, so I packed up my bags and hied me hence up north. I wavered briefly on which bike to take with me. I knew I was going to take -a- bike, but solid, sensible Ariel? Or the sleek, fast Bella Donna who has troubles on rough terrain? Remembering how flat and lovely the terrain is, I cheerfully loaded the Bella Donna onto the back of my car and headed off!
First thing on waking up Friday, I climbed into my new bib shorts. I was pretty excited about these shorts. I promised myself a pair after my first saddle sore, since everyone told me that bibs are a lot better – the shoulder straps keeps them in place better than tight waist elastic and they’re a little slimming besides. I got an AMAZING deal on them from a friend who ordered the wrong size and couldn’t return them. So I climbed into my bib shorts, put on my second favourite jersey and off I went!
I was having an amazing ride! The weather was cold, but not so cold that I needed a balaclava (which lately is my definition of very, very good weather). The Bella Donna loves those flats and there was no one else out there so I cranked up the music (bike trails, no cars!) and kicked out hard. The trail is beautiful with lovely scenery, following a creek with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. The Bella Donna steers through psychic suggestion – you don’t so much manipulate the handle bars as you think vague thoughts of going in one direction or the other and suddenly you are.
So there I was, flying along at approximately 17-18 miles per hour… when up three deer burst out of the trees onto the trail.
“Oh.” Thought I. “So this is how I’m going to die.”
Only an amazing thing happened! Instead of fleeing across the trail (and into my suddenly small and fragile self) as I expected them to.. they curved slightly and ran beside me. For nearly two miles, I raced along the trail in a pack of three deer, their graceful leaping run keeping effortless pace with the Bella Donna and me. I could’ve reached out and touched any one of them. It was… amazing. As suddenly as they had appeared, the three of them pealed off and vanished into the trees, leaving me feeling as if something world changing had just happened.