Fairy Tale: The Walker, The Mailman and the Squirrel

Once upon a time there was a princess that wanted (ok, make that "needed" - Bruce will be a slave driver on 11/14) to go ride her bike at lunch. Her prince preferred her to ride a different route than the one she chose, but she liked it for the terrain.

She suited up in her kit, clipped her shoes into her pedals and off she flew, feeling fast and free as she glided into the breezy pre-noon air. Traffic was light in some spots, and heavy in others; seemingly the opposite of most days. Without incident, she made it to the hill and out to where she wouldn't hit a stop light for another 45 minutes.

The headwind was demoralizing, her legs burning and sore from a hard gym workout the day before. She saw another princess descending the hill and waved as they continued in opposite directions. As she crested the hill, there was another princess. What? Not even 30 minutes in to her ride and already she'd seen 2 other princesses out riding and no princes. What a day!

The next few miles ticked by without incident, the headwind like a battering ram, but the sky was as blue as the ocean and the clouds floating quietly like marshmallows up above.

She noticed a few hundred yards ahead a man walking with traffic in the bike lane where it narrowed to 2 or so feet. She looked back to see if she could safely take the lane to pass, but naturally there was a truck barreling down the road. The driver clearly saw the princess, as well as the walker, so he safely passed over the yellow line, allowing her to safely pass in the lane of traffic.

Disaster averted.

As the princess came back around to finish up her loop she passed a mailman stopped delivering the mail. Soon he passed her back, and again as he was stopped to drop mail she passed him once more. He pulled to stop a third time, and was unfortunately forced to stick out halfway into the narrow lane of traffic as there was no shoulder there. She looked back to see if it was safe to pass, but unfortunately there was a box truck heading right for them. If there was no traffic coming the other way this would have been fine, but sadly there was a car heading the opposite direction taking the other lane.

With only a split second to decide her course of action the princess hit the brakes and slowed to a stop, waiting for the box truck to pass the mailman, so she could pass the mailman and continue on her merry way.

Disaster averted once again.

Now it was time to descend! While there had been a nasty headwind climbing up the hill, the wind seemed to continue to buffet her attempts to gain speed, and a car kept close behind her, not passing for some reason. She decided not to relinquish the bottom of the hill sprint just because of the car, so once down at the "line" she took off out of the saddle gaining momentum and speed.

Just as she sat up to recover, still near max speed, out into the road bounded a bushy-tailed squirrel. OH NO! The eyes on both the squirrel and the princess bugged out in cartoon fashion as they only had a split second to determine a course of action. The squirrel had run right at the princess on her bike.

She grabbed a handful of brake and fishtailed as the squirrel passed safely inches from her front tire. Both continued, their hearts pounding with adrenaline.

Luckily the rest of the ride was simple enough and the princess arrived back at work and lived happily ever after.