I have ridden road bikes for years but never have I gone off road. I was a little uneasy about this ride in the beginning. I thought to myself, "I’m going to do 50 – 55 miles on a 36 pound mountain bike with the forecast calling a high in the upper 80’s?" To compound the issue, at the start of the ride our tour guide Michael informed us that some of the areas we were going to ride through are classified by banjos with five banjos being the worse. Nice. That really calmed my nerves, especially while wearing spandex in the woods.
After riding 10 miles we regrouped at a church. As we left the church and started down
As it happens on so many rides, the riders in front stir up the dogs and those in the back fend for their lives. Near the end of the ride and finally back on asphalt, peacefully rolling down a hill this really big mean dog comes running at us full tilt from a nearby house. He wants a piece of somebody real bad. Guess who's in back? Not as easy to outsprint a dog on the mountain bike compared to my road bike. I sped up and eyed a bridge with a turn on the other side. The big gnarly dog was closing. Within seconds of reaching the bridge, it didn’t look like the boards were fastened properly. Some, in the middle, bowed badly. Michael and I went flying across the bridge! I yelled “right” to those in front. I had never ridden this road and hoped I made the right call. I didn’t want to back track past that dog. Thankfully the bridge acted as one of those cattle crossings stopping the dog in his tracks after we had made the turn.
PS: All dogs aside, Jim's planning a return trip in the fall.