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Dances with wolves turns to biking with beasts

young wolves biting each other on snow

You might recall the unfortunate incident of previous riding attempts with Hubs. Not great. But we decided to give it another whirl. Because that’s how marriage works.

We had an unexpectedly beautiful day in March. I said, “I need a 2 hour ride, easy zone 2, I’m carrying a lot of fatigue from the week, care to join?”

He said, “you bet. Let’s go get you some QOMs.”

Bad start.

If you don’t know. QOMs (Queen of the Mountain) refer to routes in the area that have been marked by other athletes in Strava as being challenging. If you ride or run with Strava, it tracks your efforts and ranks you as first, second, third. Girls have QOMs, boys have KOMs.

Midway through the route he tells me we have to go down Sugar Tree Hollow because it’s so pretty and also it’s a QOM he’s sure I can get. I’m grumpy at this point: the sun is going down, it’s getting cold, the condition of this road is terrible, my teeth are rattling around in my head. We get to the start of the segment, he counts me down, ready set go. I roll my eyes and lead out.

I hear murmuring over my left shoulder. I ignore it because riding with Hubs involves a lot of commentary, most of which I cannot hear. The wind is rushing past my helmet, we’re staggered too far apart, and my ears are still clogged from the whole strep thing. He also gesticulates a lot. Pointing at landmarks, mountains, bumps in the road. I always ignore this too. I’m not great at swiveling my head while riding and I’m even worse with directions so landmarks have zero significance to me.

I hear a monotone, “there’s a dog,” come floating over the wind. I figure he’s pointing out what he deems an interesting looking canine. I ignore him.

Then I hear, “it’s coming.” This could mean anything, he could be talking about clouds, I continue to ignore.

“It’s big.” This has piqued my interest. What is big, and how does it impact me? Is he pointing out a bump in the road? Because that could be important.

“It’s a wolf.” I felt justified at this point risking a wreck and throwing a glance backward.

I can’t accurately describe what the dog looked like but I saw a blur of red and grey that was eerily similar to the creature from M. Night Shyamalan’s, The Village. I then saw a black blur whiz by that turned out to be Hubs. I realized he might have sabotaged me with his monotone announcement because whatever that grey thing back there was, deserved a much more urgent declaration than what was given.

I gassed it. Hard.

I kept shrieking up at him, “IS IT STILL COMING? IS IT STILL COMING?” (he’s much better at looking behind him than I am)

It was.

I even risked a glance. It was back there. Picking. Up. Speed.

Hubs was flailing his foot , claiming he couldn’t clip his shoe into his pedal. Again, I suspected this to be a sandbag strategy, giving me false hope that he would fall behind and be dog bait. He pedaled that whole segment one-legged.

I’m pretty sure the beast chased us for almost a mile. Fortunately, at the steepest part of the climb he must have dropped off, because I would have had to abandon my bike and shimmy up a tree at that point.

When I reunited with Hubs at the top of the hill I loudly informed him I hated that road, the condition was terrible, I was freezing cold, and we almost died via wolf.

He told me my complaints made the experience much more authentic.

From that point, it was a long descent back and I did not see him again until we reunited at the truck. I’m going to go ahead and say that was a wise move on his part.

He went on a ride the next day and came across a camel. I don’t even know anymore. Wolves and camels?

Tomorrow is the first pro triathlon race of the new T100 series. This is a big deal! If you want to watch, you can here -> https://plus.protriathletes.org/home. The men are at 1pm, women 4:50pm EST. T100 is a new initiative from the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) to make triathlon more accessible to fans. They have launched 8 races over the course of the year for only the most elite pros and each race has a huge prize purse. This is exciting because unlike well-known pro sports (NBA, MLB, NFL) there is very little money in competing in triathlon. Initiatives like this make it more profitable and easier to view as they live stream each race. Check it out!

2 thoughts on “Dances with wolves turns to biking with beasts”

  1. Your story had me at the edge of my seat, clenching my jaw and reading furiously (with eyes bulging out of my head) to see how the experience ended.

    Iā€™m glad you survived. Survival of the fittest? well done conquering a wolf!

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