At one time or another, we all get what we deserve. What goes around, comes around. Karma. Devine intervention. S#!t happens.
A few weeks back, I set out for a couple hours of skinny-tire tranquility. The unceasing 20 mph wind broke my spirit early into the ride. I was pedaling backward. I felt like poop, and wasn't happy about the way I was riding at all. The wind simply added to the bad taste in my mouth that this ride was giving me.
As I pushed further into the ride, my mood deteriorated further. I was waiting for that point when you push through feeling bad into feeling OK. It never came. Usually after about an hour, I loosen up and just enjoy being on my bike. Not happening. I was getting past being in a bad mood, and just getting downright mad.
I got to the far point of my ride and was ready to just bag the whole thing. I could stop and call Pookie to come get me. It wouldn't even hurt my ego at this point. My mental state was not interested in riding my bicycle today and my legs were not willing to do anything to help.
Just when I hit mental rock-bottom, I reached the area where I knew the wind would be changing direction - and it did. I was now being pushed home at 25mph by a glorious tailwind. I could soft pedal back to Roanoke and forget this ride ever happened. My mood lifted. I was alive again. Nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing. I began to whistle.
I approached a red light, started slowing and took my rightful place in the center of the right lane (on the four-lane section of West Main Street) where I settled into my normal track-stand. Behind me I could hear the approaching rumble of a big ol' something-or-another. The engine revved. Then it revved louder as to alert me that I was in the way and needed to move. I continued my track-stand waiting for a green light. When it changed, I accelerated to a tail-wind aided 20mph fairly quickly. The truck sounded like it was going to run me down from behind. West Main has two lanes in each direction and a turn lane in the middle, so I felt no need to move to the outside of the white line to let Bigfoot squeeze through. I held my line. (I ride about a foot to the LEFT of the white line to avoid being buzzed by cars. If you ride too far to the right, drivers tend to buzz pretty close when passing you)
As I continued, the truck got louder and more aggressively stomped on the gas. I held my line. When the line of cars in the left lane passed me, he finally moved into the passing lane and moved on by. All the while spouting some gibberish about owning the road and spandex...
My normal cheery self would have laid into him with both barrels. I don't care how big your truck is, you don't berate someone just because they're doing something that you have no clue about and never will. But my day and mood had already been to the depths of crappiness and back, and this moron wasn't gonna pee on my sunshine.I ignored him and kept riding. He sped by me and moved back into the right lane.
Not 30 seconds later, I saw the truck slow to a crawl directly ahead. "Oh crap, what's he gonna do?" You hear horror stories of biker-motorist conflicts taken to the extreme. I didn't want any parts of it. I slowed slightly, then started to notice something odd. Seems that Junior's big ol' truck was a big ol' P.O.S.
Karma works in strange ways. The left rear axle, along with both rear wheels on the big dually, had separated themselves from the rear differential. The wheels had fallen off. No joke. The once mighty bicyclist-eating behemoth was now dead in the water. The two left side rear wheels were sitting upright in the middle of the left lane. Junior was sitting in the driver's seat looking like a giant doofus. As I approached I thought of spouting off about P.O.S. trucks and their P.O.S. owners, but then I thought of Karma. He already got his by being a jerk and trying to intimidate a 145 lb cyclist with a 2 ton truck.
I just rode by him like he wasn't there. Well, I may have chuckled just a tiny bit.