Put tires on my road bike that are 3 millimeters wider (25 to 28 mm), so I could ride on a little dirt. What did I get? A berating from two “expert” trail users.
After 4 rides, I learned it’s usually an empty dirt track.
It was mid-morning on a Sunday. The sun was rising, the temperature was swelling past 100. Joggers and other cyclists had already gone home. Too hot to huff and puff. I thought I was alone.
A slight tailwind blew, just enough to block any air flow. The full sun beat on my pigment-impaired face. I’m spinning, sweat burning my eyes — out of breath. Working hard and hardly moving.
The tires were slipping in the thin layer of sand or bouncing off the river rocks sticking out of the hard-packed path.
Came around a bend and saw two women riding horses side-by-side, blocking the path and taking the one good tire track I was following.
I brake. The rider in front slowly moved her horse to her side of the canal. It’s just like a street — people, stay right, don’t cross the center-fucking-line. If someone or something is too slow, pass at your own risk on the left.
These fat-ass horse riders were hogging both sides. The front rider is waving her hand up and doowwwnnn like I should slow down.
I’m not slowing down. Get the fuck out of the way, shit-head.
As the horse moved, I released the brake and hit the pedals. A lot easier to keep momentum on the dirt than having to stop, shift and start again.
“Slow down,” the rider behind yells. “You are coming around a blind curve.”
As I pass, I hear the voice fading into the background… “You are going to spook the horses and get someone killed…”
I didn’t have enough air to respond. My midwestern upbringing, my first thought was to say “sorry” like a fucking Canadian. Glad I couldn’t speak.
Spinning down the canal, thinking “fuck the midwest nice“. I was spiraling.
- “Who the fuck does she think she is…
- “This isn’t your god damn backyard… Get out of my fucking way. It’s a shared path.
- “How about you train your horses — people took horses into battle with artillery and machine guns — surely your nag can deal with a fat bastard on a bicycle.”
- “What is the difference between 5 mph and 15 mph in spooking a horse?”
I’m pissed at them for yelling at me. I’m pissed at me for not yelling back.
I hardly noticed the 6-percent hill on the barely-paved access road to the gravel pit. I’m cussing out loud and hitting the pedals harder and harder. If I didn’t have the bike and was doing the same thing in a bus station, someone would call the cops and have me committed.
There are tons of horse-only trails in the Tonto National forest 5 miles to the east. Why the fuck do they have to ride on “my new” canal. (The south canal has been there since 1906…)
How fucking rich do you have to be to own a horse in the 21st Century? I could barely afford an 8-pound dog.
What is the fucking point in keeping a horse?
- So you can call it “exercise” sitting your fat ass on its back and making it do all the walking? A Harley will do the same thing, and it won’t take a shit on a trail for everyone else to step in.
- So you can give it a name, look it in the eye and “share a carrot” like Lady and the Tramp — because your spouse will no longer join you in public displays of affection? Get a golden retriever. It will sniff your ass like your farts smell like roses.
- So you can “re-live” previous centuries and personally dominate other animals that are much bigger and stronger than humans? Go to Sea World. Nothing will make you feel more dominant (or shame) than watching Shamu’s dorsal fin flop over from swimming laps in a kiddy-pool for 30 fucking years.
Maybe I should make a documentary on the people who keep horses. They probably are full of meth and guns. Horse King anyone?
What good is captivity for the horse? If you love that animal, set it free. There’s a pack of wild horses that roam where the water actually flows in the Salt River. It’s only two miles upstream from where you yelled at me.
I’ve ridden at 40 miles an hour downhill past those wild horses, and “speed” didn’t spook them.
Your horses are some kind of domesticated pussies.
Maybe your dominance and corralling them in a half-acre lot has made them go a little crazy?
How about you sell your horse-lot and tack. Take all that money and donate it to the people who keep the wild horses alive. That way you are saving horses, and not just hoarding one for yourself — you selfish prick.
Then you can call yourself a friend to “horses.”
You can also get the fuck off “my” canal and stop yelling at fat bastards barely balancing on a bicycle with skinny tires.