Time to venture into the East Coast jungle.
Many have warned me against the overpopulated roads and crazy drivers so I am pretty anxious about the upcoming ride. I will not be following a bike trail anymore, so people might not be used to sharing the road with cyclists. Let’s wait and see.
Getting out of Yorktown is misery. I’m on a four-lane highway and it’s time to take my high-visibility fluorescent jacket out, don a helmet and turn the rear light on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be enough to fend off the crazy.
An hour into my ride, a van gets behind me and starts tooting. I make the arm signal for them to pass but they won’t. They drag themselves behind and keep honking. I have nowhere to go for there’s no shoulder. The other lane is empty however, so I don’t understand why the driver won’t pass me. What do they want?! Kill me?
After a couple of very stressful minutes, a recess allows me to go to the side. As the car passes me, I turn to the driver and yell “where AM I supposed to go?!” I see a woman agitating behind the wheel and vociferating god-knows-what at me. I swear to God there’s steam coming out of her ears and nose. What does she want?! Obviously, not to pass me and move on with her life. She wants to let me know that I do not belong in the street and that I’m a pest that should be exterminated like a cockroach.
Seriously, it takes three seconds for a car to pass a cyclist on an empty road. Obviously, these must have been some VERY important three seconds to that woman and how DARE I steal them from her!
There is some positive too today, so let’s not despair. I cross paths with a fellow touring cyclist, Steven, who is riding the Potomac River Trail. He started cycling some 6 years ago and has been getting 5000 miles under his belt every year since then.
“Wow, that’s a lot!” I exclaim with awe.
“I guess… for a 75 year old!”
“75 years old?! Wow, no, that’s A LOT for ANYONE!!!”
So yeah, Steven started cycling at the sweet age of 69 and has been going strong ever since.