Nicodemus (nicodemusrat) wrote,

The Curious Case of the Vanishing Cyclist

We were cruising homewards along I-5 at a sedate 60mph, not because of traffic but because we had our pavillion tent, chairs, and camp kitchen (see my previous post) strapped to our roof and moving faster than that meant ominous wobblings from our vehicle. This gave us more of a chance than usual to admire the scenery of southern Washington.

The freeway ran alongside a canal for a ways. The near side of the canal was hemmed in by a tall earth levee with a trail along the ridge of it. The weather was clear and everything was grass and birds.

It was then that we got to witness a brief vignette outside before it whizzed out of sight. Two people were out on the path, about to pass one another. From one end came a bicyclist, leaning forward on her mountain bike handlebars, with a dog trailing on a leash behind her. The dog was trotting along on the far side, nearest the canal.

From ahead came a jogger. He also had a dog on a leash. His dog was on the outside edge of the path nearest us. He maneuvered wide so as not to get in the way of the cyclist.

Now this would've been nothing of note, as the two people were just going to pass each other on a path. The dogs, however, decided that they weren't going to pass by. They were both large, cheery, industrial-strength sorts of dogs and they wanted to meet each other, darn it.

Just as the people had passed, the dogs cut across, tails wagging. The jogger's dog made his turn and the jogger jogged into the side of him, stumbling around to keep upright.

The bicyclist... It's important to note that she held her dog's leash in the same hand with which she gripped her handlebar. She evidently had a firm grip on both.

Her dog made an abrupt about-face to meet this friendly new doggy chum. The leash went taught against the canal-side handlebar. The bicyclist, somehow staying upright, made a prompt right turn and shot straight down the levee embankment.

I'm not sure how steep the embankment was but the cyclist disappeared pretty quickly. The jogger was over at the edge of the path, looking down after her, as the freeway carried us around a bend and beyond the scene.

I hope that she was unhurt. I hope everyone was able to laugh about it afterwards. Maybe they became friends. Maybe this was just an opening scene from their own personal romantic comedy movie. Or just maybe... the dogs enjoyed a really good sniffing.

The Moral: When you're travelling with dogs, the dogs also get a vote on what to do.

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