So, with temps north of 30 degrees when I got home from work I made haste in my efforts to get out on the road for a solid workout. I took off in what felt like balmy conditions for my favorite two hour road loop equipped with lights as the sun was getting low and I knew this ride would have me returning home in the black of night.
Things were going swimmingly as I fell into a harder than usual pace, feeling the need to bring some intensity into this workout. Knowing the course as well as I do I could tell by time checks that I was moving faster than normal. I decided to keep it going wanting to introduce a bit of struggle on this ride.
As my lights began to take hold of the night surroundings I began to notice the traffic responding to me in different ways. Some drivers afforded me a wide berth, which was and is greatly appreciated, while others blinked their brights at me (as if I had a dimmer switch) or passed me from behind within inches of my arm. I shrugged off these unexplainable actions by Duluth drivers and kept the level high as I moved through the course.
I'd say I was about 20 minutes from home traveling toward Hermantown on what I think is the Morris Thomas road when I felt a car behind me. Sure enough, in no time I was back lit by head lights as this driver hovered behind waiting for an on coming car to pass. I nice gesture I thought as it would have been a little tight even though I was on the side (literally on the white line). Suddenly, my subtle back lit scenario turned into a spot light as he decided to put me in his brights. He moved up slowly next to me and his passenger window was coming down. "Here we go", I thought. He was in a HUGE SUV and yes, you guessed it, he was HUGE too. The over sized man began ranting at me in tongues I could not understand as I was listening to Cinderella at maximum volume and he was enraged. I put my helmet light right on his face and simply responded, "I'm on the side of the road, I got lights on my bike, drive your car man and leave me alone!". He sped ahead, frustrated that I didn't react to what he was saying, which I hoped incensed him further.
Now, as much as you tell yourself to just blow these incidents off, it's next to impossible as you have a shot of adrenaline released in your system at this point and it's mixing with lactic acid. Needless to say, my work out went south at this point as I ruminated about how Duluthians seem to freak out about things they don't understand. Think about it, a bike, snow, dark - to them this is an anomaly that just won't compute. However, it often happens in this city in situations that do make sense. Take summer for example, I can't tell you how many times my wife has returned home from a run with stories of being flipped off, swerved at and yelled at for running down the side of the road. God for bid we should be exercising in this city and thank the heavens above for those huge individuals in their SUV's who feel it incumbent upon them to make the world a better place by screaming at us.
So, to all of the road ragers out there who have nothing better to do with their pathetic existence than to yell at people with 15% or less body fat. SCREW YOU!!
Thanks for reading, be safe out there. It's not always a nice place.