CHARLES TOWN, WEST VIRGINIA
Is there anything quite as scary as having a deer jump out in front of your car? Well, yes there is. Having a deer jump out in front of your bike.
Even if it wasn’t raining, the roads were wet from the hard overnight rain that fell. But I had gone one mile when the rain started to fall. Oh well. A ride in the rain is better than sitting on the sofa.
I followed Country Club Road to Flowing Springs and then to Job Corps Road. I was just getting some speed up and out of nowhere (actually it had to be out of somewhere) a deer jumped right in front of me. I was riding head down with my hands on the “hoods” and had no time to brake. Probably best. If I had panicked and touched the brakes on the wet roads I may have wiped out anyhow. Instead I steered through it. And let out a scream. A manly scream.
I think it missed it by less than six inches. What a scare! That was followed by an adrenalin rush.
What a scary moment. A lot of “what ifs”played through my mind including what if I had collided and crashed? And I remembered that I didn’t have my Road ID on these shoes nor was I carrying my Jimi Wallet with my ID in it. I might be sprawled along side this lightly traveled road, and if unconscious, no one would know who I was.
Surely the deer was scared too. It actually did not bolt straight across in front of me but took a jump forward in the direction I was traveling. I think its forward momentum made me avoid it.
Most of the rest of the ride was spent thinking about my near collision.
My three-state ride took me to Harpers Ferry, across the railroad bridge, to the C&O Canal Tow Path. And that brought back pleasant memories. The river was flowing high and the sounds of the white water along with the river smell was enjoyable.
I had to ride on the tow path for about 1/2 mile or so until I came to a foot bridge that crossed over the canal to Sandy Hook Road. I followed that to Brunswick then crossed the 340 Bridge into Virginia.
I was in Virginia less than two miles then began the climb up Chestnut Hill Road. I know it to be 12% grade but Garmin showed 1%. Teasing me, I guess. Earlier I was on 340 on a 6-7% grade and it showed 44%. Even Garmin has a bad day.
I reached Route 9, followed it back to Cattrell Road and back to Bethany’s. Once I got over the scare of the close encounter of the furry kind I could sit back and relish my rainy 31 mile, three-state ride.