And, I really do love to ride.
The thing I like most about riding a road bike is that it is as close as you can get to flying without actually leaving the ground. Well, I mean, except in those rare cases you crash. But I digress.
Today was gorgeous, but I didn't have a lot of time, so I thought I would knock off a quick 16 miles to Berry's General Store and back. There was a light wind, the road was mostly clear, there was little traffic for a change.
Enjoying the sounds tastes, and smells of spring, I smiled as I heard the peepers in the bog, spit out the first bug to fly in my mouth this season (it didn't even bother me this time), and inhaled the musky smell of the river.
I really love the Kennebec River, and it was so nice tonight. When I ride, I give the road ahead of me my full attention, but I do occasionally glance over at the river, I can't help myself. The light was playing on the waves and I was really cranking hard in this awesome stretch that I love to fly on. Really, it was gorgeous, I was in the zone, comfortably in aero position, on my endorphin enduced high. I lazily turned my head back to the road ahead of me.
Moose. Big. Freaking. Moose.
I don't know what happened after that. What I remember is:
- He had brown eyes, the whites of them were kind of bloodshot.
- I think he was as surprised as I was, because when I hollered "HOLY S%#T!" more white showed.
- He smelled like the black mud of a swamp.
- He was missing a quarter-sized patch of hair on his left flank (butt cheek. Do moose have butt cheeks?)
- I could have touched said quarter-sized patch of hair on his left butt cheek if I didn't have a death grip on my aerobars and my mouth wide open.
- It was a he.
- Somehow, we missed each other.
And I was on my freaking bicycle. Not that I would have rather been in my truck, in all likelihood, that would have hurt like hell too. But on a bike, well...You all know who would have come out hurting or worse on that one. He was solid.
I continued the ride to Berry's in a daze, turned around, and headed back toward home. The moose wasn't there on the way back, and I was almost over it by the end of the ride. Sort of.