One of the great things about riding the SART is you never know what you're going to get. One day, the SART can be forgiving and beautiful, on another day, the SART can be a pain in the ass, and then there's other days, like today, where the SART is a lawless rut cutting its way through Orange County where obstacles abound and normal rules don't apply.
When it comes to riding the SART, I've come to learn that its an organic process each day meaning that if it starts out weird, its going to stay weird. Case in point, this morning, not one minute after I hopped on Serena and started riding away from home, this nutty looking old man in a stupid hat carrying bright pink dumbbells waved at me and I could swear he blew me a kiss. Now I don't know if the dude was just a nutty old timer or he was trying to gay marry me or what (gay marriage is currently a hot topic and I'm trying to optimize my search rankings so I thought I'd throw it in there), but I knew the strange start to my ride meant it was going to be strange the whole way.
The construction on the First Street bridge was going on (pictured above) but they didn't block the SART from going under it today so I just kept on trucking. Unfortunately for me, on every other day, the construction workers sweep the debris from the bike path but for some reason, on this day, it looked like they actually TRIED to spread all kinds of debris across the path. I nearly busted my breaks slowing down and looking for nails and whatnot (I'm not sure if they use nails on a concrete bridge but I wasn't going to take any chances because how the hell would I know? What am I, one of the Village People or something?).
The debris under the First Street bridge put me on high alert but I kept pedaling. Right after First Street, I was cruising along and I saw these two punks walking side by side, completely blocking the SART. Normally I'd think it was just one of the clueless masses, but one of the punks actually made eye contact with me and gave me a look that said he wasn't moving. I'm all about giving peace a chance but for some reason this kid really pissed me off so I decided to make sure he understood he was fucking with the wrong guy. I sped up and headed straight at the defiant teen (the cycling equivalent to backing someone off the plate). There was a brief moment where the punk stayed defiant, but then it was clear that we both realized the simple facts of this case: He was on foot and moving slowly, I was 250 pounds of helmet wearing anger coming at him at about 20mph on a large metal object, and lets face it, we both knew that nobody would come looking for a douchebag like him for at least three days if he went missing, so he did the smart thing and moved aside. I wanted to fart when I passed the punk but I didn't have anything in the on-deck circle so he lucked out.
Last but certainly not least (is this post long enough yet?), I was getting pretty close to the gym and going at full speed when I noticed an ancient SART Jawa in the trough part of one of the underpasses walking all over the path, looking at something on the other side of the riverbed with her mouth open.
Covered from head to toe, the native SART Jawa is a frequently seen inhabitant of the SART
It should be noted that SART Jawas can't be classified by race, gender or age in general but this particular one was an elderly Asian lady (photo above is not the SART Jawa I nearly ran over). I should have slowed down to be as safe as possible but I was a little leg weary and I didn't want to be at a standstill when I hit the uphill part of the underpass so I yelled 'Look out!' at the SART Jawa. She didn't respond at all. I started drawing closer and was moving at an alarming rate of speed so I yelled again 'LOOK OUT!!!'. Still nothing. As it got to the point where I realized I needed to make something happen or I'd be hosing old lady off my bike, my super bike riding senses kicked in, I calculated who I was dealing with and changed my tactic and gave it one last ditch effort: 'NI HAO!!!!!' Ni Hao is the only Chinese I know and lucky for me that old broad understood it and got the hell out of the way faster than any person over 70 I've ever seen! Disaster averted and I managed to make it to the gym safe and sound completing my fifth consecutive ride to work this week during National Bike Month! Hell yes!