Just a quick anecdote from the bike path.
Last night I was going to take the CX bike out for a few hours~ the path to Devil's Glen, out towards Scott Co. Park and into some gravel. Got to the path and realized it was about 15 degF cooler than expected, so changed my plans on the fly. I decided to ride the path to the Riverdale end, then back towards a park where I could do some mount/dismount/carry practice.
Got really cold, headed into D'port a bit, and decided to turn around after about an hour of jacking around on different grassy knolls. As I was passing through the softball complex area, I saw a man. A man with a bike and a lot of bags. I assumed that he was homeless.
I should mention here that while vagrants in general do not frighten me, I do believe that in order to be a vagrant in an area such as the Quad Cities, there must be at least a small degree of mental illness.
That said, I gave the obligatory nod and kept riding.
He yelled something after me about how I should have a spare tire.
I kept riding.
Crazy Hobo: "Hey! You can't ride that fast!"
(I should mention here that I was traveling at maybe 16 mph.)
I kept riding.
CH: "I'm gonna whip yer ass!"
Me (under breath): "Grand."
I have never been good with threats anyway, whether they are idle or not. But when I heard the clicking of gears on the Crazy Hobo's bike and glanced over my shoulder to see him gaining, I must admit I kind of freaked. Fuck! This circus sideshow had legs. He was loaded down like a pack mule and rolling at about 24 mph on an ancient Schwinn Collegiate. Did I mention that he was missing a shoe? Nothing like a crazed derelict to start some forced interval training! I dropped into my biggest gear and got the fuck out of there. He chased me for a while, giving the occasional hoot, literally: "Whoo hoooo!!!". I lost him for sure around Duck Creek golf course when I opted off the path for the roads, where I felt much, much safer.
I know that he was probably just an old cyclist who had said "Enough!" to society, as many of us dream of doing. But the situation was this: I'm female, smallish (in comparison), it's getting dark, and the path was unpopulated. In these parameters I have to give a resounding "fuck that!"
Fuck, man! Where do these people come from? And why are they so attracted to me?