One huge anxiety producer for an already anxiety-riddled Super Hero are those dudes that stealthily sneak up behind us on the Capital Crescent trail and say, "On Your Left," in barely audible low-voices, breath-filled panting.
Every time they come up behind Jake, he startles and swerves and I stop breathing. I'm totally waiting for him to cut into some biker going 45 mph on the trail, heels and wheels will be flying.
So I'm pretty sure I've terrorized him to the importance of staying over to the right and going in a straight line. I cannot take the panic in my heart when he swerves around walkers and joggers leaving 2" to spare. I follow behind apologizing to all he skims too close to.
In an effort to avoid all the pedestrians and super-fast bikers, we recently ventured into the woods. Just us, the roots, the rocks, nature and our screams.
I ride first so I can warn him of really big bumps and roots, while listening for his squeals and singing coming behind me. When it's quiet I worry. When the songs stop, my pedals freeze. I need to hear his singing behind me.
This weekend, we tried a new trail and there happened to be a running race going on at the same time. Crap. I tried to go against the flow of the runners so we'd see each other coming, but what's that saying, the best laid plans...
I instructed Jake that if he sees a runner ahead of us that we need to pass, it's now his turn to say "On Your Left" and then go around actually on the left. Since he still gets his right and left confused sometimes, there is nothing easy about this.
So while we're singing away through the woods a runner is up ahead. She is facing us, as in coming towards us. So I approach first and don't say anything. The runner had moved to the left (facing me) to allow my wheels to stay in the single-wheel trail. I inhaled, she commented on that tricky turn, all fine.
Whew, I made it without getting stuck in that rut or hitting that sharp rock, pretty soon I hear in a screeching, desperate tone, "ON YOUR LEFT! AAAAHHHHH!! MOMMY I'M OK!" He was actually on the guys left, he was still facing him!
I chuckled to myself and kept on riding. No harm, no foul. Next, coming around the bend are three more bikers coming towards us. They are grown-ups and have nice bikes and are in total control of themselves -- unlike us.
I swerved right into the long grasses to pass them on their lefts... then heard it again. Sounding more frantic, more piercing and almost angry, "ON. YOUR. LEFT! ON. . YOUR.. LEFT.. ON... YOUR... LEFT. AAAHHHH WHOA!" He yelled at every biker coming at us -- one after another about 20 feet behind one another.
I actually had to stop because I was laughing so hard. These three men were gracious and laughed as well, thankfully kept going. Now that I stopped riding, I realized my forearms are tingly and itchy from this, our longest yet through the woods. Soon the sound of rubber brake pads squeaking against the metal tire frames right behind me.
"Mommy, I'm doing really good telling everyone you're (I'm) on their leftest! Right?"
"Yes, buddy, you're doing a super great job!"
I'm so proud of this new accomplishment for us and look forward to riding with a fun mountain biking group. Hopefully, they'll be accepting of our singing, screaming and partying on two wheels through the woods.