It actually had nothing to do with a car, and I don’t think you’ll guess what the scariest moment really was. Take a moment, think about it. Ready? Okay. I’d been cycling through the middle of nowhere, and I hadn’t actually seen a person, car, building, or anything for nearly 2 hours. The only living things around were the amazing hawks in evidence all over this area and the herds of goats hanging around on the other side of the fences lining the road, with bells around their necks.
I was feeling great, on top of the world, and really appreciating how amazingly lucky I am to have this type of an experience. I heard some bells, indicating the presence of more goats. Then, I heard a dog bark. Oh dear, dogs don’t like bicycles. And what was a dog doing here? Then I saw more goats… in the road ahead. The fences had broken in this area, and the goats were being herded by dogs. Up came the fear, as my heart jumped into my throat. A dog ran towards me from the left, barking wildly. My instinct was to gun it but there were a bunch of goats (with big horns) crossing the road ahead of me. Then another dog approached from the right. Oh god, what was I doing here in the middle of nowhere all by myself? Why was I such an idiot? And now I was going to die here mauled by a dog or gored by horns. This trip was a very bad idea.
Somehow I got through, obviously. I'm not quite sure how, but I think luck had a lot to do with it. There was a break in the mass of goats, and I gunned on through. The dogs stopped chasing me when I was a little ways away. Whew. Another tick on the karma meter.
Let me mention that there was a second place winner, which was when I went into a store in a little town and the woman asked me if I was riding alone, and when I nodded, she proceeded on a total tirade about how it was not safe. “Someone might cut your arm open!” She said. “And leave you in a ditch!” Then she said emphatically, “you need a chico to come with you.” Great, just great, that’s exactly what I want to hear when I’m in the middle of nowhere all by myself. What am I, some helpless little creature? “Oh yeah?” I said dryly, and walked out with my water. However, I admit that even though I realize there's a huge gap between actual and perceived safety, I was slightly shaken and took the route leading back to the main road from there. Phooey.