There are moments in a man's life where he might look for some excitement to spruce up things a bit. And there are other times where he might say "that was a bit too exciting for my liking". The latter was true this morning.
It was a beautiful, sunny morning. A few of us were riding one of our interval sessions for the week when we came into a clearing. There is a beautiful meadow to the right and the sun was peaking just over the trees and was dancing with the fog that still mingled in the rolling hills. As I looked out, I saw a young buck, bounding effortlessly through the tall grass; a truly breathtaking sight to behold.
But then, to my increasing dismay, I noticed his head. Snapping to the left every few leaps, he was looking at the road I was on. My heartrate climbed a bit at the thought of his potential track intersecting with mine; we were traveling parallel to the deer, but were about 30m behind him. We were clipping along at around 17mph and my eyes were fixed on this beast of a creature.
No sooner had I pointed at the buck and cautioned everyone to watch him, then with a few effortless motions, he was up a small hill, over a fence and heading into the road. Being in no danger myself as the buck was well ahead of us, I glanced up the road for the first time and saw IT: a pickup truck barreling down the hill towards us in the oncoming lane. I looked up and saw the truck and immediately the deer jumped directly in front of the front left headlight in one sweeping act of suicide.
In a moment like that, when observing such a violent act from a distance, fear was not apart of my emotions as I was a safe distance from the impact; that is, until the deer began sliding directly towards me. You see, in that moment, I had forgotten Newtons Third Law of physics: to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. I would guess that the truck was going no slower than 35mph, and being that it weighs probably close to 8 times what the deer weighed, much of the opposite reaction was not absorbed by the truck, but by the buck. This left me in the current predicament that I found myself in.
Every time I go out to train, I find myself in a situation where I need to avoid or dodge something on the road. Often it is glass, a tree branch, or a pothole. But typically, those objects are not moving. Thus when there was a buck sliding towards me across the pavement fear began to form where it had previously been absent. Thankfully, God spared me a crash and I was able to get to the grass just fast enough that the buck only smacked my rear wheel and I remained upright. One foot or a split second later, and I would have been lying next the deer.
It was a good memory that I will not soon relegate to the far corners of my mind, and it was certainly a moment that was just a bit too exciting for my liking.
Ride smart, ride safe out there.