3 Surreal Stories…And a Haiku

10.7.2007 | 8:24 pm

Last week, I ran a contest asking for you to relate your surreal moments on bikes. Really, it was just a lame ploy to get you all to write my blog for me while I try to hammer out a big-deal report for my job.

I got 134 replies.

That, my friends, is a lot of stories.

Clearly, my ruse to get in an easy post has backfired: I have spent hours reading your stories, probably another hour choosing a few finalists, and I’ll still have to go to the post office to mail out the prizes. Yes, prizes — I decided I didn’t want to choose just one winner.

I swear, I need an intern. Anyone want to be the Fat Cyclist intern? I’ll let you do all the stuff I don’t like to do. I won’t pay you, but I’ll make up for it by also not giving you any credit. Doesn’t that sound great?

So, out of all the great stories — a surprising number of which were about suicidal deer and rodents and evil magpies in Australia — I picked a horror story, a sublime story, a bizarre story, and a haiku.

All are excellent examples of the surreal.

When Teenagers Attack
by Kim
One cold fall night I was doing a night riding with a male friend in the Pandapas area outside Blacksburg, Virginia. We stumbed upon a big bonfire party of about 20 teens with several 4-wheel drives, parked all around on a fire road section of the trail.

Instead of back-tracking 4 miles to get to the end of our ride, we decided to pass by the party in the edge of the woods, just off the trail.

We turned off our lights and waited until the timing seemed good. As far as we could tell no one had seen us. We had about 1/4 mile to go to the trailhead and hoped that we could cover the distance without any trouble.

Then, about 200 yards into the run, a full beer can whizzed by me, then another, then another. I rode hard, until I felt like my heart would burst. Then I heard the trucks starting and I was sure I would die — either from pure exertion, adrenalin overdose, or death by the hand of a drunken teen. All I could think about was mob mentality and that I was a girl and that there was no way my companion could protect us. It occured to me too that many people carry guns in their trucks in the area and it was hunting season.

This was bad.

It became glaringly apparent that we could not get to the trailhead before the trucks with their spotlights caught us. In the name of survival we knew that we had to get into the woods and that did not mean on our bikes. I ditched my bike in the edge of the dense woods and lost a shoe in the process.

From there we ran as fast as would could down off the ridge into the pitch darkness. We took cover under the downhill side of a large fallen tree. The trucks drove back and forth spotlighting the woods as we called 911.

Within a half hour the sheriff’s department came to the rescue, busted the party, and let us know it was safe to come out. After another half hour of searching I had both bike and shoe back.

The sheriff could not get us and our bikes back to our car so we finished the ride. I shook the whole time and well into the night as I tried to sleep. I sported one very bruised foot for a while, and still to this day I get creeped out on night rides but can’t resist.

The Owl’s Leading Now
by Phil in VA
This happened on a dusk descent of Massanuten Mountain in western Virginia. Picture a warm Spring evening, almost dark, decending the last 3 miles of forest road. It’s a nice, easy, double-track downhill, which is good because we’re tired and it’s already dark in the woods and we don’t have lights. It’s the time of day my Grandfather used to call “rabbit dark.”

Cruising along, quiet, lost in our own thoughts, when an owl silently overtakes us from behind and drops in about 20 feet ahead. He’s coasting too, matching our pace, about 12 feet above the trail. He’s big. Probably 3+ foot wingspan.

Nobody says a word.

We just keep riding, and he just keeps flying. At this point, your sense of time becomes skewed simply because of the experience. Minutes seem extended, but suffice it to say he led us for at least a mile. Then just as quickly as he appeared, he veered off and was gone. Surreal. Dare I say religious? (Yes, I do.) My thought was he was hunting and using us to scare up game. If anyone has another theory, I’d love to hear it.

A Simple Question
by Bryan
I was propositioned by a hooker … while on my bike, waiting at a stop light, on the way home from work.

I didn’t even know what to say.

Lucky Squirrel, Unlucky Rider
by Glenn

Riding side by side
Chris never saw the squirrel
Face Plant Squirrel lives

Congratulations to the Winners
I don’t think I’ve ever given away four things with one contest before, but I’m going to this time. Winners, please email me with your address, the size of T-shirt you wear, and the size of socks (S/M and L/XL are your only two options). What I send you will depend on what I have available.

PS: You know, I don’t think I’ve ever posted a poem as a blog entry, which is a shame, because I am an awesome poet.


  1. Comment by Marrock | 10.7.2007 | 9:57 pm

    Poetry is one thing, but how are you at dirty limericks?

  2. Comment by Born4Lycra | 10.7.2007 | 11:50 pm

    Congratulations to the winners but none of them actually hit anything. Hang on just learnt what surreal means – well that explains it.

  3. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.8.2007 | 3:02 am

    I don’t know…..owls and squirrels vs. Gators and Armadillos……c’mon!

    The hooker entry is hands down, though.


    Riding this Sunday for Susan, Rona, Stu and a lot of others!

  4. Comment by TIMK | 10.8.2007 | 4:13 am

    What Kim failed to mention in her horror story is that we have a bit of a Meth and Oxycontin epidemic in the western parts of Virginia. It’s absolutely beautiful in the Appalachian Mountains, but some of the locals are more frightening than bears and alligators – maybe even a bear riding an alligator. It’s a bit like riding your bike through Deliverance.

    Looks like two winners from Virginia. Go VA!

  5. Comment by Craig | 10.8.2007 | 5:14 am

    There once was a cyclist who was fat,
    I went to his website to Chat,
    Virginian Hillbillies,
    give me the willies,
    When is twin Six making a Fat cyclist hat?

  6. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 10.8.2007 | 7:35 am

    Haiku pwn3s! I’m just sayin’.

  7. Comment by chtrich | 10.8.2007 | 8:06 am

    Fatty you’re a poet? We didn’t even know it.

  8. Comment by mocougfan | 10.8.2007 | 8:30 am

    Craig and Chris…those were funny.
    Fatty…..how’s your shoulder malady?

  9. Comment by MM | 10.8.2007 | 8:39 am

    I’m bummed. I thought the story of the deer leaping through the moving paceline (without anyone going down) topped them all.

  10. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.8.2007 | 8:48 am

    good choices, oh wise and not-fat one.

  11. Comment by bikemike | 10.8.2007 | 9:56 am

    I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like.
    It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things that
    make it look good. (or something like that)

    50 pts. to anyone who can name the group who penned this gem.

  12. Pingback by RocBike.com | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 8 October 2007 | 10.8.2007 | 10:00 am

    [...] 3 Surreal Stories…And a Haiku [...]

  13. Comment by swtkaroline | 10.8.2007 | 10:51 am

    I hereby nominate myself, volunteer for, and apply to the position of Fatty’s Assistant, Intern, gopher, and other-duties-as-deemed-necessary gal.

    I put in my notice at work last Friday, so I’m a free agent. I’m a people person and multitasker with years of experience doing a lot of this and a little of that. I type good and my communication skills are teh hawt. (see what I did there?)

    I also make http://www.mountainhighyoghurt.com/recipes/desserts/mocha_brownies.htm on a regular basis. They probably ship well.

  14. Comment by dug | 10.8.2007 | 11:18 am

    bikemike, you’ve gotta come up with something harder than that. pink floyd of course. rather, syd barrett, but when he was with pink floyd.

  15. Comment by bikemike | 10.8.2007 | 1:28 pm

    don’t ya hate havin’ to show your age? it was borderline me askin’ the question.
    poor ol’ syd said goodbye to us all earlier this year.

  16. Comment by dug | 10.8.2007 | 1:39 pm

    syd, rest in peace.

    been listening to set the controls for the heart of the sun since i saw your question.

  17. Comment by JimB | 10.8.2007 | 2:17 pm

    Dug, what are you going to do with your bonus 50 points?????
    Maybe buy a Pink Floyd 8-track!

  18. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 10.8.2007 | 3:45 pm

    Bike Mike: By the way, which one is Pink?

  19. Comment by dirty dan | 10.8.2007 | 3:56 pm

    maybe the teens were just trying to hook you up with some beer?

  20. Comment by bikemike | 10.8.2007 | 5:04 pm

    and a big happy ummagumma to everyone!

  21. Comment by Uncle Bob | 10.8.2007 | 6:53 pm

    Phil in VA did well to feel awe. The owl was plainly the avatar of bright-eyed Athena, goddess of wisdom. As patron of metal-working, craftsmanship and artisans, I’m sure she watches over cyclists (and she’s *always* depicted wearing a helmet…).

    “Lead me, Divine Wisdom, wherever I am appointed to go. I will follow without wavering, for though I turn coward and shrink, I shall have to follow all the same”

  22. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.9.2007 | 4:11 am

    And here I thought this was a Cycling site, what with all this waxing Poetic. Congrats to all those Lucky Dog winners.

    Continued Good Karma to Susan!!!

  23. Comment by Glenn | 10.9.2007 | 8:34 am

    Woo hooo! Thank you Fatty!

  24. Comment by Mike Owen | 10.10.2007 | 4:49 am


    I have also been tracked by a screech owl, flying alongside me in the dark, glancing over at each other as we travelled together for a short while. It just seemed to be friendly, even though it was a big bugger. I was on my road bike, pitch black Welsh night, nobody else around. It was top.

  25. Comment by z man | 10.10.2007 | 12:51 pm

    I so can be an intern. I ride and I’m fat. That’s got to be the only qualifiers.

  26. Comment by z man | 10.10.2007 | 12:51 pm

    I so can be an intern. I ride and I’m fat. That’s got to be the only qualifiers.

  27. Comment by NotARider | 10.11.2007 | 10:48 pm

    I wanna be an intern too! I am a long-time F.C. fan, a fanatical follower of the Tour de France…and I am not a cyclist. On the plus side, I have spent the last 2 years driving up and down Emigration Canyon, roundly cursing a few cyclists. Does this qualify me?
    Seriously–I now live in Bluffdale, am home with 3 kids, and love organizing & taking care of tedious details most people hate. Just ask my old boss! I don’t know whether you were serious in saying you need an intern, but I would love to help free up your time to spend with your family.
    My prayers and best wishes are with you and Susan….

  28. Comment by cricketk | 10.15.2007 | 6:51 am

    Kim’s Virginia story – terrifies me.

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