It's another hot Sunday in Texas. 91 out there right now. My Physical Therapist, Dr. LC told me I don't get enough exercise, so I decided to go to River Legacy Park and pedal the mountain bike trail.
My last attempt to bike at River Legacy, on the mountain bike trail, was aborted due to the dual problem of it being too muddy and my bike gear/chain thing having a malfunction that caused me to have to jump off the bike 3 times, narrowly averting disaster.
So, I didn't know how it was going to go today. I'd quickly know if the gear/chain woe was gone, when I hit the curb to start the trail. Made it up that without a problem. And then make it up the first steep part with no problem, so I relax a bit about it.
So, my first incident. This is a one-way trail, for good reason, lots of blind corners. I was on the first of the steep up and down sections with multiple ups and downs. I see this kid coming right at me. I hit the brakes. He stops. I tell him he is going the wrong way. He says "someone got hurt on the South Loop, it's closed." I ask, "hurt how?" But he pedals off without answering.
When I pulled into the parking lot there were 4 or 5 emergency vehicles, including one firetruck. I figured they were doing a practice thing, because I've seen them practice search and rescue at River Legacy, closing the paved trail at the far north end past the Boyds Branch Bridge.
I don't bike the South Loop. It's a new section. I tried it once. I made it to the third downhill and decided, no, I'm not going to do that. As I pass the South Loop intersection nothing indicates it was closed. I pedal through the bypass and continue on. As the trail loops to run parallel to water treatment land I hear voices. I stop. I couldn't see anyone. I hear one guy say something like we can't take him out over the trail, he's too unstable on the stretcher. We've got to get them to come in this road so we can get him out.
I could only make out parts of what they were saying. I'm guessing someone had a really bad bike wreck and maybe broke his neck, hence the need to get him out as smoothly as possible.
So, I continue on, no major incidents til I have trouble passing a family of slow moving pedalers.
Due to that copperhead incident of a few days ago, where I almost ran over one while pedaling at Village Creek I was being a bit hyper-vigilant about the snake threat. Okay, I'll just admit it, I was being a whacked out neurotic. Over and over again I hit the brakes due to thinking a curvy stick or root was a snake. The flickering light shadowing through the trees plays tricks when you're moving fast.
On the second time around I come to the South Loop turnoff and stop to take a picture. Several bikers fly by and zip in to that danger zone. A guy walks up that I'd howdyed the first time around. I ask him if he knew anything about someone getting hurt. He'd walked the South Loop and said he saw no one in there except for the biggest snake he'd ever seen. I ask him what type. He says he didn't know snakes. He then describes it as brown with a criss cross pattern. I say rattlesnake. He says he didn't think so, he saw no rattle. Then I say cottonmouth.
Maybe the injury that caused the big ruckus was a snake bite causing an epic wreck, or just seeing the snake causing an epic wreck.
So, I pedal on. If I was being a hyper-vigilant neurotic before, now it went into overdrive. One of the snake alert heavy braking false alarms almost caused a wreck, wrenching forward, twisting my neck.
I make it back to my van without further incidents of any sort. It was a good bike ride. I hope the injury wasn't serious. Maybe I should start wearing my helmet at River Legacy.