Past Columns Here
Bike Rides 108
Trick or Treat
Recently I experienced a dreadfully spooky bike ride in Sioux
Falls, SD. I wasn’t too far down the city trail before this
strange feeling came over me, a sixth sense you might say, that
I wasn’t completely alone.
It was another biker just to the east and
slightly to the north; a dark, tall figure eerily keeping pace
with me exactly on a separate gravel road paralleling the trail.
I tried to stay focused on the ride, but my curiosity and fear
were collectively getting the better of me.
Time and time again we’d catch one
another trying to snag a glimpse of each other, only to turn our
heads away abruptly before our eyes ever actually met.
After several miles of playing cat and
mouse, I pulled into a park to use the restroom and to give my
mysterious companion the slip.
That’s when something very, very
strange happened. Behind my own hulking image in the bathroom
mirror my bike suddenly appeared, which I’d certainly left
parked only seconds ago just outside the bathroom door.
Abruptly I turned around to look and just
as quickly as I turned my bike disappeared again.
“How could this be?” I thought
to myself, a panicky sweat now beading on my forehead. I stepped
nervously forward then pivoted on my foot quickly 180 degrees,
and there stood my Raleigh behind me again, but only showing in
One more time I turned around and one more
time my bicycle seemed to vanish right before me. Frantic now
I ran from the restroom searching for my possessed bike when I
discovered to my horror a large, hard faced, dictionary definition,
stranger danger now perched stiffly over the seat of my Raleigh
staring straight forward with an absolutely dead look in his eye.
I froze. He didn’t move.
We sat there challenging one another to
see who would flinch first. I’ve stood down some pretty
tough looking characters in my day, but none has ever appeared
as cold and imposing as this hard-jawed looking fellow now boldly
straddling my own mountain bike right before me.
I was scared alright, but that was my Raleigh
rightfully, and I reckon you already figured out I wouldn’t
be writing this story if it ended with me going back to the hotel
horseless and pride-less. I mean after all what’s mine is
Tentatively but determined, I moved closer.
He remained stone faced. So I stepped forward again, close enough
to see he was wearing some kind of identification badge, with
perhaps some gang related insignia: “E.A. Sherman.”
“Yo, E.A,” I said finally,
unsure where the courage was even coming from now. “Hand
over the bike.”
He stood his ground, and I began to lose
my patience, raising my hand a little.
Swat! I finally slapped Mr. Sherman across
the face, boldly determined to get my bicycle back or die trying.
The peculiar stranger just stood there,
expressionless and cold as ever.
Smack! I punched him square in the jaw
with a nasty, Mike Tyson-esk left hook.
Still he stood there coldly. It was like
smacking galvanized steel; his jaw was so stiff I had to rub my
sore hand right afterward.
Now I knew I would either have to play
my whole hand, or cut and run, so I escalated to a level I reserve
for only the most dangerous of circumstances.
ZZZZT! ZZZZT! Out of left field I gave
him the two finger eye poke, otherwise known in the world of the
Three Stooges as “the business.”
At last, the distraction was enough for
me to pull the bike from his vice like grasp. Once the wheels
were back in my possession, I wasted no time saddling-up and galloping
out of the park.
A couple of miles later I finally breathed
a sigh of relief, hoping I’d seen the last of old E.A Sherman
and his bag of tricks. The sun was beginning to set and I was
ready to get back to the hotel and call it at day.
But, once again I had the same strange
feeling I was not on this ride alone. Just to my north and east
appeared the stranger who was riding beside me earlier, looking
even larger and more intimidating than before.
The confrontation in the park with the
gang-banger had already sapped my daily reserve of courage. Instead
of engaging with another adversary, I decided to check the creepers
bike handling skills, accelerating, decelerating, and weaving
back in forth with everything my 40 years of bike riding experience
had to offer.
Finally when I reached my hotel I felt
I was alone again. I locked my bike up using the largest bike
lock ever and went straight for my room, just in case old E.A.
Sherman or the stalker made another appearance.
Stepping into the bathroom to wash my face
I heard the distinct sound of slowly running water. An icy chill
ran down my spine so electric it split my toes inside my shoes
as I checked the bath and saw nothing.
And then, when I turned to the sink and
looked in the mirror… there it was again, my bike!
“Ahhhh!” I screamed in horrifying
The Raleigh was right there behind me on
its rear tire standing in the shower with ice cold water running
all down it slowly.
This time I couldn’t get away, and
that night, there was a full moon…
Thanks for screaming along.
E.A, and I hooked up later and work things out. Bro-skis forever
Now that’s taking it a little far…
There was also a full moon that day…
Now that’s taking it a little far
That explains why my bike was so eager
to enter the men’s room!
That’s way too far…
Past Columns Here