First place in a horse race.

DSC00750Today I ditched my church. Instead I went up to the church my brother and sister-in-law attend. It was a special day for them; their four children were being dedicated and I simply couldn’t miss out on that.

While I normally get up to my own church by 8am, this church’s service started at 10am so I puttered around my house for a while, feeling like I had all the time in the world. Eventually, I looked at the clock and realized that I should be leaving right now if I wanted to bike the thirteen miles to the church and be on time.

Scurrying around my apartment,  I grabbed an outfit for church and threw on my biking clothes, making it out the door as fast as possible. Once on the road, I gave myself an inspirational speech.

“Move those legs like lightening or you are gonna be late.”

(I am a master of inspirational speeches, as I am sure you can tell.) Moving at as fast a clip as I could muster, I checked the time when I reached the halfway point of my journey. Oh, okay, I was actually going to be early. Sure enough, I pulled into the church parking lot along with the pastor and his wife with a good thirty minutes to spare before the start of the service. What a waste of an inspirational speech.

The church service was lovely, especially the dedication. My brother explained the meaning behind all the children’s name and we all prayed for each child that God would bless them and strengthen them as they grow.

After the service, my entire family had a barbecue at my brother and sister-in-law’s home and we were able to hang out for a few hours together. Hanging out with my family is one of the my favorite things in the whole wide world and it is about to get even better because my sister (who has been gone for 18 months) is going to be back home in ten days!  Just ten more days, I can’t hardly wait!

Then it was time to bike back home. I was pretty full from lunch so I took it nice and slow for most of the way home. But then I found myself catching up to an Amish horse and buggy. There were quite a few cars in back of me so I pedaled slowly behind the buggy while they passed us. When the coast was clear, I made my move into the middle of the road to pass the horse and buggy.

There are quite a few Amish families living in my area, I have seen and passed them on the road many, many times. They are two speed vehicles: I have never seen an Amish horse cruising along the road at any other speed than a walk or steady trot.

But when I pulled into the middle of the road to pass this particular horse and buggy, something weird happened. I noticed the horse trotting a bit faster than a normal pace. Could it be? No way! But then my beliefs were confirmed when the horse broke into a charging gallop. The Amish were racing me!

A grin spread across my face wider than the entire continent of Antarctica. They wanted to race, huh? It was on. With a quick glance to make sure the road was still clear behind us, I swung into action. I pedaled with a hot fury and soon I was in front of the buggy, pacing parallel to the horse. A horse in full gallop is a beautiful thing, but seeing all that power out in full force added with the noise of a rattling buggy was slightly un-nerving. I had a moment of self doubt and slight fear but then I kicked it up one more notch and found myself in the lead. I continued to pull ahead with the horse putting out a valiant effort for a few more moments until it was slowed back down to a walk.DSC00743

As I disappeared from sight around the next corner, I knew exactly what the horse was thinking.

“If I wasn’t pulling this huge black thing, I would have so beat her.”

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18 thoughts on “First place in a horse race.

  1. We live by an Amish community too and we have to be careful riding past the horse and buggies…Especially during a race and there are a pack or riders. The horses can get spooked. I’m sure that isn’t as much of a problem with one rider. I love it that the buggy raced you. Even bigger points for winning that race. Ha ha.

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    • Yeah, I always feel kinda bad for the horses, they are just ambling along while cars (and cyclists) whiz past them. It is a wonder they don’t spook more often really.

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    • Ten or so years ago when the Amish starting moving up from Pennsylvania, our local town put up the horse & buggy signs. Many local businesses have also created spaces for the Amish to park their buggies. It has been pretty neat to see them become part of our community!

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  2. Pingback: Race Recap | Bike Like Crazy

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