A little background:
February 2013 I tore the L5/S1 disk in my lower back. Not fully knowing how long my recovery time was going to be, I decided to buy a bike. Fast forward to February 2014. Still not medically cleared to do a whole heck of a lot, my friend Kat (who will undoubtedly show up here regularly) dragged my butt to Moab, UT for the annual THAW bike fest. It was that weekend that sparked the mountain bike addiction.
The idea of social proof: Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior.
In other words: somebody else go first.
Why is this important? Because I have quite a few friends who “really want to mountain bike this summer!” Yeah, well you can guess how that is going. Everyone is “such a beginner” and is nervous about going. Well, meet Sally. She has conformed with me and has also made it her mission to “Do Epic Sh!t.” Unfortunately, Sally is leaving to for Bonaire to lead SCUBA Diving trips (@safarileague) for two months. Epic? Totally! Just not with me!
Before her departure we decided to ride as many trails in Eagle as we could. Being novice riders, the amount of trails we actually have the ability to ride is pretty limited. Note: there are many website/books/apps/etc to find trails, but we use the Mountain Bike Project. While this app is generally reliable, the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition has done a TON of trail building and when we thought we were on the Eagle Loops, we were on the Third Gulch Trail. All was well though, it was a long gradual climb that kept your heart rate up, but didn’t make you want to die. On the way up we encountered a herd of cattle. This brown one decided to have a staring contest with me, but got bored and looked away. I WIN!
At this point, the cows were a safe distance away from trail, but this would not be a good story if we only saw cattle in all their glory from afar. As we were flying (note: everything seems fast when you’re a beginner) downhill, there she was. A HUGE BLACK COW. I guess they wanted to catch the last of the late afternoon sun–which just happened to be right over the trail. [Insert expletives here]. I made it around the cow will little difficulty.
I haven’t mentioned this about Sally, but she loves to make sound effects. I’m not entirely sure she saw the cow, but it definitely HEARD her. While Sally, too, made it around the cow unharmed, the cow made sure she knew her sound effects were not appreciated. This is what we learned: cows can make more noises than “MOO” and can move fast for being such fat creatures.
Naturally, the rest of the ride was uneventful. A post-ride meal at Moe’s BBQ and we came up with the best way to share this stupid story. The result: a redesigned blog that began over 2 years ago. I doubt everyone will see the ridiculousness of this story, as proven by a friend:
So, let me ask you this: Why would you ever ride your bike straight at a cow? Answer: you wouldn’t. Livestock and wildlife are not something to mess around with.
In an effort to do my due diligence and educate my sorry readers, I found an always trustworthy WikiHow article on How to Survive a Wild Animal Attack. I don’t believe you can consider a cow a wild animal nor can you consider what happened to us an attack, but the general steps seem reliable enough should you come in contact with an animal other than Big Bessy.