It was just as the sun was peeking over the pine trees in the distance. Although I’ve been traveling the back roads from Carrollton to Bowdon most of my life, I never paid much attention to the beauty of our Carroll County countryside until I started sitting on an uncomfortable saddle while pedaling two wheels.
“There’s something special about seeing the world at 15 miles per hour,” said West Georgia resident and avid cyclist Gelon Wasdin as we recently started on a bicycle journey in the Roopville Ramble, a local fundraiser for Camp Sunshine.
In April 2011, I returned to a hobby that consumed so much of my childhood years — I started riding a bicycle again.
It started with a trip to Perpetual Motion in Carrollton. Allen Griffin, who owns the Carrollton bicycle shop, is a world of knowledge and helped me find the perfect new bicycle along with all the gear needed to begin pedaling the Carroll County roads.
One of the fears of any cyclist is being hit by a car, which is why I often ride in the mornings. There have been many times on my typical 25-mile countryside ride that I may see no more than two or three cars.
Last year on July 4, I decided to head out for an early morning solo ride. As I cruised along Oak Grove Road, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I started thinking about Independence Day and how lucky I am to live in this country when all of sudden a giant SUV was on my heels blowing the horn and trying to run me off the road.
Two of my friends have spent time in Tanner Medical Center from being hit by motorists in Carroll County, so I speculated that this was my time. This was my initiation to becoming a true road cyclist. Despite the Georgia law that requires motorists to share the road and keep a two-foot distance, this crazy driver ran me off the road straight into a dog trying to bite my shoes.
The next morning I was sharing the story with some friends at Club Fitness when Stacy Martin asked me to describe the vehicle. As I started providing details of the SUV, everyone erupted with laughter.
“So that was you?” Jim Cooley asked me with a big grin.
“Yes,” I replied thinking this was some type of conspiracy.
“That was Lynne Denney!” Stacy shouted as everyone started laughing again.
“Lynne Denney, who’s one of the nicest, sweetest individuals in West Georgia, is a monster behind the wheel?” I inquired in total confusion.
It just so happens that I wasn’t the only solo cyclist on the road that morning. Lynne’s husband, Patrick, also decided to go for a spin at the same time. Cyclists are often hard to recognize when wearing a helmet and sunglasses. Apparently, we were even wearing the same color shirt.
When Patrick arrived home, Lynne laughed at him and said “Oh, I got you good today.” Patrick denied all accusations and Lynne was frustrated that he would not even admit to the near encounter with the dog chomping at his feet.
News travels fast so the next day when I arrived at work, Lynne had dropped off a very apologetic letter taped to my office door. I later called her doing my very best Carrollton attorney Tommy Vance impersonation telling her that “Joe Garrett has hired my representation to take away her driver’s license.” You could have heard a pin drop when I quickly revealed my true identity and we both shared a good laugh.
I promised her that I would no longer bring up the subject again. Well, I just caved in. The moral of the story — if you’re going to run over your husband, make sure it’s really him.
Garrett is a Carrollton resident and businessman. You can read more of his columns at joegarrett1.wordpress.com or contact him at email@example.com.