I headed out to Pine Point today on a 12 mile ride. It is a flatter trail than my recent rides into North St. Paul and the three or four steep grades on the horse trail have recently been "paved" with loose bank gravel, and the crew has carved swails across the grade to redirect rainwater. In other words, they've given me several good excuses to dismount and walk up those grades.
Not far into the ride in a section where the horse trail I was riding was close to the paved bike trail, the male of an oncoming couple blurted out his version of the typical quip, "he lost his other wheel!" He said it twice just to make sure his partner heard. Sheesh. These inane comments don't usually bother me, but today I was just wishing that folks would be a little more creative, or just keep quiet. It is always the guys with the stupid comments, too. I find women are surprisingly supportive in what they say, as if they are cheering on one of their neighbor kids playing soccer ("oh, good for you!").
The trail has two long bridges over county roads that have a decent grade up and down, and it was on the steep uphill approach of the bridge over Manning Trail Road that a guy on a bike approaching me from behind said, "Quit making it look so easy". That is absolutely the nicest quip I've heard while riding. I thanked him, not just for his comment, but for saying something thoughtfully supportive. What he didn't realize is that, in fact, that part of the ride on a paved uphill isn't really that hard compared to undulating, loose dirt with hoof divots on an uphill grade with fallen branches, but hey I'll take it anyway.