"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." Michael Jordan
When you are training for anything, you will have obstacles. Some people will have mental obstacles. They will think to themselves that they can't go on or that they aren't good enough to accomplish the goal. Others have physical obstacles - shin splints, stress fractures, tendonitis, IT band issues, etc. Me, I have dog obstacles.
Saturday morning was a decent day for an outside bike ride and even though I didn't have as much time as I wanted, I took advantage of the day and headed out for a ride. I live in a small town. It seems like I'm in the middle of the town. But if I take the road next to my neighborhood about 3 miles out, I'm in the country. Country roads can be good or bad, depending on where they are. Most of the time, the country roads I ride on are pretty good. They are fairly smooth (except after long hot summers with no rain when the roads crack and there are 3 inch ruts in the road, but I digress), traffic is fairly light, and the drivers that do pass you usually give you lots of room.
Saturday morning I headed out. There was hardly any traffic and I had a nice tailwind. It felt good to be on the bike. My plan was to do an out and back, keeping an eye on the time to make sure I got back home in time to shower, eat lunch and get my daughter to her out-of-town volleyball tournament on time. I made it to my turnaround point in plenty of time and was feeling good about getting back early. I knew it would take longer to get back with the headwind, but what I didn't count on was a roadblock about 4 miles from the house.
As I turned on the road to head back to the house I noticed something in the middle of the road ahead. It's not unusual to see road kill on the country roads (in fact I had passed a dead skunk on the way out), but this thing looked like it was moving. As I got a little closer, I realized it was a dog. Just laying there in the middle of the road. Almost like he was waiting for me. Ugghhh. I hate dogs when I'm on the bike and they are out of the fence. They always seem to chase the bikes and it can be scary.
I stopped for a minute and thought about my options. I could keep riding and hope that either he wouldn't chase me or that I could outride him. I didn't like this option because I figured that as soon as he saw me coming he would start running at me. He would have an advantage and could very possibly run in front of me and cause me to wreck.
I also thought about getting close and then getting off my bike and walking past him, hoping that he wouldn't be as aggressive if I wasn't on my bike. But, I had no idea if this was a nice dog or a mean dog. If he was a nice dog, it might work. If it was a mean dog I would not only have to keep him away from me, but worry about handling my bike as well. Not to mention that I was in my bike shoes.
My only other option (and the one I took) was to turn around and find a different route home. Luckily, I know the country roads well and knew just which way to go. The only problem is that it meant more riding into the headwind and it meant coming back home through town and dealing with more traffic.
But I didn't let the dog stop me. I figured out a way around the "obstacle" and still got a safe ride in and got home in time. Now if I could just figure out how to get people to keep their dogs behind fences!