Endurance Riding

Feb 23 2013

Bad Truck Luck… But A Good Ride

Published by under Endurance Riding

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I had six days off work. The plan was to leave town the day after my husband’s birthday. I was going to stay with Teresa, my friend and fellow endurance rider. We had planned a girls’ night together and then a full day of training on the Tevis trail starting early the following day. Well, things didn’t exactly work out as planned…

Asali was loaded in the horse trailer. I was driving my husband’s truck, the trusted Mighty Might, since the new (used) truck I had bought myself a few months ago was back at the dealer getting fixed for the second time following some issues with the clutch. I decided to swing by the hospital where I work to pick up something from a coworker on my way out to the 70 freeway. Just as I was turning into the parking lot of the emergency room, I noticed smoke escaping from under the driver’s side of the hood. Not good! I immediately turned on my blinkers, shut the engine off, and popped the hood. When Heidi came out to hand me the item she had for me and saw what was going on, she decided to call the security guard out to help me. Between him and texting photos to a mechanic friend, we collectively decided I should not drive the truck and trailer home. No problem. I was out of back-up trucks, but I still had back-up transportation: Asali.

I safely parked the truck and trailer, unloaded Asali, and tacked her up. She was acting crazy as I was putting the saddle on – the same high-strung way she acts right before every endurance ride. Her ears were perked up and forward, her nostrils wide, and as she snorted, I knew she was wondering where all the other horses were.

After changing into my riding breeches and half chaps, I mounted Asali, and we were off, headed out to Pentz Road. I kept Asali on the easement to avoid the cars in the street, as well as the pavement. It was a busy afternoon, but most of the motorists were polite as they passed us. We even got some subtle honks, quite a few waves, and many smiles. Asali was moving out and I remember telling her if she kept up this consistent pace for the entirety of each race, we’d Top Ten every time!

As I was riding up Pentz Road, I realized I was going to have a problem when I got to Skyway. Skyway is a two-lane highway, with no easement, very little bike lane, and blind curves. I didn’t have more than a mile to travel on Skyway before I hit the trail, but I knew it was just too dangerous. I decided to call my coworker and good friend, Nakia, to ask if she’d be my follow car and protect me as I traveled on the Skyway. I knew she’d be getting off work right about the time I needed her.

Asali and I made it the 3 miles to Skyway in 30 minutes, and sure enough, only had to wait five minutes for Nakia’s arrival. We stood in a driveway of a small house on the corner of the street as we waited. The home owner came out with her daughter and I enjoyed a nice chat with them. They loved Asali and really got a kick out of our travels – I was left feeling like a small town celebrity.

As I was at the stop sign, with Nakia behind me, Asali danced around in the street with cars whizzing by on the Skyway just ahead. That’s when I realized that if I crossed the Skyway, I could use a side street to bypass it, head over a hill, and then drop back down to where I could cross Skyway again, and then hit the trail! Nakia made sure I made it across the busy Skyway safely, then watched me canter off. When we found a big driveway for Nakia to pull into, she parked and held my horse for me so I could squat behind a rock when the tea I had enjoyed before we left caught up with my kidneys.

It was a beautiful day and I was enjoying the ride. When Asali and I reached the stoplight to once again cross Skyway, I waved a happy good-bye to my friend, and Asali and I ran for the trailhead that greeted us on the other side of the street. We rode our well-worn, familiar trail home, enjoying the journey, not worrying at the moment about the (second) broken-down truck that would need repair.

One response so far

One Response to “Bad Truck Luck… But A Good Ride”

  1. Ann Byrnson 25 Feb 2013 at 1:15 am

    Glad you had your trusty steed rescue your day, as well as caring co-workers to see you home safely!

    Doesn’t sound like your truck karma is too good, though.

    Love, MOM

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