I went out on a ride with my dog Cleo the other day. Somewhere along the way she found a tennis ball and kept running with it in her mouth, even though it was inhibiting her breathing. I eventually stopped and took it from her, so she could breathe, but she stared at it so intently I could not toss it away. I had no pockets in my lycra so I stuck the ball in the spokes of my front tire, like we used to do when we were kids. Cleo seemed content and we continued along the steep, raised banks of a local stream.
I slowed at one point to take a look at the stream and as I slowed Cleo became transfixed by the rotating ball and started to try to grab it out of my spokes, with her mouth, because she is a dog. Fearing she would shear her little face off when she grabbed it, I hit my breaks and pulled my left foot out of my pedal to stop. Unfortunately I was leaning right, right towards the stream bank. With no momentum I could not unclip my right foot and toppled over the bank, down the slope and into the stream.
I was not underwater or drowning but I was upside down in the stream with my bike, watching the tennis ball float away. Cleo came down the bank and grabbed the ball from the stream and looked at my quizzically. ‘WTF’ she seemed to emote while smiling at me blamelessly, shamelessly, with the tennis ball in her mouth,’ you humans do the weirdest things’. I had to laugh.