It was six o'clock and it was starting to get dark, but they kept on riding. Matt and his friend Ryan loved mountain biking. Every Friday and Saturday they went riding at the local trails. Sometimes during the summer they would take day or two day trips out to West Virginia and ride some of the more technical trails. That Friday in June was no different. They were deep in the trails and like usual Ryan had started to pull ahead letting Matt know that he was getting tired and they should head back soon. Ryan was the one who knew the trails though, and he had pulled was just out of sight cutting a corner tight enough cause his back tire to slip the edge a little bit, while the rear derailleur of his Santa Cruz Nomad was rattling away as he tore down the mountain. This recklessness scared Matt as he couldn't yell out to him above the rattling so as to express his concerns about getting home. So Matt figured he would just have to tap into his tanacious side and gut things out until he cought up. But they were going downhill at the time being and that had always been Ryan's strong point. As these thoughts raced through his head, he was falling farther and further behind. At one point he was so desperate to catch up that he pedaled as hard as he could, with no regard for his safety never mind the well being of others, while yelling at the top of his lungs. Surely Ryan will hear that thought Matt. But contrary to his beliefs Ryan pressed on.
Little did Matt know, but Ryan was actually trying to lose Matt. Recently he had grown sick of Matt tagging along, and had been isolating himself in other aspects of his life as well. He knew exactly where to lose him too: along the down hill section toward the end their ride when it was getting dark and he was getting tired. to make sure his plan would work, he had paced himself on the way up and made sure to let Matt go first and let him burn out. But Matt was keeping up well, even if it did cause him difficulty. They were getting toward the bottom too, so he would have to go back up at some point. His plan was falling to pieces behind him, however he had a backup. Then suddenly as he pulled out of another tight corner he hit a log that hadn't been cleared yet. The light was almost gone now which caused the log to escape his sight. Luckily he received relatively minor injuries unlike his $4000 bike. I could use to my advantage he thought. Now instead of the log being just beyond, it would be in the middle of the cut back which would cause Matt to go flying down the other side of the banked corner and on down the mountain. It might be slightly more malicious; however it will be well worth it thought Ryan. So he hid in the bushes in wait of the soon to be beneficiary of a friend gone awry.
Soon thereafter Matt came ripping through the woods furious at Ryan. However Matt had always been better at preparing for rides than his friend-no-longer was. That precaution had paid off. So when he did approach the log he saw it and avoided what Ryan thought would be inevitable death. Immediately after Matt knew it was him. Instead of walking around it and riding on down the mountain to go home and tell Carrie about the incident he let his anger take over him and went out in search of Ryan. He wasn’t all that hard to find. He left tracks in the mud leading strait to his bush. Their following argument was one they would never forget. Ryan was no match for Matt who had served a stint in the National Guard. However just before Matt could get there Ryan sensed there was something wrong and turned around only to find a loathing Matt behind him creating a very effective impasse.
" What are you doing!?" exclaimed Matt in a concise manner, who at this time was far deviated from his elated state he got while riding.
Normally Ryan was had a very voluble persona, however he didn't want to talk in this scenario. This was probably caused by his sudden lethargy caused by the sudden lack of adrenaline and suddenly realized the situation he had created for himself, the be thing he thought he could do was hedge as best an answer as he could.
" I...I just...I don't know," replied Ryan finally, "I just I feel like I needed my space. I don't know what 's been happening, but I needed to get away from you along with everyone else."
Matt wasn't falling for it though. He had had too many experiance similar to this, so he juxtaposed himself against a tree with a hardened expression on his face demanding more. At this point Ryan was starting to get anxious for two reasons. First the moon was nearly at the apex of its daily path making the woods earily dark. Second, he had a growing suspicion that Matt knew what was going on. So Ryan thought the best way to continue on their way was to quell the situation and move the conversation quickly to the topic of the necessary action of ascending the trails.
"Come on," he said, continuing his evasiveness, "we have to get back to the lot before it gets too dark. Don't worry I'll explain it to you on the way home," he quickly continued as a result of Matt's objection. As a sign that that was the correct plan of action Matt gave him helmet light to Ryan and they made their way quickly back to the base of the mountain.
As they converged to the lot, however, as before Ryan started pulling ahead again. Before Matt could confirm his suspicions of Ryan's motives though, he found Ryan alruisticly waiting up ahead. Ryan had finally found it in him to let Matt catch up so he wouldn't get lost due to his depleted knowlege of the trails compared to himself. So they continued down withough further incident. When they reached the bottom they loaded their bikes in as quick and quiet manner as they could then briskly left.
Instead of their usual ritual of listening to music after the ride they were silent for a spell then, without warning Ryan spoke up.
"Look man sorry for earlier, I don't know what I was doing I just completely lost my mind. Lately I've been trying to seclude myself in as inconspicuous a manner as possible. I don't know why it's been happening..."
"Save it. It happens to all of us. Just think of it as a very early midlife crisis. Just try to keep it off the trails. I mean, Jesus, you could have gotten us killed," Matt interupted in an attempt to leave the morose feelings back at the lot. Ryan let it go because he knew there would be no use arguing. So they continued home in an attempt to normalize their routine as possible, forgeting the event ever happened.