The Start Of My People On A Bike Trail Thesis

We sure have a variety of people in this world don’t we?

What a great day for March in Ohio.  Sunny.  Warmish.  Well, warm compared to what we have had.  We headed to a bike trail and figured the trails would be full of people.  We weren’t the only ones craving a good day of play in the sun.  And we were right.  The people on the trail are probably a good representation of the kind of people all across this chunky old globe of ours.

There were moms with kids.  Dads with kids.  Moms and dads with kids.  Some parents very mindful of the safety of their kids.  Those kids had on helmets, elbow pads and were being herded by their walking or riding parents.  Some parents were more lax but surely as aware of their children.  But they let their kids get a couple of hundred feet ahead of them, but they have parent vocal chords so they could always yell before they got out of sight.  Then of course there were kids with kids.  Some of these age groups I understand.  But some of the wee folk ought not be out there without a parent.  Just my opinion.  Then there were some older kids who probably would be well served to still be with their parents for some manner refresher courses.   I came up behind one duo of teen boys who were lazily pedaling along.  I get that.  I even understand them taking up the entire width of the bike trail because at their age they are totally unaware of others.  But when they look back at you, and you yell the polite and expected and courteous “on your left”, then just continue to take up the entire trail you (I) can’t help but wonder about their couth.  Or lack of.  Maybe what followed was what actually makes me question the one heathen’s couth, or lack of.  He lazily (I suspect this applies to him in general) drifted over to the left of the trail (he should have gone right) and made room for me to go between him and his friend who was on the correct side of the path and remained there.  As I pulled up to go through the heathen spit at me.  Now, can I be sure he was spitting at me? No.  Wait, yes, yes, I can.  He knew I was there and he spit.  At me.  That means he was spitting at me.  Surely I could have stopped and kicked his ass.  Which is what I would have liked to have done.  And could easily have done.  But I just threw back a  loud and clear “nice” and it may have been followed up with a forward spoken “dumb ass” as I kept going.  I’m not wasting a pretty day on that little idiot.

So I continue pedaling and within a few hundred feet come up to a woman and young person walking a bear.  It may have been a dog, but it was the size of a bear.  Pleasant woman with a smile and a hello.  My mood is instantly back to where it should be on a day like today.  Then I come up behind a mom and two little kids.  She is pushing a stroller.  The little boy sees me and starts screaming “mommy mommy look out”.   I was nearly to a stand still and she looked up and smiled and I told her he must be her alarm.  She laughed and said “you have no idea”.

I saw people by themselves, walking, riding a bike, or jogging.  Some looked in the zone, content, achieving.  Some looked just plain sad.

We passed a play yard full of kids in the middle, surrounded by a ring of parents.   There was a group practicing baseball.   Another end of the park looked like soccer folk starting to gather.

I saw couples walking hand in hand.  People running here and there.  One biker man with a white moustache shook  his head in disgust as we bikers tried to weave between runners, walkers, joggers and kids.  I passed him and tried to smile but he was still shaking his head in disgust.   Sorry buddy, we all wanted some fun and sun today.  Let them all enjoy it and let’s show some patience.

Heading back to the car from the first bike ride I come up behind a man walking, not slow.  With a cane or a walking stick.  He had a long sleeve, beautiful OSU bike jersey on.  The pockets full of water bottles.  He had on  a fully loaded trekking belt with energy bottles in it.  He had a hat on.  As I passed him I could tell from his back that he was not in the best of physical shape, the stoop and the gait were good clues.  As I pulled on past and glanced at him I could see the snow white hair.  He might have been 70.  Or 80.  Or 90.   And he was trekking.  I got far enough past him and gave him the thumbs up sign.  My chest double thumped with joy when I saw him.

Then we went to Giant Eagle and made some fresh salads, picked up a rotisserie chicken, some orange juice and headed to my recuperating sister’s house.  She only wanted orange juice.  Until I described the luscious salad I made for her (okay I had David follow me and he made it).   Then she ate some salad I had packed with protein and heart healthy stuff.  Then mom and Buzz showed up!  Sweet deal.  Family reunion.   When Bubba (the sister) started falling asleep when she wasn’t talking we left.

We had another bonus to the day.  We went to a bike trail we had not previously been on.  There is something wonderful and exhilarating about riding where you have never ridden before.  The pedaling is easier.  The wind is never a problem.  You don’t notice how hard you are breathing.  Because you are going forward to see what you haven’t seen before.  There’s nothing mind numbing about the same old again and again.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love all the trails and opportunities they give us.  But when you get a chance to ride some place new it is the best way to ride.  Which of course makes me lament the fact that I allow myself to be scared off of actual road riding because of the few people who make it dangerous.  But road riding is like that.  You can go where ever you want.  Take a new route, plan one or just be spontaneous when you go out.   That’s the best kind of riding.

Welcome back pleasant weather.  You have been missed. By a great many and varied bunch of peoples.