I went for a bike ride earlier this summer.
I generally speak to every person I pass on the trail. Smile, nod.
But there isn’t a lot of time to “engage” with one another as we roll, run, or lope past one another .
On this ride it was a gorgeous day. No humidity. Sunny. Breezy. And not an over abundance of people out. Perfect. At one point I saw ahead two gentlemen approaching me. They were walking, but rolling their road bikes along side of them. I was looking at the tires to see if they were flat. I don’t think I’ve ever been resting or working on my bike along a trail without rolling by bikers yell out “are you okay”. So I try to keep a thoughtful eye out on walking bikers or people stopped along the trail. As I was focused on their tires I had but the briefest glance at their faces as I passed and said “hello”.
They both responded. I went on about fifty feet before I realized what I had just seen. The men, in their seventies, were walking side by side and both spoke. But something was not right.
It took me that long to realize one of them had blood all over his face.
I turned my bike around to go back and see if they were okay.
I pulled up along side of them them and asked if they were okay. I didn’t have any tissues or wetnaps to offer him. The one with blood on his face said he was okay. He hit some sand or rocks on that “last dip back there” and hit the rocks. With his face. “The rocks” being huge stone piled along the side of the banks in some of the areas.
I asked if they needed a phone and he said no, he has a phone. He said he just needed to “walk it off”. They thanked me for coming back to make sure he was okay.
I am pretty sure he is not going to be able to “walk off” what appears to be some broken bones in his face. But they thanked me and sent me along. His friend was with him and he was moving okay.
They both smiled at me and assured me he was okay.
I am pretty sure I want to be in my seventies riding my bike and have the ability to walk it off if I hit the pavement. With my face.
I do worry that we are losing that “walk it off” mentality and ability.