You know, so many people rave (well, in my circles) about the fun, the thrill, the great workout, the way you feel… all the obvious stuff about riding your bike to work. I’ve done it and that’s all good, but in the last three weeks, I’ve found new joy, new fun – new smiles from my ride to work.
Do you realize how many people you pass on your way to work? Some of you may not pass many – I never had a clue how many I pass… but lately I have been noticing. It started with Jim, my crossing guard friend, who is about to turn 70 next month. (Yes, I learned about him!) I haven’t got her name yet, but his co-worker and her son that are at the intersection every morning and now wave like I’m in a parade. Then there is the old guy, missing a leg in a wheel chair. I don’t know where he lives, how he even survives… looks like he has a fairly rough existence, but he is always excited to see me (and pretty much anybody else that will wave or nod at him). There are others I pass at the bus stops and intersections along the way. The guy on the yellow motorcycle I see on Macland every day, the guy that passes me every morning with his bike on the rack and doesn’t even glance over… all the personalities. For some reason I enjoy that. The guy in the wheel chair, I go back and forth pondering “Was it a war wound?” or “Was it diabetes?” Then I wonder will he be cold in a few months. I’ve already decided I’ll give him a coat if he needs one.
Getting out of my steel box and getting closer to the community I go through has gotten people to recognize me. My route does not take me through the nicest neighborhoods. I am passing a lot of people that for years, I probably drove by and ignored – but on my bicycle I am oddly aware of their presence. I am just a few feet away! Some of the people even cheer for me. That may be the GOOFIEST thing I have ever said, but you know what – They are smiling, I am smiling – who cares if it is goofy!
Go for it – give it a go! Short commute, long commute, work out the details! You can do it! The list of reasons is TOO LONG to ignore!