Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"Good morning!" I said. The biker coming in the opposite direction blinked and did a double take. She mumbled something unintelligible as we whizzed past each other the doppler effect taking it's toll on the micro-conversation.
"Good morning!" I said. The elderly Asian couple pushing their grandchild in the stroller looked up, stopped and turned. "Good morning," the husband replied smiling and slightly bowing his head.
Buscaglia was the master of making friends and welcoming everyone into his world. His cheery greeting to absolute strangers would often get the response "Do I know you?" And Leo would reply, "No, but wouldn't it be great if you did!?"
"Good morning!" I said as I drove by a woman taking in the morning air on her front porch. Sitting just 20 feet from the street with her cat curled up at her feet, she didn't flinch and said nothing. Maye she's hearing impaired I thought. I could turn around and give it another try. Or perhaps she has 911 on her speed dial. "We've got at 502 (cheerful while biking) in progress on Owasso Street. All units respond."
The other day I was riding with a friend who was unaware of my job as official bike path cheerleader. A bit embarrassed at first, he began chirping back a warm good morning greeting of his own. The movement is growing.
"Good morning!" I said. The two women walkers were engaged in a vigorous animated conversation as I rolled past then. "Good morning!" they laughingly replied in perfect unison.
Many of the people I pass are wearing ear buds or full headphones as they pedal, walk or run missing out on the sounds all around them. Sometimes I'll just wave to them as a "good morning" might not be heard through the latest Dixie Chicks CD playing on their iPod.
"Good Morning Buck!" I said. Buck and his dog Zinger are frequent fellow travelers on the bike path. Zinger, who is walking a good 100 yards behind his master, looks up to make sure Buck is in sight. While Buck and I have engaged in longer conversations than an early morning greeting, Zinger is a bit leery of coming too close. If I stop my bike before Zinger passes, he'll intentionally make a large circle around this stranger with the helmet, vest and out stretched hand. A scratch isn't what Zinger is looking for this morning.
Like Leo, I'm not out to change the world or get a return on my investment. If if should get an unsolicited "Good Morning!" it might have been the seed I planted. Or maybe it is just another person who's happy to be alive.
"Good Morning!" I said.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, August 17, 2007
About two weeks ago I was riding my bike home from work when a yellow jacket smacked into by glasses and dropped down onto my bare arm below my shirt sleeve. Panicked, I swatted at the bee with my free hand but didn't knock him off. That, apparently, ticked him off so he jammed his stinger into me and buzzed off. Oof! I pulled off the road and started sucking the poison and spitting it out. Suck. . .spit. . .suck. . . spit just like my mother-in-law used to do with bee stings on her grand children's feet. I'm not sure what people driving by thought of this guy sucking on his arm. But by the time I got home, the pain had lessened and there was no swelling, just some redness.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I figured I'd have to pull it out, but I was in a nice shady, safe spot to repair the flat. I gently edged out the staple and the tire went "pssssst" then stopped. Hmm. The tire still felt well inflated. I must have been light-headed as I actually thought I might have some special tire or tube that was self-sealing. So I pushed out into the bike lane and headed home.
A quarter mile further along "psssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" and the tire was flat. But this time I was along Highway 99 with trucks and cars zipping by at 55-60 miles an hour. And no shade. I pulled off the road and about 20 feet down an embankment. It was hot, dusty and dry with brown weeds and dead grass mixed in with the dirt. I longed for my shady spot in front of the church. What was I thinking?!
I pulled the wheel off and managed to get the tube out and replaced with my spare. I did this trying to keep my head in the shade of the 55 MPH sign I'd leaned my bike against. I reassembled the bike and felt the newly inflated tire. I was ready to roll albeit a bit dirty and a lot sweatier.
I checked. I don't have self-sealing anything including my sanity.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Before I leave the path I cross the river at the Owasso Bridge, a pedestrian-bike bridge that connects the east side path with the west side. There seems to always be at least one person on the bridge watching the river rush by, sipping coffee or eating a snack. More often than not there are several people there occupying the benches.
If I need to, the Willamette River bike paths can take me all the way into Eugene after a 1/2 mile ride on the streets. The river flows south to north and cuts Eugene in half. The bike paths are well-maintained and for the most part safe.