After two weeks on the sidelines I am finally able to ride again. It not only feels good to get exercise and be outside again, I also like seeing some of the people along the way that I have passed countless times.
There is a recumbent rider, possibly even older than me, who has a route almost exactly the same as mine but in the opposite direction. There is also the woman who works as a crossing guard near an elementary school that always says “hi” when I pass. At the other end of the school zone is a man who waves to everyone that goes by.
Then there are the people on the trail. One guy is overweight but working hard to slim down. When I pass he is walking while lifting hand weights. He always says hi to me, so do the two older women that are out for their morning walk. Then there is the women who is riding her bike with a mat rolled up on the front of it. I assume she is going to an exersize class. She never fails to say hi. There are several others too, but I don’t want to write a list.
Most people I see in the morning but there is a regular in the afternoon. He is an older man than walks very fast with a golf club in his had. He holds the club out and rotates it while he walks. He is the only person that avoids eye contact, but some people are just introverted, even in old age, and I certainly don’t think less of him for it.
It occurred to me that I almost feel a friendship toward these people even though I have never stopped and talked to any of them. It is just nice to hear that warm hello several times a day.
The other thing I noticed is that people are such creatures of habit. Many of the people on the trail, I assume, are walking for exercise. They walk the same trail, in the same direction, everyday. I don’t know what is normal but that would bore me to tears. I would want to mix it up and go one way one day and another the next.
It is true that I ride my bike the same way everyday, and I have tried to change it up a bit, but any other way to work is just not as safe. I suppose if I could find a safe second route, and then alternate between the two, I would double the friends that I don’t know.