Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Notes from a Ride: Cool Things That Happened

So after work, I have to get out and enjoy this heavenly weather. Warm, sunny, low-no humidity, perfect!
(Thanks, WTOP's Doug Hill! I'm pretty sure you ordered up this one for me, right?)

And I decide the Capital Crescent Trail is calling my name. Not long into the ride, well before Fletcher's Boathouse, I run into this obstacle:

Ok, I didn't run into it. That would leave a mark. Nope, I stopped as you can see, took a quick pic, and then, did what everyone else did, shrugged, hopped off the bike, and ducked underneath it. What I liked about this little episode was how people didn't get all worked up about how this was slowing down their ride, how they'd be late getting home/heading to work/finishing their workout. They wondered when it came down, commented on the ferocity of the weather, and in some cases, offered to help one another slip underneath it.

Second cool thing. As I came back to the same downed tree, another cyclist commented on how great the CCT is. He'd never taken it before, friends recommended it, and he loved how pretty it was. And as he pedaled off past one segment where a fence is covered with this lovely broad-leafed climbing plant, he reached out to let his hand brush the vine. It made me smile, because it was something a little kid would do. And it made me think: that's how biking should be. The way it was when you were a kid--you might run into the unexpected or you might see things that are so pretty you just reach out and touch them.

Third cool thing: Guy comes up on a bike, and well before he gets to my rear wheel calls out politely "On your left!" I thanked him very much, because so few people do that, and it's such a simple, smart courtesy. We both agreed it makes things much safer on the trail when you call out your position. Just in case. It gave me the same feeling as when you're driving and someone lets you in ahead of them. Nice.

Last cool thing. After the ride, I do some grocery shopping. I head to the store near Guy Mason Rec Center where it's softball night. I approach two people clearly heading off to play: a guy and a girl. The guy has a bat in his hand, and he's on the left. As I approach, I call out.."on your left", nothing. "On your left" and as I get closer I think, "If it were me, walking along with a bat, I might absently swing at the air as I carry it..so maybe I need to give myself some room and call out again." As go wide to give myself some extra room, he indeed, takes the bat and starts to swing it--to his left--and the girl with him calls out to him "Hey!(his name) she announced!"

I just liked the way the girl said "Hey! She announced!" It cracked me up. Sounded like something you'd hear in a courtroom.
"Judge, you have to convict the guy with the baseball bat!"
"Hmmm..I don't know if we have enough evidence. You know how a cyclist can come up behind a pedestrian silently, there's no way the pedestrian would know they were there. How can you prove intent to harm? Did he know she was there?"
"Your Honor, with all due respect, she announced!"
"Well then, that's different! Five years in the slammer for you, mister! Next time when someone says 'On your left', you'd better watch out!"

Of course in this case, I had gone wide, the guy--not having heard me--was just at the start of a swing with that bat, and the girl--who clearly did hear me--got his attention and showed she "gets" the reason for someone to call our their position. It's safer for everyone.

Oh, and the ride was fabulous as was the spectacularly beautiful sunset. Happy trails.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. Reading this is the next best thing to being there!