One of my younger brothers moved into his own apartment in the “big city” just a few weeks ago. Last night I called him up to ask if he would want to walk to his workplace with me the following morning. He usually drives the two miles to work but he has expressed an interest in walking so I thought maybe if I showed up it would give him a bit of motivation.
I did the calculation in my head-it is 27 miles to his house, then two miles of walking-he starts his shift at 8:00…I wanted to set my alarm to make sure we had enough time!
Walking took a little longer than we anticipated and we ended up at his workplace at exactly 8:00. It was great spending a bit of time together, he is such a sweet guy. Maybe we will get the chance to do it again sometime!
It drizzled on the way home but the sun was shining and the smell of the fallen leaves made me smile. Then the shifting cable for my rear derailleur snapped. Yippee! For the last 15 miles of the ride my bike was effectively a two-speed. Highest gear in the back, big or middle ring in the front. I had to climb any and all hills out of the saddle, with a painfully slow cadence.
After a few miles I went past a field with four Galloway cattle, two of them with striking white belts. Naturally, I stopped to say hi. For a while they wanted nothing to do with me, but finally, after an excessive amount of coaxing, one of them galloped clumsily toward me. The others soon followed. Awww…now I could see their adorable faces up close. Eventually, they went back to their grazing and I went on my way.
Five miles more and I once again stopped, this time to hang out with some gorgeous horses. They were super friendly. Every time I am around horses, especially draft horses, I am amazed at their quiet strength.
The road took me past an Amish schoolhouse, where about fifteen pupils were outside playing noisily in the grass. They waved at me, smiling. Then the bell at the top of the schoolhouse began to swing back and forth.
Clang. Clang. Clang.
Recess was over. They scurried inside.
I was slowly grinding up the last hill before home when a German Shepherd rushed into the road behind me. I love dogs but I was bitten on my bike last summer. Now every time I see a dog running behind me I can’t help but be nervous. Without the use of my gears there was no way I could beat the dog up the hill, so I stopped and clipped out, ready to calm the dog down.
But I had totally misjudged the dog’s intent. She ran up to me whining and when I started petting her, she flopped to the ground and asked for a belly rub. Poor thing, I think her owners were out for the day and had left her in charge of the farm. She was lonely.
So thanks to a bunch of friendly animals, the ride home was a great one, even without gears.