We have a library that's about a couple of blocks away from our house. Just the perfect walking distance. We make use of the library a lot...we basically use it like a Blockbuster. We search for what we want online, submit a hold request, and they let us know when it's ready. Simple as that (and free!).
My daughter inherited a little bike with trainings from one of the neighbor kids a couple of weeks ago, and has since become quite the pro at cruising around on her little bike. She doesn't normally ride too far, just up and down the street. We had a few items ready and waiting for us at the library, so we decided to walk, while my daughter rode her bike, to the library. It worked out great! Once we picked up the goods, we decided to take a slightly different route home.
This different route took us along a major road. We were on the sidewalk, so don't get all judgmental on me. Anyway, at one point during our trip home, my daughter started playing "red light, green light" with the actual stop light that was ahead of us. During one of the red light times, a fellow came riding along on his bike, in the bike lane on the road, going the opposite way of traffic, without a helmet. As he approached, he yelled out, "She has good safety!" Well heck yeah she does buddy. This guy decided to stop and tell me his life story. I'm not quite sure what it is about me, but this actually happens quite often.
He started off by telling me about one of his daughters falling off of her bike when she was younger and hitting her head on a gasket. He said she was ok now though. And yet he still was not wearing a helmet! Then he started explaining to me the reasons as to why he was riding on the wrong side of the road. The summarize, he felt he was able to look into the eyes of the driver as the run him over. Great! The last thing you can see before you die is some person talking on their phone, or texting, or putting on makeup. Never mind that the cyclist would be at fault here for riding the wrong way. After I fully understood his crazy thinking, he moved on to the recent news of Sally Meyerhoff being struck and killed by a car. I don't know much about the story, other than she was the female winner of the Rock n Roll Arizona 2011 Marathon. He told me that she was training for the Olympics, as was he. The kind fellow then let me know that he ran 16 miles today, rode his mountain bike to work, and was now riding home before he plans on running another 8 miles. Fair enough, I thought. Maybe this guy is doing the Olympics, maybe not. Who am I to judge? I tried to end the conversation there by saying, "Well, good luck with the Olympics," as I started to walk away. Sure enough, he began to slow-pedal right next to me as I worked my way to catching up with my wife and daughter who had moved on and left me for dead.
This guy continued to talk my ear off about various things, including, but not limited to: his family waiting seven years to get their papers in order to come into this country, America not being safe, everyone keeping their children inside because America is not safe, people driving 70 mph in a 40 mph zone, what shoes my daughter needs to wear while she rides her bike with training wheels, and how America is bad because you work your whole life to pay for the government and banks. I'm not 100% sure of everything he said. I mostly said a lot of "uh huh" and "yep" and "sure". Also, he had some accent. I think he was Romanian, but that was one of the things he didn't tell me. Shocking, I know.
The lesson learned today? If you see a guy riding his bike on the wrong side of the road, without a helmet, don't let him talk to you. You'll never be able to get away from him! Maybe that's not fair. He was a nice enough guy. And plus, he's a future Olympian!