Friday, September 7, 2012

When I grow up...

   I belong to a list serv website where touring cyclists can find host housing along their route.
   The first email I received was from a guy named Jerry from Texas. He planned to ride from Muskegon, after taking the ferry, across to the east coast.
   Jerry H. is 71. His riding partner, another Jerry W., is 76. Both require recumbents to get around now for the most part due to physical challenges.
   Neither of these guys are fitness freaks. They ride to see the country, have adventures, and get to know new people.
   Jerry and Jerry
   And they don't do credit card tours, staying in hotels along the way. They bring tents and sleeping bags. They stop in state parks, church yards, nice little places back off the road. They ride back country roads, and if they do 50 miles in a day, they consider it good.
   They like wandering through little towns, talking to people at diners and along the road, learning the history of a place.
   These two arrived at my house Tuesday night, and they took Lori and I to dinner at La Salsa.
   I stayed up way too late on a school night, listening to their stories. Originally, they planned to stay two nights and visit a bit of Milwaukee. I was really sad to find out they would leave in the morning for the trip.
   They're in Michigan now, making new friends. It's amazing how many people you meet on a bike. It's the only way to travel.
   I have two new friends now, even though they called me Joe! That's why I do host housing for cyclists: I get to meet fascinating people doing fascinating things.
   Those two guys are who I want to be when I grow up. Riding my bike in retirement, meeting new friends along the way, and making the world a little smaller and closer.
   Hopefully, these two remember names!

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