July 17, 2012

People are Awesome.

About a month ago on a Friday afternoon, I was riding my bike home from work when I got to a unmanned police car and barricade blocking the road. Uh oh. I had no clue how to get home any other way, so cautiously, I went around the blocked road on my bike. It turned out the road was closed to cars because there was a bad accident and power lines were down.  Passing by the crashed car, I prayed that the person (one car and a telephone pole) was ok.  NSTAR was there and carefully waived me on.

Because the road was closed, I got to do something I don't normally get to do.... 

When I bike to and from work, I see the same bike commuter on the other side of the busy road we ride every time. We've passed each other for months, and recently we started waving and greeting with smiles every time. Without fail, I see this guy.  I don't bike every day, but based on the fact that I see him every.single.time, it is clear he does bike every day.....unless miraculously we are on the very same schedule.  

But on this particular day, the day of the bad accident, there were no cars or traffic between us, so we stopped in the middle of the road to chat.   

That is an odd feeling being in the middle of one of the busiest roads with no cars in sight.  

It turns out, he bikes everyday because he doesn't have a car, he came here from India just 4 months ago and his wife & 2 kids family will be joining him in a couple months. He commutes to the town I live in and I commute through the town he lives in - the exact opposite sides of a very busy road.  It was cool to chat with him when I normally wouldn't be able to. 

After the road block day, we were back to waving in the morning and afternoon. 

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, on my ride in, I saw him walking in nice clothes, not all sweaty as if he'd been biking in the heat like me and he was near his work place.  I waved and yelled, "You got a car!?" But on the ride home, he was walking again, this time well further down the road. Clearly, he didn't have a car.

I yelled, "Where is your bike?" 

"It was stolen." He yelled back. 

"Oh NO!" I yelled riding by.

He was still waving with a smile. 


Here, this man moved half way across the world, saving up for his family, and his main form of transportation was stolen. 

This part of the story would make me think, "Wow, people suck."  But wait. 

I happened to be telling this story as our legs were burning during what felt like an hour long wall sit durign our afternoon workout when someone happened to know a guy who has several bikes that he works on and she emailed her community and we have a bike ready for this guy.  

See.  People are awesome. 

Now it is up to the logistics.  We will find a way to get this bike to this bike-less biker. 

We are figuring this all out, but this one act, this generosity and connection and simple thing just really made my day.  

Hopefully soon I can report back that I am waiving to my bike-commuter friend on the other side of the road once again.

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