Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why I Love Riding

I was going to call today's post "I Wore My Sunglasses Today" to the tune of that song that starts with "I wear my sunglasses at night". I think it's by Corey Hart (a One-Hit Wonder). Anyway, I changed it because of lunch. It had nothing to do with the food (although, pretty much eating whatever you want on a bike tour is definately a plus). No, it had to do with a couple I met. Their names were Florence and Jim. Florence is 91 and Jim can't be too far behind.
I pulled into the Subway in Tenino. When I walked in this older couple was standing at the cash register end of the counter. Of course, at Subway, you start at the other end, order your sandwich and work your way to the register. Once the couple understood this they came down to the other end where I was standing waiting to order. I told them they could go in front of me as they were there first. They said no, they were in no hurry. Then they were trying to decide what to have. They mentioned the ham. I told them they could get a footlong ham for $5. They said that would be too much to eat. They just wanted a 6". I ordered my footlong Veggie Delight. Jim (although, at this time I did not know his name) says to me, "You going to eat all of that?". I told him I was and he said that would feed him for a week. In my defense, I told him I had already ridden 30 miles on my bike to get there. When they were trying to order, the sandwich gal was having a hard time understanding what they wanted. I told her they just wanted a 6" sandwich cut in half (you know, Subway is not a good restaurant for the indecisive--6" or footlong? Kind of bread? What kind of cheese? Toasted? Veggies? Sauce? Wanna make that a meal?). Anyway, they got their order and were looking for a place to sit. As I was sitting alone, I asked if they would like to join me. They did and we had a very nice conversation. Turns out Florence and Jim are just friends. They used to be neighbors until Florence's kids put her in a "nursing home" (really an Assisted Living facility). She is still not happy about that. Jim has 6 kids and, he thinks, at least a couple of grandkids. So now that they are no longer neighbors, Jim periodically picks up Florence and they go for a drive and lunch.
So, I titled this blog "Why I Love Riding". It is meeting people like Jim and Florence that make riding so enjoyable. It is also the advantage of riding alone. If I had been with someone, I would probably not have engaged them in conversation let alone invite them to eat with me. It is something I noticed while solo touring this summer. People were much more likely to approach me and ask me questions then when I was with someone. Plus, as a solo tourist, I am more inclined to seek people out.
Anyway, the weather was perfect as was my lunch company!

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