I was out for a quick ride on the bike trail today on my way to Tenino when I spotted a cyclist on the highway that parallels the trail. He saw me as I rode by and hollered, "Is that a bike path?" I hollered back, "Yeah!" and kept going at my quick pace. I did glance into my rear view mirror and noticed that he got on the trail.
As I continued riding, I thought to myself, I wonder where he is from that he doesn't know about this trail? So, when I came to the next street crossing, I stopped and waited for him to catch up. When he did, I asked him where he was from. Turns out he's from Vancouver, BC and is riding his bike to San Francisco. I told him I had ridden from home to Mexico a couple of summers ago.
I asked him where he was headed tonight. He said Centralia. I asked where he was staying in Centralia. He said he would stay in a campground. Well, there are no campgrounds in or around Centralia. I told him as much and then suggested he could come home with me and stay at my house (I also told him I was on CouchSurfing and Warmshowers--not sure he knows about them). I introduced myself and found out his name is Daniel. He is all of 21 years old and decided a week ago to ride his bike to San Francisco then hop a bus to Sacramento to visit some friends.
He took me up on my offer and we rode the trail home. I told him of an easier way to get out to the Coast. He will head that way tomorrow.
I have been fortunate in my bike tours to have complete strangers invite me into their homes. Some have been through CouchSurfing and Warmshowers. Others have been just like today with Daniel. People often ask me if I'm afraid a stranger who invites me into their home is going to try to harm me. The answer is always a resounding NO! MOST people in this world are kind and generous--we just don't hear about them. We only hear about the few "bad apples". Really, this world is an apple tree loaded with good apples!
I have been grateful of the kindness and generosity shown to me on my various bike tours. I welcome an opportunity to pay some of that kindness forward! I have had what I call my "Dog of the Moment Program" for quite some time now. I guess I also have a "Person of the Moment Program" as well.