Riding a bicycle gives you a different perspective of the road as you pedal along. There's interesting flotsam and jetsam, critters, flowers and such. Riding a bicycle also makes one vulnerable to people who like to yell.
I got to thinking about this the other day when a driver yelled his own bicycle road rules at me. They were quite peppery and quite different from what's in the driver's manual. I yelled back, "OKAY BROTHER!" I smiled and waved.
There was another time while pedaling over a bridge before dawn that a shirtless young man with a shaved head leaned out of the passenger window of a passing car and yelled out, "GO TO $%&@." I smiled and waved.
One afternoon I was pedaling through a neighborhood and a fellow wearing a bandana and sunglasses yelled out, "Yo! 'G'!" I gave him an upward flick of my chin and a smile. I don't know what "G" means: Good? Guy? "Gangsta"? I reckon I'll never find out.
My most favorite memory of getting yelled at while riding my bike was from a 2 year old. Now picture this dear reader: It's a sunny summer afternoon and I'm pedaling through one of our older neighborhoods. A child suddenly appears running from a house down a driveway as fast as his bare feet will carry him. His hair is wild and all he is wearing is a sagging diaper.
The little tyke is running, running with all his might down the driveway as if he were a warrior on the move. Suddenly he stopped, took a deep breath and proudly lobbed an F-bomb at me. I laughed out loud. I was sure big brother taught him that, much to the non-amusement of mom and dad.
That was a long time ago.
I hope he has grown up to say nicer things to folks passing by on bicycles.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.
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