Wednesday, June 09, 2010

On Your Left

The way in which some people lose all sensibility and manners when they get behind the wheels of their vehicles has been the subject of many a stand-up comedian, a blog rant, a conversation around a dinner table.

And then...there is the biking/skating trail.

I inline skate around the lakes frequently, moreso this summer than others since I'm training for a half-marathon skate in August. There is a walking path and a biking path -- the biking path has a top speed limit of 15 mph. Sure, it sounds slow when you're in a car, but try it on a bike; many bikers are cruising faster than that.

In the Twin Cities, the unwritten rule is that bikers/skaters stay on the right-hand side of the biking path. If someone is going to pass that person, they yell "on your left!" so that the person knows that someone is coming up on their left and they should keep right. It's a nice courtesy so that you don't stride wide and catch a biker in the wheel. Or, just so you aren't startled and lose your balance in your surprise.

Now that Lindsey's got her own pair of rollerblades, I've been taking her out skating with me. I taught her about staying on the right, how people may call out to pass, et cetera.

Being the very cautious girl that she is, when she was in the lead we were going so slowly we should've been on the walking path. So after a little bit I passed her, calling on "on your left!" as I did so. I got in front and went just a little faster, so she could push herself to go faster too.

I heard nothing from her as I passed her, and eventually looked behind to see how far behind me she was.

Much to my surprise, as I turned to look I heard a little voice saying, "on your left!" and there she was, passing me back.

Sweet. Maybe someday I'll have myself a skating partner.

1 comment:

  1. I recall a time in Sturtevant when your mother, Kristi and I went biking around the community. On the way back home you and I got into a race. As we approached the house from the south on Kennedy I was giving it a lot to stay ahead of you. You passed me just as we neared the house, bent over pedaling as fast as your little body could go. You won. That is when I first realized the intense competitive nature you have, but you didn't like competition. Remember Hungry Hungry Hippos? Well when you went up the driveway you threw your bike down and went into the house in tears. When we got you calmed down we found out that going as fast as you did scared you deeply, but you would not quit and beat the old man. Courage comes in small packages. . I'm not sure if that was a growing moment for you or if we all realized that you have a special edge. Perhaps I should've slowed up and let you win, but that wouldn't have been right either. Regardless it is one of the additional moments that added to my love and respect for your bravery. I've long said that courage is not lack of fear, but what we do when afraid defines courage. You have the right stuff.

    Love you very much,