Human Inspiration During A Bike Ride: “I Had To Decide Whether To Live Or Die, I Chose To Live,” Said James.

DiNotte Lighting is great

Now, here’s a bike light drivers can see during the day, DiNotte. Can save your life from inattentive motorists or during poor visibility, such as an unexpected rainstorm. Photo by FitOldDog.

When you ride a bike on the roads around here, it can be pretty dangerous, and people hurling abuse from fast moving vehicles is not unusual. Even hurling a beer bottle from time-to-time; it’s rare to encounter human inspiration during a bike ride, but we did today!

FitOldDog rescues a turtle on the road.

Nothing like rescuing a friendly turtle to make you feel good. Selfie by FitOldDog.

I was riding with Sue, along a fast, but fairly broad, two-lane road in the countryside.  Sue was in front. We always keep to single file, unless the road is completely empty, for which I check in my mirror frequently, listening all the while.

We had just rescued a large turtle, which always feels good, and were heading home. Then, to my surprise, a grey minivan pulls alongside, with the passenger window rolling down. The last time that happened, the driver lowered his window to swear at Rory, my other regular riding companion, screaming, “You F****ing Liberals.” We do slow the cars down a little, but we always take care to minimize inconvenience to passing traffic.

I wondered what this driver wanted, as I pulled up to his passenger-side window.

Courgette in FitOldDog's vegetable garden

Nothing like a vegetable garden as a place to reflect on the important things, and lessons, in life. Thank you, James. The courgette are coming along nicely. Photo by FitOldDog.

To my surprise, he said, in a friendly voice, “I really like your light. It makes it so much easier to see you. I’ve got the same light on my electric wheelchair.” I have a very bright, flashing, rear DiNotte light on my Guru, which is clearly visible during the daytime.

Taken by surprise, I replied, without thinking, “Why do you use a wheelchair?”

To which he responded, “I was shot in Iraq, while serving in the military, so I’m paralyzed from the waist down.

Then, I guess due to the unexpectedly friendly nature of the encounter, I said, “But why aren’t you all bitter and angry about it? You seem like a happy, friendly guy.

Peas in FitOldDog's vegetable garden.

The peas are tasting good, too. Photo by FitOldDog.

To which, he, James, replied, with an enigmatic smile, “I had the choice of whether to live or die, so I chose to live.

This sure impressed the hell out of me!

Then someone in an SUV comes roaring up behind us, honking their horn angrily, so James pulls away, with a friendly wave.

Business as usual, but I took away a great memory and life lesson from James, who is a hero to be emulated, no doubt about it!

We went back to my vegetable garden, to reflect on our ride and the nature of life.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.