Hey Mr Bicycle Rider!

Growing up my brother, sister and I were taught by our parents to trust in people. We were taught a person's word means more than anything. Even when all clues want you to believe they shouldn't be trusted, we should give them a chance to prove the clues wrong. Given a chance people more often than not will rise and surprise.

Over the years while leading group rides, I have heard many comments about how calm I am while riding amongst traffic. I've heard it is because I spend so much time on the bike. I've heard it is because I ride to work many days. I've even heard it is because I secretly wish to die by getting hit by a speeding vehicle. None of those are true. The truth is I am able to remain calm because I love the game of Frogger (one of the greatest games ever) and because I was taught to trust.

I trust in the best of people. I trust that the driver of the vehicle no matter how close they may pass, doesn't want to hit me anymore than I want to be hit by them. I trust very few people in this world wants to actually bring harm to me because I am riding a bicycle. Lastly, I trust in the great plan. The plan which I often don't understand, but has been laid out for me to follow.

We all hear the awful stories when tragedy strikes but we hardly ever hear the stories of when someone in a vehicle does it right. When was the last social media post you read where someone was excited that a car moved an entire lane over to make a pass? Sadly those posts aren't made. That is until today. I am here writing because despite MY mistake while on the bike, I am still here to write.

Last Thursday you may have seen the picture I posted on Facebook. If not here it is for your viewing pleasure.

It was the result of me trying to do "bmx tricks on a speed machine" despite Thin Mint's recommendations that I not. That maneuver sent the bike into a slide resembling a bike entering a turn in a Supermoto race.

Entering a turn in a Supermoto race
As you can imagine, I ended up on the ground but not until the bike was almost completely stopped. Thankfully, my cleats and skin are best of friends. The type of friends who take beatings so the other does not have to. Instinctively, my left cleat sacrificed itself to be ground into a plastic pulp so my skin didn't have to. The frightening part of the whole thing wasn't the actual slide. It was the fact it took place in the middle of Midlothian Turnpike. Thankfully, the gentleman who was driving a red late model Jeep Cherokee, had not crowded me after making the turn onto Midlothian and was able to come to a stop with a lot of room to spare.

He stopped long enough to make sure I was OK. I assured him I was perfectly fine and the bike had taken all the damage. After clearing the road, I made a call to get a ride to work and sent the "I'm OK" text message to everyone who receives the Garmin Livetrack link each time I go out for a ride. About 10 minutes later as I was taking my picture to be submitted for the cover of the never been published Endorphin Fitness "12 Men of Christmas" calendar, the gentleman reappeared. He had come back by to check on me again. He said that he wouldn't have been able to think of anything else that day if he didn't make sure I was taken care of. I thanked him but this time for being so caring and thoughtful.

Fast forward one week and now it is Friday. For whatever reason, the incident was replaying in my head as I traversed the same route into work. I thought about how lucky I was to have had that gentleman behind me and not someone who was distracted. While sitting at a stop light on Boulevard, I heard "Hey Mr Bicycle Rider!" I turned around wondering what was about to be said to me when I saw the familiar red Cherokee with the driver hanging out the driver side window so he could get my attention. He was curious if I had gotten my bike fixed and let me know he was glad I was back on the road.

As I made my turn off Boulevard and toward work, I said a prayer acknowledging my gratefulness for the existence of "Red Cherokees" and for affirming my beliefs in how I want to continue to trust in both man and the plan.