The Bicycle Ladies

 

We’ve started our days taking a walk together, my husband and I. It’s a shorter walk than I usually take in the morning, but I’m taking it easy for at least another week. The sun seemed to light the trees, and we could hear the cardinals calling to each other from dense branches and leaves. The temperature was perfect and we strolled along, my husband on the outside next to the street of course. He’s always a gentleman.

On our way back, we heard voices behind us and we turned to see who was coming. (People sometimes ride their bicycles on the sidewalks and give little notice when they zoom around us.) Two women rode next to each other in the street on two beautiful women’s bikes (no fancy extra gears for them!) and as they approached us, we called out, “We love your bikes!”

It turns out that they had both decided they needed the exercise during the lockdown, so they went to Walmart and bought matching bikes—blue with white stripes. The conversation went something like this:

Jerry: “Hey, it looks like your bikes match, except I see one of you has a rearview mirror. And a basket, too!”

Bike rider #2: “I’m thinking of buying the same things. They have some other nifty accessories.”

Bike rider #1: “Well, I already have a three-speed, but the gears are a pain, so we decided to get matching bikes.”

Jerry: “If you’re not careful, your $100 bike is going to be worth $1,000!”

Bike rider #2: “Well, if it does, I’ll come sell it to you.”

Susan: “You really should get a little ching-ching bell, too. No bike is complete without it.”

Bike rider #2: “Yes, I was thinking the same thing.”

For some reason, we all laughed. We wished each other a good walk/ride and went on our way.

It was just a simple exchange. Somehow, though, the sun seemed to shine brighter and our hearts were lighter.

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  1. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Beautiful vignette Susan. So glad you’re over the worst.

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    You confirmed how much sociality (if there is such a word) is written into our DNA.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    You confirmed how much sociality (if there is such a word) is written into our DNA.

    So very true, @rodin. My husband, bless his heart, is nearly the only person I converse with. He’s a great guy, but more interaction with others is better!

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bah! Human interaction!

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bah! Human interaction!

    Well, not all of us are natural hermits, @arahant!

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking.  People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch.   I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    • #7
  8. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bah! Human interaction!

    Well, not all of us are natural hermits, @arahant!

    My youngest daughter, who inherited my somewhat (ok, severely) introverted personality called me yesterday and naturally I asked how she was doing. The more or less verbatim reply?

     “Damn dad! Has there ever been a better time to be an introvert? ” Hard to disagree.

     

    • #8
  9. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    My wife and I were walking our dog yesterday and a car I see on most days stopped and the driver said how much she loves seeing us walking every day and how beautiful our dog (Female deer hound named Belle) was and asked if ‘he’ was a deer hound.  That was a surprise, since most people think she is a Wolf Hound, even though they are much bulkier.  After saying again how beautiful she was, the car drove on.  It was a very pleasant interlude.

    I’m a little worried, though,  that all this talk about being beautiful will go to Belle’s head.

     

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    I’m a little worried, though, that all this talk about being beautiful will go to Belle’s head.

    I’m gonna guess, @willowspring, that she’s already spoiled. But what do I know .  .  . 😉

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Limestone Cowboy (View Comment):
    “Damn dad! Has there ever been a better time to be an introvert? ” Hard to disagree.

    Not when the extrovert spouse is home most of the time.

    • #11
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    • #12
  13. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    Correct.  Our cats made me install a new birdfeeder near the window, but I’m not sure what’s next.  

    • #13
  14. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I have been enjoying my neighborhood walks that I’ve been taking with my neighbor, almost every day.  We love the friendly chit chat as people pass by.  But there are plenty of people who won’t look you in the face and will all of sudden swerve into the street rather than walk by you.  They are ruled by fear.  Unhappy people!  

    • #14
  15. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Susan Quinn: Jerry: “Hey, it looks like your bikes match, except I see one of you has a rearview mirror. And a basket, too!”

    Cycling shorts can be revealing.

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    Our cat spent Saturday night outside (not too unusual) and didn’t show up until late Sunday afternoon.  We had gotten concerned and thought the coyotes must have gotten her. It isn’t the first time she has stayed out on an extended evening hunt, though.

    One theory for yesterday’s absence is that she got tired of the disappearance of the dead prey that she left on our porch, so stayed with the latest one elsewhere until it was all eaten up. Or maybe she took it to a hiding place in the barn.

    Earlier last week she had killed three baby rabbits in four days. She made a mess on the porch with the first one, which I then hosed down. Didn’t want to freak out any of the delivery people who are leaving packages on our porch these days. She left the second one half eaten (she eats the head first) so when she went inside I buried the rest of it.  She brought a 3rd one to our porch and left the whole thing on the porch while she went inside for a nap. I buried that one before she got to work on it. When she came back outside, she acted as though she had expected that dead rabbit to be there. So maybe she is no longer going to bring her prey to the house for us to admire.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    Our cat spent Saturday night outside (not too unusual) and didn’t show up until late Sunday afternoon. We had gotten concerned and thought the coyotes must have gotten her. It isn’t the first time she has stayed out on an extended evening hunt, though.

    One theory for yesterday’s absence is that she got tired of the disappearance of the dead prey that she left on our porch, so stayed with the latest one elsewhere until it was all eaten up. Or maybe she took it to a hiding place in the barn.

    Earlier last week she had killed three baby rabbits in four days. She made a mess on the porch with the first one, which I then hosed down. Didn’t want to freak out any of the delivery people who are leaving packages on our porch these days. She left the second one half eaten (she eats the head first) so when she went inside I buried the rest of it. She brought a 3rd one to our porch and left the whole thing on the porch while she went inside for a nap. I buried that one before she got to work on it. When she came back outside, she acted as though she had expected that dead rabbit to be there. So maybe she is no longer going to bring her prey to the house for us to admire.

    Ummm… so what kind of “cat” do you own, @thereticulator? Jaguar? Puma?

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    Our cat spent Saturday night outside (not too unusual) and didn’t show up until late Sunday afternoon. We had gotten concerned and thought the coyotes must have gotten her. It isn’t the first time she has stayed out on an extended evening hunt, though.

    One theory for yesterday’s absence is that she got tired of the disappearance of the dead prey that she left on our porch, so stayed with the latest one elsewhere until it was all eaten up. Or maybe she took it to a hiding place in the barn.

    Earlier last week she had killed three baby rabbits in four days. She made a mess on the porch with the first one, which I then hosed down. Didn’t want to freak out any of the delivery people who are leaving packages on our porch these days. She left the second one half eaten (she eats the head first) so when she went inside I buried the rest of it. She brought a 3rd one to our porch and left the whole thing on the porch while she went inside for a nap. I buried that one before she got to work on it. When she came back outside, she acted as though she had expected that dead rabbit to be there. So maybe she is no longer going to bring her prey to the house for us to admire.

    Ummm… so what kind of “cat” do you own, @thereticulator? Jaguar? Puma?

    Just a calico cat. She’s not too big, but she’s not the smallest we’ve ever had, either. I wanted a calico cat because they tend to be good hunters. She earns her keep by protecting our house from marauding chipmunks. 

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Exercise in our neighborhood seems to be centered around dog walking. People I used to see maybe once a day now come by three-four times with the pooch. I think maybe the traditional role at home with the dog yipping at the door to go out has now been replaced with the owner getting the dog and saying “You’re going out whether you like it or not!”

    We’re not walking as early as I usually do on my own, so I’m missing scratching the ears of my favorite dogs. And I’m sure you’re right, @hoyacon. Those poor dogs are probably exhausted!

    No such thing as too many walksies! Getting to hang out with the pack leader, best thing ever. Now cats, on the other hand, must be running out of things for their humans to do for them.

    Our cat spent Saturday night outside (not too unusual) and didn’t show up until late Sunday afternoon. We had gotten concerned and thought the coyotes must have gotten her. It isn’t the first time she has stayed out on an extended evening hunt, though.

    One theory for yesterday’s absence is that she got tired of the disappearance of the dead prey that she left on our porch, so stayed with the latest one elsewhere until it was all eaten up. Or maybe she took it to a hiding place in the barn.

    Earlier last week she had killed three baby rabbits in four days. She made a mess on the porch with the first one, which I then hosed down. Didn’t want to freak out any of the delivery people who are leaving packages on our porch these days. She left the second one half eaten (she eats the head first) so when she went inside I buried the rest of it. She brought a 3rd one to our porch and left the whole thing on the porch while she went inside for a nap. I buried that one before she got to work on it. When she came back outside, she acted as though she had expected that dead rabbit to be there. So maybe she is no longer going to bring her prey to the house for us to admire.

    Ummm… so what kind of “cat” do you own, @thereticulator? Jaguar? Puma?

    Just a calico cat. She’s not too big, but she’s not the smallest we’ve ever had, either. I wanted a calico cat because they tend to be good hunters. She earns her keep by protecting our house from marauding chipmunks.

    I sure wouldn’t trespass!

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just a calico cat. She’s not too big, but she’s not the smallest we’ve ever had, either. I wanted a calico cat because they tend to be good hunters. She earns her keep by protecting our house from marauding chipmunks.

    I sure wouldn’t trespass!

    Do you think that’s why nobody comes to visit us?

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just a calico cat. She’s not too big, but she’s not the smallest we’ve ever had, either. I wanted a calico cat because they tend to be good hunters. She earns her keep by protecting our house from marauding chipmunks.

    I sure wouldn’t trespass!

    Do you think that’s why nobody comes to visit us?

    In my cousin’s case, it isn’t so much the cats as the “Anybody found on this property after sundown will be found on this property after sunup” sign.

    • #21
  22. Right Wing Teamster Lawyer Thatcher
    Right Wing Teamster Lawyer
    @RightWingTeamsterLawyer

    I have two dogs, a hound mix and a chocolate lab.  When I walk them, I greet all walkers, whether they are with or without dog.  

    While walking a different route the other day a van pulled up to the curb, wrong side of the street, and the driver said hi.  He and his wife explained they see me walking with Buddy and Bro, we always exchange greetings and this time he decided to stop and say hi from his car and chat a bit (Bro usually starts barking when someone starts talking but not when this fellow was talking).

    We conversed a minute or two then went on our separate ways.

    That little exchange put a big smile on my face for quite a while that day.  They were neighbors regardless of where they lived.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I miss my long walks and I’m looking forward to starting them up soon. I’ve been making the same walk for 12 years, but there is always something different to see. I’ve been asked by a few people if I’m the Walking Lady. It’s so sweet.

    • #23
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