Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mar-03: Oxford 104

Originally posted to Facebook, but this is more appropriate for the long-term, and it gives me a better opportunity to pontificate, if I so desire:

Today, Mar-03, Bob & I did my "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" 104k route - a route that Lynn has done 60 times. (I hadn't realized it was SO many times - its main attraction for Lynn is the convenience, and it is "mostly flat".)
Anyway, as [we] were leaving the turn-around, the clerk, out of the blue, asked, "how are Lynn and Mike doing?"

Need I write more? 

In context of the time, following shortly after events of Feb-20 just southeast of Raleigh, NC, I didn't need to write more to get the kernel thought across.

However, I do/did have some additional thoughts, some of which were captured by comments I made to the post.  Well, captured in an oblique way, because I wasn't blunt in my thoughts.  Here follows my comments, but I'll not copy the comments of others, which, by the way, were on-point.

Um, in contradiction to what is written immediately above, rando acquaintance Lin made a comment on the FB post, a comment that actually encapsulates everything:

"Wow.  Proving yet again that we live in webs of relationship.

My comments to/on the above referenced FB post:

Conversation revealed that the clerk only knew of Lynn from her many visits to that turn-around control. There is another clerk at that c-store whose main job is at Murdoch Center in Butner -- that clerk, whom mutually recognized Lynn from Lynn's MC days, met Mike on one of his 5 visits to that control, and refers to Mike as "Skipwtih."  [North Carolina randos that ever did Mike's 'Kerr Lake Loop'] should understand.  [Brother] Rob should likely understand the best. 

I've always thought that time spent interacting with store clerks and the community of customers is time well spent.   I'll gladly suffer a few extra minutes to chat with anyone at a store control that wants to chat.  --  In late October 2011, I did Byron's ['Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville'] three times in eleven days: my in-motion times got shorter, but the elapsed clock times got longer - because a local or two only had a word or two for me the first ride, but they wanted to talk more the second time and then even more the third ride.  [previous sentence edited in order to make more sense] 

Six months or so ago, there was a thread on the randon-google-list-serve and possibly also on BikeForums(dot)net where several randonneurs were urging, no, more like demanding that RUSA stop requiring paper proof of passage and allow, perhaps make that prefer, GPS tracks such as Strava or RWGPS or similar for proof of passage.  My thought at the time, which I did not "contribute" was along these lines: 

Great!  Let's further isolate ourselves from the larger world.  Let's further isolate ourselves from the people that are all around us, people that, for the most part, would stop and help if they saw us with a problem. 
The original FB post, reproduced at the top of this blog post, is just one reason to stay with the paper proof of passage.  In case you don't get it:  if we are reasonable human beings, we make friends or allies by simply interacting with people; those clerks and regulars, even those that might not appreciate cyclists, will usually come around to appreciating the individual cyclists they talk to; they might even pass on to their other friends that "them cyclists are NOT all weirdos, they are just people like us."  And that is a goal worth striving for. 

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