I went out for 19 miles today. Forgot which course I was doing and ended up riding 31. True story. No intentions of going that far, just did. Too tired for the weight room tonight.

I walked the mammal early this morning. We came across a homeless man with all the obvious signs of meth amphetamine abuse. Still, we had a nice conversation.

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As I approached him, I said ‘howdy neighbor’. That’s a habit I’ve gotten in more recently. Despite that they live under bridges and in the bushes, the homeless in my community are still my neighbors. It’s amazing the dignity a homeless person displays once you refer to him or her as neighbor.

He had two bags of recycling with him, a small sleeping roll, a cell phone with a cracked screen, as well as a visible lighter and pipe. He looked like he hadn’t showered or bathed in a few days.

After my dog approached him and received a few scratches behind ears, the man told me about his poodle who died back in 2016. The man had been a forklift driver and told me that his poodle spent all day on the forklift with him, and did this for years.

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Bella…

He never mentioned whether it was a teacup, toy, miniature or standard poodle. I envisioned teacup, because it makes a better story. 2016 wasn’t that long ago though, so gathering aluminum cans and plastic bottles wasn’t his original career path.

He smiled a lot, spoke clearly, and despite the razor stubble and gaunt look, he had clear eyes and was quite present in our conversation. I honestly felt like I might have been talking to a stockbroker had I closed my eyes and just listened to his voice.

We talked about how therapeutic having a dog close by can be. I explained that I work from home and that my dog is also near me for most of the day. The word ‘comforting’ came up between us a couple of times each.

He wished me a happy new year, I did the same and we parted ways.

In a strange sense, that was the highlight of my day. Perhaps because I thought it might’ve been the highlight of his day — the touch of a dog and a passerby who didn’t seem afraid of him.

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I love my water bottles…

I call the path I saw him on, The Burrito Trail, since I often take a bag of burritos down there on Saturday or Sunday mornings for my neighbors who also call the bushes and the bridges of this trail home.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

Today’s Ride…

Bike: Bella
31 miles
1,500’ climbing
16.2 mph avg
2,100 calories
Today’s earworm: Lost In The Supermarket, by The Clash

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me this week. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. Oh, and there is this from The Clash.  Enjoy…!

One thought on “Howdy, Neighbor…

  1. Much Love and Respect to our Neighbors on The Burrito Trail. Nice story, Thank You Teaches us to be better lisentners and to not pre judge.

    Like

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