Monday, March 20, 2006

On Folding Bikes and Humility.

A brisk walk to the bus stop, a short wait for the bus, and pretty soon I was reading a not too grubby copy of the Metro News on the top deck. We passed a t-junction and I noticed a little middle aged man pulling out onto the road on one of those fold up bikes with wheels the size of side plates. He wore a white and pink helmet, similar to the kind given to six year olds before six year olds needed to look cool too. Little luminous yellow bike clips held is cords away from the probably rusty chain. It was an endearing sight, but I felt and pang of sorrow for him. It would take a long time to get anywhere with wheels that big, and it was pretty cold out. I hoped that his helmet kept his ears warm, because I couldn’t imagine it being useful for much else. The bus pushed on and the little man went out of sight and out of mind.

A fairly uneventful journey passed; people got on, people got off, doing things that people on busses do. I smiled for the fiftieth time at the shop in Rusholm called ‘Kebabish’, and repeated too myself a few times. What an inspired name for a kebab shop.

I expressed my thanks to the driver and jumped off at the usual place. The story typically ends here, except that after I crossed the road I looked up and who should be two meters ahead of me but the little man with the fold up bike! Not only was he going to the same place as me but he was getting there before me. I was humbled. He looked healthy and invigorated and no number white and pink plastic helmets would damage the self assured manner with which he carried himself. Here was a man who had a lot more than I had credited him with, and I was ashamed at how I had prejudged him and his little bike with wheels the size of side plates.


Blogger piccadillywilson said...

Geoff - I may bump into you on the 43 this week... "But why?" you may ask. Well, babies = sleep deprivation. And on Sunday sleep deprivation = putting unleaded in diesel car. Oh dear. M ;-)

12:09 am  

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