Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Three Short Winter Biking Stories

1.  Surprise.
While checking out at the local co-op, the Friendship Store - how can you not love that name? - the cashier asked me if I rode my bike.  I said I did, thinking for sure this would be lead to one of those you're nuts conversations.  But no.  Instead she asked, "Do you have one of our bicycle reward cards?"  I quickly responded in a dumbfounded manner, " I had no idea they existed."  To the 15 people who read my blog: Did you all know about this?  Each time you ride your bike to the Seward Co-op they punch a hole in your reward card, fill it up and then you're card is entered for a $50 drawing.  Just for riding your bike to the grocery store.

What if churches did this?  Ride your bike and receive a free blessing, extra communion, enjoy the worship service relaxing in the steaming hot baptismal water, 10% discount on your tithe...

2.  Excuse Me
Last week I parked my bike at the library and walked up to Kowalskis (another grocery store) to pick up a few things.  It was bitter cold day so I was dressed in my black pants (just a thin pair of wind blocking pants) and my black ALTA jacket (i've never been there but i have a friend who owns a ski shop there) and my black balaclava (a face covering mask).  As I walked away from the cashier a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Excuse me, are you the manager?"  I replied, "No, but thanks for the compliment.  I do not work here."

For the record Kowalski workers wear black pants and shirts, so I'm willing to give the woman some credit.  And yes, it is cold in Minnesota and different folk bundle up in different ways but when did grocery store managers start wearing face covering masks?

3.  The Existential Question
This morning in the muck of snow and grit and slush I pedaled north on 4th avenue.  On the corner a mom talked on her cell phone while her pre-K child waited for her bus.  As I approached I smiled at young girl and said good morning.  The young girl in her furry hooded jacket looked me in the eyes and with tears in her eyes and snot running down her nose and her hands in her pockets asked me the ancient unanswerable question that has puzzled theologians and philosophers and poets and physicians and teachers and writers since beginning of time: WHY?

Winter Biking, you gotta love it.

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