This one time…

September 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm 1 comment

This one time, I was riding my bicycle up the side of a mountain and a guy asks if he can use my handpump (for pumping up tires, creepo.) He is about 40, medium build, a little on the scruffy side, not particularly threatening and there is a lot of traffic on the road so I hand him my pump and wait on the side of the road for him to return. The pump doesn’t work and he tells me that they are old bikes and maybe it has a different valve or maybe the tubes have disintegrated and I say that I hope he figures out the bicycle problem and make moves at to continue my journey up the mountain, but he stops me and proceeds to tell me the following.

At the time, he was living in town, but came up the this house on the weekends to work on it, and his ultimate goal was to get it in a condition that he could live there full time. He’d been coming up to the house to work on it a little at a time for 2 years, and he thought he still had at least another year to work on it. He had bought the house shortly after he moved back to the states from Germany where he had been living ever since he was stationed there with the army. While he was there with the army he had started playing for a local german Hockey team and he had liked it enough to stay there for a while, and a while turned in to about 5 years. He said he liked it over there, and had a girlfriend  who was also an american, but they were just friends now and she “still came to visit him sometimes even though it was a long flight.” I asked him why he had decided to move back, and he told me that he had moved back because he had started to feel homesick for New England. He had lived in a city in Germany and had missed the wildlife and nature. He had grown up in the area and had always wanted to live on this mountain, he said that he liked being on high ground, it made him feel like he could see more, even if there were trees everywhere. I asked him if he had seen a moose (at the time, we were seeing dozens of signs for moose crossing and not a single moose. I live in Maine now, and I still have yet to see a moose.) He said that he saw moose all the time, but his most interesting animal encounter was when he had first bought this house. He had no electricity yet so for dinner he was making hotdogs outside on the fire and all of a sudden he had caught sight of a bear “medium sized” he said, “couldn’t have been much bigger than me, but wasn’t small enough to worry about the mother” on the edge of the ring of light shed by the fire and the bear had just sat there. He knew that if he made any sudden movements he could scare the bear in to attacking so he just sat there for “what felt like an hour” and then the bear just got up and left. He said that he liked to think that the bear was sitting there with him, not just because of the hotdog smell.

At that point Rosemary showed up (she was biking in front, and when I hadn’t shown up for a good 45 minutes she began to worry and had backtracked to make sure I wasn’t dead.) So ends that encounter, but throughout the trip people kept telling me things about themselves. One man (a mechanic at a bike place in NY who was very nicely giving us a lift to the shop because I had my tenth flat tire) spent a 15 minute car ride telling me about his ex wife who lived in Jersey and his decision to move to upstate NY after the divorce, it was strange because in my mind that isn’t something you tell someone you’ve just met. I think something about Rose and I bicycling this far, doing something so out of the ordinary made people feel like we were somehow witnesses, that they needed share with us so that they could have something about themselves, some crucial part of their lives or person on record with us. Or maybe they were just chatty people, who knows.


Entry filed under: Adventures, Rambling, stories, Wall Of Text.

Fears Sick Days

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. rose!  |  September 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    dude, I brushed my teeth with Tom’s of Maine for the first time in a while yesterday and had a total bikery flashback based on the smell.


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