There was a US Armed Forces Veteran I met once while stopping to refill my motorcycle with gasoline. We had exchanged a few friendly words because I guess we were both on the two wheels I spoke to him first, “I have been riding all day.”
I usually ride somewhere on the weekends so riding long distances was not out of the question by any means. This day I was making one big loop and taking big portions of the map circling back making a big loop, still abiding by my time and my distances covered and this involved taking short cuts too so I could return home of the evening before dark.
Actually this guy was traveling by bicycle pulling a trailer with his bicycle. I have never seen anything quite like this, it weighed alot and it was heavy, too heavy for me and heavier than the bicycle itself. This may have been all his personal belongings and this bicycle was his only means of transportation.
The next day he had made his way to a point along the road where I met him. Let’s just say that I used my hunches to follow him from his projected route of traveling south.
It was on this day that I decided to use my vehicle and go after him to go pick him up and to load up all of his gear in the back of my pickup truck. So on the morning of that Sunday morning I returned to pick him up to give him a ride to where he was going. And I did.
He was going to Tucson, AZ. He was coming from Prescott, AZ. I didn’t know anything about him other than the fact that he was homeless. This was obvious.
I would never ride a bicycle to such great distances especially towing a heavy bicycle trailer. All of his personal belongings were in that trailer. We met at a convinience store the day before. This was at a cross roads intersection south of Phoenix, AZ.
He says he was a disabled Vietnam Service member. He had suffered a head injury somewhere somehow. He claimed a disability from the VA. He states he has an income. He has no home he lives in one large tent.
What do you do!
“That a person whom I don’t know who has a wig on and she’s sitting on the back row or near there. I meant to take the train. I think to ask her now this women for a urinal bottle. It would be my most accomplished task to date.”
Her reply was,”The look on your face says you’re carrying a bladder full of urine. Yes, I do have one and there’s the toilet back there.”
“Ah, that’s the correct answer.”
And that’s what made this a special ride, special for me anyway.
Always, I love this route that I take. It shows stamina and strength, all of my stamina hanging in there in the balance, this is my training and what I have learned is that, “This is why I ride a bicycle.” This is my self talk and my discipline, to get in shape!
..”I personally would like a Peach Cobbler and a Shrimp Ettouffee warm and steaming all right in front of me. Because I will want my snacks, this gives me energy.”..
What if you were trying out for a triathlon event or an Iron Man contest. However you will train this will be easy enough.
Because you will be pampered and fed. You won’t miss any of your meals or any of the bottled waters given you, now about those spas, the way they touch you, relaxing you. You will sleep in a bed in a climate controlled bedroom and you will always be in an environment where the best-known athletes have trained.
Would you risk sleeping on the ground beside of the road as my new friend had. He’s sleeping on the ground out in the field beside of the road perhaps with no food and no water in an environment of unknown inhabitants where wild animals roam?
So what’s the risk of helping others?