Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Yes, There Still Are Kind Souls Out There

Our Independence Day celebration was marred by yet another senseless shooting on Monday at Highland Park.  Whether we are gun rights or gun control advocates, it's sickening to see mass shootings become near weekly occurrences. We demonize each other on social media all the time. I see that on this blog every day. I wonder whether our dehumanizing attitude towards others, be they left or right, makes it easier for these solo shooters to pull the trigger. It's got to be a lot easier to kill someone if you don't really think of him as human. We are a divided and sick nation, but there is still good in us. Let me provide a small example from the weekend. 

I'm preparing myself physically for some long bike rides at the end of the summer. So in recent weeks, I'm getting out as much as I can. On Sunday, I went for a 36-mile bike ride along the D&L Rail Trail, starting at Cementon. I had plenty of water and know where I can stop to get more, which I ended up doing. My brakes worked and I think my tire pressure was OK, though I forgot to check. I had a new cambium Brooks saddle, which is supposed to be one of the best saddles out there for keeping you from getting a sore ass. It worked fine on a 20-mile ride, but I wanted to see for myself if it held up in a longer ride. 

The saddle was great. So even though I battled headwinds and a brutal sun once I got above Slatington, I was pleased. When I turned around the wind was at my back, the grade was slightly downhill, and I was able to move pretty well.  About 1.5 miles north of Slatington, my rear tire popped a flat. I carry a tube, pump and levers, but am an idiot when it comes to these things. Several readers who have ridden with me can attest to my overall incompetence. Plus, changing a rear tire is a little dicey. I decided to walk my bike to Slatington for what I was sure would be a several-hour ordeal.

In the span of about five minutes, a cyclist on a gravel bike stopped to help.  Thanks to what were almost entirely his efforts, we had the bike going again in about 15 minutes. He even used one of his CO2 tubes to inflate the 29" tire. I was able to finish the 11 miles I still needed to go.

This guy could have just sailed by, but fortunately, he did not know me. My payment for his services? I had to promise to go to church on Sunday.  

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

With you being a sore ass and having to go to church on Sunday I sure God will find a way too pay you back. As for the guy that fixed you tire he has got a pass the he has got a pass go directly to heaven pass go?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the guy who stopped to help you had voted for Trump, and therefore according to you, a fascist.

I suppose even hateful, mudslinging , name calling people deserve help on trails while riding bikes.

Anonymous said...

As far as i’m concerned, the vast majority of people are still helpful and kind to one another. The people I see acting out in hate, shooting people, etc., appear to be full of personal, mental hate of self. They believe life experiences and people around them have failed them, possibly did physical harm to them, bullied them, mocked them, ignored them. These are people who are lacking out at the world around them. They are “getting back” at others, maybe thinking, “ They’ll notice me, take me serious now!”. The daily rejections are too much to handle.

Shooters have taken the next step. Writing hateful messages, graffiti, vandalism and the like are no longer longer enough. Killing themselves and/or others is the final act.

The guns didn’t do this, but for such disturbed people, the guns were much too handy at the time they finally snapped. If not a gun, this rage would involve knives, poison, explosive, setting fires, and strangling by hands. By all means, make it more difficult for unstable individuals to get guns. The reality is, random killings will NOT stop, even if all guns are taken away. Just maybe, though, we can reduce the amount.



Charlie Sc said...

Nice story.

Note - A small bicycle repair station has been installed outside the Bethlehem Public Library.

Dennis P said...

Get yourself a Morphine powerstation go air ... Once charged this would allow you easily to inflate your tires to 100psi without the effort of pumping ...Ellie and I were on the trail Saturday, Sunday and Monday with our trikes... And my muscles and body fatigue show it ... On Saturday did the East Penn Township ride to the border of Lehigh County as a warmup. Then On Sunday we entered the tail just off the Bridge going to Slatington we first went north to the Carbon County boundary then turned south and went to Slatington and went further south at a point two miles away from the Laury Station trailhead... On Monday we started at the Nike Shop in Lehighton and went down to the Marvin Gardens in East Penn Township and of course went back to the Bike Shop to get to our car and place our bikes our trikes on our Trailor. One place for sure we are limited as to where we can enter trails because of the trailer ... We can only park where we can park the trailer safely according to our skill level in backing up or parking. If you were somewhere on the trail while we were doing it, we did not see you or did not recognize you... Certainly we did not see a man walking his bike back to Slatington to get help or get refreshments at the food trailer there.... Today is Tuesday and I still feel shore and weak and hobbled by my three consecutive days of triking,

Anonymous said...

Love this story!!! If we all do one act of kindness a day, just one, even though more would be nice too.

Anonymous said...

There is no use of going to church.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I wonder if the guy who stopped to help you had voted for Trump, and therefore according to you, a fascist."

One of the many things wrong with fascists like yourself is that you twist what others say to support your lies. I never said that every person who voted for Trump is a fascists. My brother voted for Trump. I know many who voted for him and who detest him.

The label fascist applies to those Trump apologists who embrace his nationalist "America First" policies after we have supposedly been humiliated by NATO, immigrants, leftists, liberals, media, the deep state, women, etc. They are cult followers. That is precisely what you are and fascism is unfortunately on the rise. .

Anonymous said...

A thought came to me that is somewhat off topic but maybe you will allow: I just read one of many articles on how pornography affects the brains of teenagers. The articles say that compulsive viewing of porn can lead to unrealistic views on sex because the brain’s emotional center develops faster than the part of the brain that controls impulse. If true, could it also apply to compulsive viewing of mass murder, kill the police, shoot everybody for points and a win video games?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dennis, I think it's wonderful that you and Ellie are out there. I know you were walking the trail last year, so it's nice to see you able to go farther now that you have trikes. Actually I was out there on Friday and Sunday. I usually bike one day and walk, walk-run or do the arc trainer the next. If you were out in the afternoon, I am sure our oaths crossed. I know I did see several trikes and recumbents. We should plan to hook up some time and ride together for a few miles. Have you been to Jim Thorpe yet?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Note - A small bicycle repair station has been installed outside the Bethlehem Public Library."

They are all along the D&L, too. Still have not figured out how the pump works. When it comes to mechanical matters, I am incredibly stupid.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" The reality is, random killings will NOT stop, even if all guns are taken away. Just maybe, though, we can reduce the amount."

The purpose of this post is not to argue for or against guns. We do that all the time. This is about people. It does appear that the number of mass shooters is on the rise, and these are twisted and dark souls. But I maintain that people are still generally good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There is no use of going to church."

That may be and I generally do not go to church for that reason and because time seems to be going backwards when I am there. But there is a point in keeping one's word, and that's the word I gave.

Anonymous said...

i thought your couldn't cross the threshold of consecrated ground?

Anonymous said...

I don’t understand why people are surprised when others lend a helping hand. Just as we see bad things happen, we also see an outpouring of kindness and generosity. Perhaps if we, as a society, would focus more on the good of others, rather than the evil, we would become a healthier (mentally and physically) people.

Anonymous said...

10:01 am: Perhaps, and that is your belief, but I go to church to not only be reminded that I am not the center of all things, but to also thank God for the many blessings I have received. I would rather err on the side of caution than die and see what I’m missing!

Anonymous said...

If you believe in national sovereignty are you not a nationalist? Is nationalism equated with fascism?

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that most people are good. I also believe the news, politics and as you said I believe the dehumanizing that we have seen on this blog and everywhere does contribute to the violence we have seen. Too easy on social media to say things that are despicable and full of hate. Our kids see it nonstop on media news videogames etc. They see a world full of hate even though there is much more good in this country they don't see it on the news. Your example on the bike trail is proof as I was a biker for years and helped and was helped by many. Bikers are good people. Perhaps we as a country need to change this hate narrative. Suicides have skyrocketed with COVID and all this negativity. Even the news of not celebrating our beautiful country and those misguided souls feeling they aren't proud to be Americans. This may be a bad time but if you truly hate our country then find a better one and please leave. Or at least do something productive to make it better. These violent acts are mostly done by young people. How do we save them and us so we can feel safe again? Maybe more bikers!!!

Matt Flower said...

As an avid cyclist myself for the better part of 30 years, I can tell you that there a great number of kind souls out there who will stop and help. Just be prepared to repay the good turn next time you see someone in a similar unfortunate situation.

As a side note, I swear by tuff tape tube liners and have saved myself many a flat tire by installing them.

Anonymous said...

NATO humiliated WHO? Bernie, how many BILLIONS did Trump bring into NATO after some members boosted spending to meet or try to meet their 2% GDP?

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Bernie, people are generally good and will help their fellow man.

Are there bad people? Sure. All sides of every aisle. But we can't let them define who we are. Just because they are loud does not mean they are the majority.

See you on the trail, hope soon.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

"There is no use of going to church."

Good thing that someone did at some point, and lived by that list of commandments that replaced Hammurabi's Law, which was leaving so many people blind and toothless. At some point, that Jesus guy showed up, whittled the list, and said do unto others and turn the other cheek and all that jazz. Before these religious things, life was a dog eat dog free for all that sucked for most people. I attend church and ride bikes. My faith compels me to do what Jesus would do in all things, including being a good Samaritan to anyone in need on the trail or path.

Anonymous said...

Bernie. You were in a place where only the ride mattered and for any cyclist out there they all had a similar idea. IT IS ABOUT THE RIDE! So it is nice when people are thinking to a common goal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Matt Flower, TY for the tuff tape suggestion. My Trail 5 Cannondale comes equipped with a pretty good liner on the rim, but I am going to ask the guys at Action Wheels about it. My Bianchi has rim liners, too. Had two flats on the Bianchi over three years. The last one was bc my tire actually wore out. I had a third bike, a Jamus, with kevlar tires for the past 15 years. No flats at all ever. I gave that one to a friend who wanted to start cycling.

I was unaware you are an avid cyclist. You are welcome to join me. I have ridden with a few readers in the past. They had to promise not to kill me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"My faith compels me to do what Jesus would do in all things, including being a good Samaritan to anyone in need on the trail or path."

I am glad you do. I always stop if I think someone is in trouble, but unlike the person who helped me, I am an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Trump tried his hardest to dismantle NATO and every claim that he's made about he made NATO great again has been greatly exaggerated. You know that's true, or you are in a cult that believes everything Trump says without fact-checking.

Anonymous said...

Please rewrite in proper English.

Matt Flower said...

I also promise not to kill you. Lol.

Matt Flower said...

I started riding seriously after I was in a head on collision with a MACK truck back in my early 20’s and used cycling to help me regain the ability to walk again. I spent about 10 years on a bike as my primary transportation before I moved to the Lehigh valley and an automobile became required again. As you know, I did briefly trade in the bicycle for a horse, but I never lost interest in the sport.