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.