Sometimes, people just blow me out of the water.
Back in the day at my old job with funky hours, I would often offer to escort people to work via bicycle. Since I didn’t usually need to be at work until later in the morning, I would get up early to pick people up at their houses, or wherever, and ride with them to their places of employment before — sometimes hours before — I had to be at mine.
It was nice because everyone won: whoever I was biking with got some extra motivation to ride (depending on who it was, maybe they even got support to ride to work for the first time ever) and I got to explore the city a little, see other peoples’ routines and remember that my way of being in the world and the streets that I frequent are but a small part of a very large picture.
Bike-escorting people was a definite perk of having an alternative schedule and a fun way for me to support other people and let them know I cared about them. Plus it’s always nice to spread good cheer in the morning, and it feels a little sneaky, like you’ve managed to steal time to hang out with someone you like.
(from a super early-morning escort to a middle school in Gladstone)
Until a few days ago, I never really thought about anyone bike-escorting me anywhere. But a few days ago a friend called to say he wanted to bike to or from my new job with me. Remember, this is a 15-mile-one-way commute. This is no happy little detour on the way to downtown. This is a full-on commitment. Because in escorting me one direction, he was also committing himself to taking the other direction too — basically, he was offering to ride 30 miles out of his way, simply to repay the favor of riding to work together.
That, my friends, is a true friend. So he met me after work this evening, and we rode home together, and it was the best thing ever.
And now I can say, with absolute certainty, that I’m so very glad to have spent the times that I could bike-escorting people, because it feels so very lovely to know that someone’s willing to do that for you. Thanks, Joseph!!