Monday, May 30, 2011

A Sense of Community

As some of you may know, my husband and I are avid bicyclists.  We ride the Schuylkill River Trail almost every day and have logged more than 5000 miles on it for the last three years.  I am always struck by the sense of community that abounds on the trail.  If even you are stopped by the side of the trail changing a tire, or inspecting some noise that your bike is making, someone if bound to come along and shout out “are you okay?” as they pass.  It is sort of the unwritten kind of law to do that.  Everyone who uses the trail, even though we don’t know each other personally, we are a community of cyclists and as such are bound together in some fashion.

The other day, our ride was interrupted multiple times.  The first time we came across a guy who was trying got change his tire.  We asked if he needed help and at first he said no, but then we realized he really didn’t know what he was doing.  He was all decked out in his riding outfit and had a very expensive carbon fiber bike but didn’t know how to change a tire.  We stopped and helped him out and when we left, he vowed to pay it forward.  A mile or so later, we came across a woman who had found a set of keys and was wondering if we lost them.  She was trying to find the owner and interrupting he own ride to do so.  Then later when we stopped for water, we came across a large bee that was obviously hurt and was crawling around in an area where he could have been stepped on.  I get a twig and coaxed him on and put him in the bushes. 

It is this sense of community and desire to help our fellow cyclist that gives me a hope. If we can have this love for our fellow human out on the trail, then it is possible to have that sense of community in our neighborhoods, cities, and nations.  It is this sense of community that can allow us to become united with everyone regardless of who they are, but simply because they are a part of the human race.

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