A few days ago I mentioned to my blond headed passenger that we could possibly see rabbits as we tooled along the bike path. I could sense her demeanor change to that of heightened awareness. We went on that day and never saw a fuzzy bunny, but the next day we were cruising along and I caught sight of one in my peripheral vision.
"A rabbit!" I cried as the bunny took off. We passed, watching the critter skitter away in the undergrowth on the side of the trail. At first Bean didn't say a thing, but after a few moments she said: "Dad, you didn't say 'On your left.'"
I chuckled, so now we always call out "On your left!" to the bunnies along the trail. She giggles and I smile each time we do.
This morning I was Bean-less because if the weather. It was a lonely ride in, but a pleasant meditation encased within waterproof nylon and the white noise of a more solid than usual precipitation pattern.
As pellets of ice bounced off of my sleeves I approached a walker on the path. She was a middle-aged woman, walking toward me from the bridge between the lakes just east of I-70 and she held up a hand in a motionless wave. I tossed up a hand to return the greeting and she stopped and spread her fingers. She wanted me to stop.
Before I could check myself I felt my face change in conjunction with my mounting frustration. I didn't want to stop. I was running behind. Nothing going on ahead of me would surprise nor defeat my commuting efforts.
I put a foot down and glanced back as she turned. I had come to a stop just a few feet after passing her.
She pointed west and said: "The bridge is really slick."
Forgetting my manners I began: "I know..." but quickly realized that here was a person acting as a good neighbor, and offering me no harassment or hostility. I added, as sincerely as I could: "Thank you!" and we both continued on.
For whatever reason the interaction got me thinking about Lily encouraging me to exhibit good trail etiquette even to the lesser creatures that use the MUP. I regretted my initial feelings of annoyance at the friendly woman and ALMOST turned around to go back and apologize. I know, I know! I should not have assumed she was intentionally slowing me down or inhibiting my travels. I should have known...
Anyway, the event, and the bunny encounters has inspired me to increase my trail etiquette intensity.