‘I was just riding along…’ and other things
The partial statement of “I was just riding along…” usually prefaces a cyclist’s story about a crash, such as “I was just riding along when my front wheel came off.”
Most of the time the “I was just riding along” narrative involves broken things like spokes, frames, collar bones, teeth and an unspoken acknowledgment that some inattentive motorist ” or even his or her self ” was the cause of the mishap.
As an avid cyclist, I tend to meet other riders while I’m on my road bike, more often than not we’re clad in Spandex shorts ” brightly colored or not. It’s during such encounters that the “I was just riding along…” discussion can take place between two people who share the same passion ” and calamities.
So the other day I was getting a ride in before work when I found myself riding along with another guy. Neither of us started a “I was just riding along…” replay of some past monstrous crash, but this column was spawned, yes, as I was just riding along.
The discussion touched on commuting ” he along hairy Glenshire Drive ” and the then upcoming Truckee Town Council meeting on paving the Legacy Trail.
Then we talked jobs. When I said I edit the local newspaper the guy digested the info for a second or two and then said something very close to, “What was the deal with running that crazy column about the Legacy Trail.”
Immediately I knew what he was referring to; a guest column against paving that nailed the cyclist who dons “brightly colored, logo-covered Spandex and heads out to get some exercise, dreaming of being Lance Armstrong…”
My newfound riding buddy surely was perplexed as to why I, a Spandex-wearing editor, would have ever let that column see the light of day.
It’s the same thing I get when someone asks me why I ran the absurd screed from that conservative/liberal writer, or the column from the greedy developer/NIMBY activist.
As we rode along, soon to take our separate routes, I tried to explain why I, as an editor who often wears brightly colored Spandex, would run such a submission. I don’t recall whether I said doing otherwise would lead me down the slippery slope of choosing which viewpoints get in the paper.
Perhaps if I had related it like, “I was just editing the newspaper and…” he would have understood where I was coming from.
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.