Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The ride home (diary)


Cycling home on the pathways, I came across a man on a handcycle (I can't find a good link for it; it's like a tricycle wheelchair crossed with a bicycle). He was going slower than I was, so I rang my bell, called out "passing!" and passed. As I passed, he mentioned that he could see me in his rear view mirror.

What started out as me passing him ended up with us talking for a good part of the way home. He said he had just gotten the handcycle about a month ago, and it cost about $10,000. It cost that much because he had opted for carbon-fibre components and other expensive stuff. He said that less expensive versions cost as little as $3000 (you can't get compensated for them because they are 'recreational').

He told me that some lady had whacked him with her tennis racket earlier, claiming that the paths were 'for people only' (as opposed to bicyclists, pedestrians, inline skaters, and the like).

I told him that I was a Pathway Patroller, and he said I was the first he had met, although this is understandable, since he has only been out a month, and Pathway Patrol was launched only this morning (and won't start until next week).

He asked if I had seen any other handcycles on the pathways, and I said that I didn't, but I did say that the Canadian Kilometer Achievement Program (C-KAP) has a handcycle program.

He told me of his aspirations to go to Germany with his hancycle, and also to ride it down to Kingston over three days with his wheelchair in tow, stay there a week, then go to some other town where he grew up.

I had to turn off to another path to go home, so we said goodbye, and he said his name was Randy. I gave him my name, and we said maybe we'll see each other again.

As I rode off, I thought to myself how wonderful it was that I could meet someone, just by calling out "passing!"

- RG.

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