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June 26, 2005

A bike ride, breakfast, Star Wars, dinner and a bike ride

I want to talk about something that a lot of people call 'coincidence.' Some people call this 'Fate.' Whatever it's called, it happened to me this morning. I am happy that I'm aware of it when it happens. I was in the right place at the right time, when I should have been somewhere else.
This morning I set out at 6:15am to ride to Lake Nokomis to meet with Jim and whoever else showed up for the ride. I was really looking forward to the social ride and breakfast with them. Jim is a great guy that I rode 150 miles with a little while ago. I had never been to Lake Nokomis and I looked on a map to see how to get there, and I ended up getting twisted around on a few streets south of the lake before finally getting onto Minnehaha Parkway and reaching the Community center. I arrived at 7:09. Nine minutes too late. Well, I felt like I just missed missed them and was really dissappointed. So I felt a bit sorry for myself for a few minutes, then looked around at where I was. I was amazed. It's really a beautiful park with nice trails. There were plenty of people out using them and enjoying the morning either walking, running or bicycling. I had never been to Lake Nokomis before so I decided to ride around it. It's not very big but it was really cool. Two people commented on my new yellow flat-bed trailer which I was taking on it's maiden voyage.
After riding around the lake I wasn't prepared to go home yet, and I had forgotten to write down the place they were meeting for breakfast, so I decided to just ride back to Minnehaha Falls and then across the Ford Parkway bridge and see where it took me. I was on an adventure and just soaking in the surroundings and enjoying every minute of it. This is where I entered into the twighlight zone, or in other words, being in the right place at the right time when I should have been riding and eating breakfast with Jim and company. As I was riding across the Ford Parkway bridge, some guy pulled up along side of me and yelled, "Nice trailer!" I waved to him and he pulled off the road up ahead. I pedaled up to him and stopped behind his car. He had a bike partially sticking out of the trunk of his car. He got out and we started talking about the trailer and bikes and he asked me if I knew anyplace to rent 20 bikes for a conference he's organizing. His idea is to put together a hotel/bike package for the conference members. I told him about the Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance and he said he had just looked at their website yesterday! He was going to call them tomorrow to see what we could work out. I couldn't believe it. We exchanged information and he was going to send me an email later in the day detailing his proposal. I'm sure we can help him and I look forward to taking on this project. We'll also be leading some rides in the evenings around the lakes in Minneapolis for something to do. Also we are going to provide bike racks and locks for the convention site. We connected and it was good. He didn't know anything about me when he stopped me, except that I had a very interesting looking trailer. And it seems to me that he was a little bold to even stop someone to strike up a conversation. But I liked him instantly and thought he had a great idea.
This is a reinforcement for me of a spiritual idea: If we let disappointment or mishaps destroy our ability to observe and live in the current moment, like me being 9 minutes too late to go on the group ride, then we are too distracted and filled with anger that we miss the opportunities we have in front of us. I could have stormed off back home feeling sorry for myself or do what I did. I aknowledged my disappointment and allowed myself to feel it. Then I turned my attention to my current situation. Look at where I was! It was beautiful and the morning was nice. I decided to check it out. When going home I followed my heart and had a chance encounter that I wouldn't have had if I had ridden home by the most direct route. Instead of regret for missing out, I'm filled with awe and thankfulness for what I did experience.

Then I spent the rest of the day with my wife. It was really good. we went for a very nice bike ride together after the movie and dinner. What a great day! Right where I was meant to be.

Posted by carl1236 at June 26, 2005 9:27 PM | Attitude


I think the correct term for that "coincidence" is serendipity. I truly believe that everything has a purpose, even though we may not fully understand the twist of fate at the time it is happening. Recognizing and accepting the events as they happen is a great challenge for us all. I think you showed excellent abilities in this area by accepting it and moving on and enjoying whatever happened next!
Reading through your blogs about all the bicycling is almost making me take down my bike from the rafters of the garage and buy a new seat!
I remember as kids we used to ride alot (50+ miles just for something to do). I have always enjoyed bike riding (not racing but just agressive and challenging riding) but with no one to ride with nor the time to devote to it, it gets put on the back burner. As I get older and fatter I am looking for more exercise options and maybe you will inspiring some action - I'll let you know after the heat of the summer :)

Posted by: Scott at June 26, 2005 9:55 PM

Sorry again that we missed each other.

A bike ride isn't a bad way to cool off during the heat of summer. The wind evaporates your sweat and keeps you cool. I only get hot when I stop.

Posted by: Jim at June 27, 2005 7:42 AM