I love America.
Not only have we created baseball and country music, but I love that I can get on my bike and ride for hundreds of miles without being afraid of bombs going off, or having to bribe the police to let me go somewhere. I love that I can stop at a gas station, use the bathroom for free, and get safe, clean drinking water from the soda fountain. I love that I can smile and say hi to people who look different than me, but who live here with me and get to enjoy the privileges of living in a land where we celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And while we’re talking about similarities, let me tell you. While 800 miles is still a relatively short distance when you consider the thousands of miles of roads across this country, we Americans have more in common than you might think these days. Driving through a small town here in New York feels no different than driving through a small town in Illinois. (No, they’re not any more rude than your grumpy neighbor.) You see people walking their dogs, taking their kids to the park, rushing out of their driveways on their way to work, and picking up a few groceries at the local store. You smile and wave to folks who wait for you to turn, and you greet folks who walk past you on your breaks. Rural communities and small towns show ample support for our troops and our police. There are always some guys with pick-ups that are a little too loud. If you want to know what happened to Cindy Lou down the road, ask the gas station attendant. They know everything.
It might be obvious that there are similarities between small-town Americana, but cities are as different as you might think. While different cities can certainly have their distinct personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, even there can be found the commonness of humanity. People want their kids to grow up happy, safe, and provided for. And maybe to outsiders city dwellers seem rushed, rude, or hoity-toity, those people have the same needs and wants for their own lives and families.
In these days of strong opinions and sharp politics, lets not forget our humanity. Let’s not forget the humanity of others. Spend some time chatting at your local gas station or with another family at the park. Remind yourself that the human movement around you everyday isn’t just the daily pace of life, but that those are interesting and quirky humans who are funny, intelligent, curious, compassionate, adventurous, generous and a whole other slew of adjectives.
Take time to talk to a new human today, and be reminded how blessed we are to enjoy America together.
Left: Medina, NY, 7:30am
Sleeping in: a warm showers home in Rochester, NY arrived at 4:30 pm
Total mileage: 48 miles
High Speed: 21.1 mph
Avg. Speed: 10.0 mph
Overall weather conditions: cloudy with a chance of meatballs
Elevation Gain: 273 ft
Total Trip mileage: 809 miles
P.S. We spent a wonderful weekend with my family, Tim and Diana Chaddock at their lake cottage on Lake Ontario. It is being completely remodeled, and we got to help put in a window and move their deck! (I didn’t help as much with the deck part). Then my cousins Josh and Ashley came to visit with their kids! It was a wonderfully relaxing time to catch up, swap stories, and enjoy the best food of the trip! Thanks again for hosting us, guys!