Maybe they hypnotized me into not writing a post about them.
Because both times I’ve encountered the little old man and little old woman on bikes, I’ve meant to post about it, and then never gotten around to it.
The first time I saw them was April 2, 2005, and I’ve had a post sitting in Drafts ever since then. The post isn’t even really about them, except to say that I saw them heading up Evans to Lock on my way to the Canal Trail and then, later, I saw them on their bikes in downtown Augusta. That day, we never got close enough to speak. But on the last day of 2005, I did speak with them, several times, and I even got a picture:
They’re “fruititarians”. They don’t pay rent and they don’t pay taxes. They live somewhere in Hephzibah, and they get to work every day by bicycle. They spend 24 hours a day together. Once a week they ride their bikes as far as they can, talking to as many people as they can about their way of life. They don’t get sick. Their New Year’s day is in the spring, when everything is new, “in the month of Abib”.
They gave me their literature on CD, but I haven’t looked at it yet. I have no idea what religion it is, only that it’s compatible to some extent with the Bible. The little old man said that I was in the literature he gave me, in chapters 37 and 38. He said it was a very inspiring thing to find yourself in the text, along with everyone else in the world.
The first thing he said to me, completely randomly, as he was riding past me (I’d stopped for one of the many pictures I took that day and was just getting moving again), was something about how you have to be careful who you spend your time with, because you don’t want to spend your time with losers who will drag you down. I agreed that that made sense. Really, I thought he and his wife were cute, and I am always interested to hear the philosophies of others. So I rode alongside him a little ways and listened to what he had to say.
I kept passing them and stopping to take pictures, giving them ample opportunities to tell me more about their beliefs. I was intrigued by the fact that they ride their bikes everywhere they go, even as far as Macon. It reminded me of Justin Klein’s “Tour de Japan“. Ever since I got Syuusuke, I have imagined taking a long road trip on my bike. The little old man and woman carry a sleeping bag and one change of clothes. They only eat fruit, and they don’t drink alcohol. I’m not sure if they find their fruit in the woods, or if they buy it at a store…
During our final meeting, heading up the hill towards the Pavilion and Evans to Lock Road, the man finally passed me the CD and told me where to find myself in the literature. Then he and his wife headed off, and I got into my car (and it stalled).
I found the encounter unique and fun. I’ve not been a very outgoing person in my life. Now I’m trying to be more comfortable with talking to strangers. It’s nice when they approach me willingly; it gives me some experience. (Earlier in the ride I saw a large family out together. A train pulled up and parked nearby and the father engaged the engineer in conversation. I said nothing to any of them, but did take some pictures.)
I don’t know that their lifestyle is for me, but I do find it inspiring. It’s great to see people living the way they want to. I often feel like I just go along with the flow rather than pursuing my dreams…