A.R.K.

HAVING chosen road bicycling as my main form of exercise I have encountered all types out on the secondary routes that cross and loop the Coal River from St. Albans to Alum Creek, West Virginia. Much of the mountain scenery is untouched in its beauty and the roads are perfect for that purpose – except for the DOH-embarrassment called Ferrell Road. Most motorists are respectful, courteous and mindful of the safety and vulnerability of we riders, though some find us a nuisance and that attitude is conveyed in their gestures, obscenities, and even the way they step on their gas pedals to pass.

Monday, August 17, the temperature was 80 degrees at 11 a.m. and rising, and since I’d let the morning slip away with chores I nearly talked myself out of riding. But I’d skipped a few days due to travel, so I pressed on with my plan. Near Alum Creek, on 214, I was passed by a white “American Glass” van. As I rounded the next curve I noticed the driver had pulled off just ahead and was standing at the side of the road. The man, in his early 30s I’d say, said “Hey Bud, would you like a water?” as I passed, the bottle in his outstretched hand. Well-stocked for the 22-mile ride I had planned I answered, “Thanks, no. I appreciate it!” In another minute or so he passed me again, and I realized he’d pulled off just to offer me the water.

Now I realize that’s not sharing-lottery-winnings-caliber generosity, but in these days of not only home invasions and rolling meth labs but tight budgets, I found his gesture, and the fact that he stopped what he was doing during a hot, busy, work day, Christian-like and touching. I can’t vouch for the work of American Glass nor do I know anything about that company, but I do know there is at least one kind, thoughtful person on its staff. I thought his Act of Random Kindness (borrowing from the movie Evan Almighty) was worth passing on.

Peace Unto You

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