“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” – Bob Marley
My wife and I encounter all sorts of things as we pedal on country roads in our community. Distracted drivers top the list (we almost got hit by two of them Saturday) followed by squirrels, dogs, cats, turkeys, turtles, the occasional cow, and goats. Hitting or being hit by anyone of these, except maybe turtles, could be a catastrophic event. Several years ago I was ridding in a group with a girl who had squirrel jump on her foot while she was pedaling. I was riding beside her. As she was screaming at me to do something, she kept pedaling and kept her bike upright. But when the rodent climbed up her leg she lost it and ran off the road into a shrub. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt, and though she didn’t think it was funny then, the rest of us did. It was certainly an adventure, one hard to live down, and we don’t let her.
Increasingly over the last few years we have encountered more and more goats. Unlike cows or horses, goats can easily escape a three strand barbwire fence. It seems, at least from a goats perspective, the grass is in fact greener on the other side of the road. I love goats. I think they are interesting to not only look at but also interact with. Goats have personality, more so than cows. But I don’t want to hit one on my bicycle and that is what almost happened the other day with mommy goat and her two babies.
We were finishing up a forty mile ride, maybe another three miles to go. There is a short, narrow road I take to get back to the car, freshly paved, smooth and curvy. It is downhill to a creek then a hard uphill. If you can get enough speed going down momentum will take you to the top without pedaling which is always a treat. I am built for momentum so I had a 25 mph head of steam going when I saw the goat family standing in the middle of the road at the bottom of the hill. Fortunately I was able to stop and wave my wife off behind me. I am glad I was able too. Can you imagine the headline, MAN ON BICYCLE KILLS YOUNG INNOCENT GOAT FAMILY.
Our roads through life are filled with good times and bad, happiness and sorrow, and sometimes even a goat or two. It is not always apparent where we are headed or even where we have been, but as I have learned over the last fifty plus years the adventure is always in the trip or as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I don’t know where I am going, and if I did I don’t know how I will get there but I have enjoyed the journey and more importantly, the people and the goats I have met along the way.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” – Walt Whitman