Okay, I’m a polygonist. I know a lot of people look down on the practice of polygony, but those folks just don’t understand my religion. Like Joseph Smith, I too invented my own religion. It’s called The Church of the Great Outdoors. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
The only thing most people know about The Church of the Great Outdoors is the “peeing outdoors ritual,” which I’ve discussed numerous times in the past. Less well-known is that we encourage Polygony. It’s not an official law of the church but, for many of us, staying faithful to only one polygon per ride is almost impossible. As you will soon see, I have EIGHT polygons today. I could have more next week.
Before I display my polygons, however, I just have one quick story to tell from my ride.
In general, bicycling is a pretty silent sport. Unless you are changing gears, or braking noisily, or your chain needs lubrication, pedestrians will not hear you coming up from behind. (Except on crowded bike trails where you should say “passing on your left” or some such warning.)
A teen-aged girl was singing quietly to herself and I heard her from 10 yards away. Then, just as I was about to pass, she belted out ” . . . ALL IS CALM, ALL IS BRIGHT!” I believe I startled her because she jumped and immediately discontinued her song out of embarrassment. I felt bad.
But not as bad as I felt when I was riding to work one morning at about 6:30 a.m. a decade ago. A guy who lived up the street (who I knew only because he was the father of one of my son’s friends) was out for his morning walk. Just before I rode by he passed gas. And I mean really LOUD. I pretended like I didn’t hear it and kept riding, and hoped against all hope that he didn’t recognize me. That would have been almost as unpleasant for the two of us as this story has been for all of you.