Friday, November 15, 2013

New England November on the Bikeway

New Englanders don't get phased by crazy weather.  We are now having a stretch of sunny 60 degree days this mid-November.  Not being one to pass up a wonderful opportunity, I loaded my bike on the bike rack and headed on over to the Blackstone Valley Bike Way.  

The forest is bare.  Most of the leaves are down with the majority of them swept to the sides of the path by the RI Department of Environmental Management.  Only a few of die hard bikers were riding today:  Joe, the volunteer who patrols the path to assist any bikers or walkers who need a hand, a girl I met who bikes to continue a major weight loss routine, a middle-aged man who bikes as long as the weather stays above freezing, and an older couple that always rides together.  An even larger number of regulars were not riding today, including my Bruce Willis look-alike.  The last time I saw 'Bruce' was in mid October, the day I mustered up the courage to finally talk with him.   

As we passed I called out to him, "has anyone ever told you you look like Bruce Willis?"   

And he stopped, rode back over to me and said yes, other people had said that.  I told him I was married and I wasn't trying to hit on him, but could I take his picture because I told my friends a guy on the bike path looked like Bruce Willis and they wanted to see for themselves.  He graciously allowed a photo. 

"You're name isn't Bruce by any chance is it?"  

He laughed, "no, it's Jeff."   

We spoke for a half hour and I learned that Jeff was a retired cop.  Perfect!  A real life John McClane!  Yippee KiYay!  Chatting with him, I found that he had a really nice demeanor and personality.   It made me like him even more than I did when he only looked like Bruce Willis from afar.   I've missed not seeing him this past month.    

Over the past four weeks, the bike path has become more and more deserted.  However, today's desolation didn't bother me.  I actually welcomed the solitude as I logged a leisurely 15 mile ride, stopping to take pictures along the way.  And as my biking season comes to a close, it will only be a few cold winter months before the signs of Spring begin to appear and the bike path comes alive with beautiful birds, fragrant flowers, buds on the trees, all the regulars and Jeff.  

Until spring then...

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