uni serendipity

I experienced two episodes of serendipity on my uni this weekend. Because they
were so unexpected, I find them really interesting and refreshing.

My ride on Saturday followed a bit of sailplane watching at the Stanton Airport.
The pilots were getting in some nice long flights in the last gasp of summer
here in Minnesota. About 5 p.m. I headed for the Cannon Valley Trail, a 20 mile
paved bike trail from Cannon Falls to Red Wing along an abandoned rail bed
winding through hardwood forest, bottom land and even a plateau with an
archaeological site of the Mississippian Indian culture overlooking the Cannon
River below.

Despite my late start I decided to ride 10 miles to Welch. The sumac leaves were
bright scarlet and whorls of dead leaves blew down the trail. A deer at the side
of the trail watched me until I was 20 feet from her then scampered away, her
white tail straight up in the air going tic-toc left and right like clockwork.
Blanding turtles sunned themselves in the strong horizontal afternoon light on
fallen logs in green ponds. It was an altogether beautiful ride made all the
better by the new inner tube air bladder I installed in my Miyata seat.

At Welch I stopped at the inn for a meal and a brew. More than one and I can’t
remount the uni too well. A weather bulletin interrupted the radio program.
Severe thunderstorms were approaching the area with high winds, rain, frequent
lightning strikes and the possibility of hail. As I prepared to ride back to the
car, I was imagining myself in the dark forest (new moon) soaked to the bone,
fighting the wind with hail stones bouncing off my noggin. A very considerate
gentleman who was driving back to Cannon Falls offered me a ride in his pickup
truck. “Hope you don’t mind the smell of silage though.” I opened the door and
was immediately engulfed in a wave of humid, sickeningly sweet, fermenting odor
of silage. All the way back to my car I was regaled with tales of the silage
silo repair business. The storm broke and the windshield wipers slapped back and
forth to the country western music on the radio while rain splattered in the
side windows and the lightning flashed and thunder crackled and boomed all
around. It was just one of those unique bits of happenstance that seems to occur
regularly on long uni rides.

The second episode occurred while circumnavigating the chain of lakes in
Minneapolis, (Harriet, Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.) As I rode along getting
the usual comments, I approached a black guy in brightly colored clothes and
lots of gold jewelry. He waved and yelled, “Where do you get one of those around
here?” I dismounted, learned he was from Jamaica where he learned to ride on a
uni cobbled together from old bicycle parts. He hadn’t ridden in ten years but
wanted to get back into it again. He was about my height. When I offered to let
him try my cycle his grin spread from ear to ear. It took him a couple gos to
free mount, but he was soon riding, spinning, idling and riding backwards!
“Where I grew up, Peter Tosh, you know him?, he lived two doors down the street
from me. I taught Peter Tosh to unicycle.”

What a small serendipitous world this is. Reggae on!

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RE: uni serendipity

Thomas Schworer wrote:
>It took him a couple gos to free mount, but he was soon riding, spinning,
>idling and riding backwards! "Where I grew up, Peter Tosh, you know him?, he
>lived two doors down the street from me. I taught Peter Tosh to unicycle."

I first heard of reggae-artist Peter Tosh when Al Hemminger showed me a record
album (so that’s what kind of music Al listens to!) with a big picture of him
on the cover, riding a unicycle. It was a shiny 24" Schwinn. Cool! And you met
the guy who taught him.

It always amazes me how the unicycle connects people.