by Ed Chasteen
We’ve done it now so long! Why anyone is surprised, surprises us. Maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe it’s the response on a very small scale that we all have on the very biggest. Nations are surprised at the behavior of other nations. Religions surprise one another by things they do.
Such global thoughts invade my mind as I walk into Mill Inn this New Year’s Eve morning. A blue sky, bright sun and temperature in the mid-30s as we left Liberty had drawn 10 bikers for the 15 miles on H to Excelsior Springs and breakfast at Mill Inn.
I’m first to arrive. About 8:30. In my PT Cruiser, my Hate Buster Mobile, license # H8BSTR. “Get the coffee ready,” had been my instruction from several riders as we left the bike shop parking lot.
“You rode?” Everyone wants to know as I enter. “No, but riders are coming.” “Isn’t it too cold?” “Is this your first New Year’s Eve ride?” “Don’t you quit in the winter?” “Don’t you freeze?” “Is this your last winter ride?”
“We ride all year. every month. Above 20 and no ice, we ride. Our numbers go down with the temperature. But we ride.”
Better than 15 years now we’ve been coming to these small town cafes under two hours by bicycle from Liberty, our Greater Liberty Inner Sanctum. Still during the winter months these questions come. Early on we asked them ourselves. Practice and the right equipment over time crowded these questions from our minds, their place taken by a soul satisfying sense of satisfaction at doing what once we did not.
Those who don’t do a thing are surprised that it is done by others. This would explain the questions that come our way at Mill Inn this morning and would also explain why nations and religions are surprised by one another. Surprise then leading to suspicion. And to conflict.
Our surprise does not seem likely to lead to such lethal outcomes. Motorists and bicyclists have been working toward a common understanding of the rules of the road. Most at Mill Inn this morning have come by car, but those of us coming by bicycle are welcomed. Staff and other diners come by to speak and offer encouraging words.
Those drawn by bicycle this morning: Matt Farwell, Terry Sharp, Dan Mack, Steve Hanson, Richard Woodruff, Marilyn Woodruff, Dave Wood, Adrian Munoz, Eddie Atkinson, Mike Lacy, Craig Leff, Terry Clark,