Yesterday on my way home from work, I was sweating up the last smallish hill, about a mile from home. Quiet neighborhood with funky traffic, occasional buses, and more pedestrians than in other neighborhoods I ride through. There is actually a little green space with benches and I think hoops. I’m paying attention to the roads and traffic, and don’t seem to get a full look. But there are always people. People hanging out, part of a community.

A group of maybe four girls were on the other side of the road, hanging out and giggling. I’d guess junior high age, though I’m really bad at guessing ages. They said something to a car going the opposite direction of me, but I was in the zone. The tired-and-sweaty-and-by-god-I-am-almost-home zone.

“Hi!” one or more of them called.

Slo-motion was both my riding and my reaction. I looked over, and sort of chuckled out of breath, and sent a “hey” back.

“Want to buy some cupcakes?” they asked.

*pedal pedal breathe*

“Sorry!” was the best I could do. I was grinning, though. If it had been lemonade, I’d have been all over it!

“Have a nice day!” one of them shouted just before I was out of range.

Aw, wasn’t that sweet? I yelled back for them to have a nice day too.

Today, again, going past that same area, I had a small slice of that community feel. A man waited to cross the street until I was past. Huffing and puffing, I threw out a “hey”, and got a very nice “hi there, how’s it going?” in return.

There’s so much community feeling opened up to us when we can talk to each other as we travel.