“Wheeeeee!”

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Arts Center MARTA station

So I got off at the Arts Center MARTA station, as usual, after bonding with a group of strangers (as always seems to happen — me with my bike, them with canes or luggage or strollers) on not one but two elevators to get out of the station. I was then walking my bike across 15th Street at Peachtree Street, about to start riding, when I saw an elderly man in a wheelchair struggling to cross.

I asked if he needed help. He said yes.

I put my bike down somewhere out of the way and I started to push his wheelchair across when I noticed him smiling. I pushed faster and he smiled more and I started running and we both started laughing. And suddenly I heard him shout, “Wheeeeee!”

We laughed so hard at the other end and went our separate ways.

I got on my bike and took the lane on Peachtree Street and was still smiling when a woman in a car at the next light rolled down her window and said she saw what just happened, and we then had a lovely conversation and the light changed and we wished each other a wonderful day.

And, if yesterday is like so many other days when humans come face to face with other humans in random ways, there will be another chair to push, or elevator door to hold, or conversation with a stranger to have today.

That’s why I ride my bike.

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