The surprise starts when I look in the mirror and wonder why my Dad is looking back at me. Where is my hair, why is it gray?
I was riding my mountain bike last year up one of the more technical trail in Bend, COD. I was making all the hard stuff and generally feeling quite studly. About then two young women come down the trail. I expect them to say - awesome riding dude. But no, they say " Sir, How far is it to the highway?" Sir? I look around to see if there are any sirs around. No they must mean me. I think they thought I was the old mountain bike man of the forest. Hopefully they thought I was a cute old man. That is what it has come to. If I can be a cute old man that will work.
In the photo is my lunch date of last Tuesday,with Sarah and Zoe. I spent two weeks with them working and riding on The Washington and Oregon Bike Rides. I have known Zoe almost her whole life (21 years) and I just met Sarah. The first 15 years of Zoe's life I would talk and she would reply with a laugh. It seemed to work. She always smiled when she saw me, I would say hi and she would laugh. A few years ago we actually started to have conversations with words on both sides.
Hanging with the younger set is a great thing for me. I feel their innocence, their enthusiasm for life and just the fact they like to laugh and have fun. I think that is what is needed to stay sane in this world. I want to thank Zoe, her brother Tosch, Sarah, Brig, Merideth, Damian. Jon, James, Ben, Andy, Ros, Kevin, Veronica, the two girls on the trail, Jake, Eric, Seth, and I am sure there are more for being my friend laughing at my antiquated jokes and basicly thinking that I am a cute old man and maybe sometimes that I am older and wiser.
I still feel young inside, I don't feel old not even middle aged. My friends are a mix of all ages and both sexes. I am not cynical and I have lots of hope that we will get this world right for all of us. So here is the advice part. If you are young, befriend someone older. You will be amazed that they might not even know they are old. If you are, like me, a person with some gray hair, find some young people to hang with, learn how to text on your phone, figure out what they mean when they say "snap", get a blog going, go out to lunch and laugh about life.
See you on the trails.