Friday, September 14, 2007

Darwinian Test on the Bike Path

Wednesday night, after a delicious meal with friends at Uncle Pete's--he has real Texas-style burnt ends now!!--our friend dropped my husband off in Arlington Heights. Jim had ridden his newer bike home earlier in the day after picking it up from Quad Cycles (broken spoke repair), so he'd left Frankenbike chained to a post. (Frankenbike is composed of many parts from two different bikes, hence the name.) It was about 9:30, and I expected him home in about 20 minutes.

Instead, he showed up almost a full hour later. I hadn't been too worried, since I knew he had his phone, but I was beginning to wonder. He finally came in at 10:30, so I asked where he'd been.

"I was leading some bikers down the Minuteman," he said.

"What?" I said, in my uniquely eloquent way.

"I was riding on the trail and nearly ran into two idiots who were stumbling around on the path with their bikes and no lights. They literally couldn't see the trail. So I offered to ride in front of them--slowly--so they could follow me to Lexington."

(If you've ever been on the Minuteman Trail, you might remember that it has no street--trail?--lamps and a lot of dense foliage surrounds it, which blocks out any ambient light as well.)

"But it was past 9:30--it's not like it JUST got dark--they had to know it would be too dark to ride without lights," I said.

"Whatever," he shrugged. "I guess I could have left them out there in the dark, but it wasn't safe. And going out on Mass Ave. without lights would probably be worse for them. As a driver, I don't like being on the road with bikers who don't know what they're doing."

That's what we call a "Darwinian Test" in our family--as in, these people should think twice before spawning.

Ah, what the hell--we all screw up sometimes. And at least I can say my nice-guy husband led two strangers to Lexington Town Center where they could safely walk their bikes the rest of the way. One day, he might need some help, too. I'm not sure if that gains you Darwinian points, but I think it raises your Karma score.

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