I have come to the conclusion that there are three kinds of people in this world. There are the magic people, the good people, and everybody else.
The magic people are an apparition. We have all met one at some point during our travels but they are seldom in our lives for long. We tell stories about them long after our paths have briefly crossed but most audiences find the stories a bit far-fetched. You know one of these people, just think back for a moment. It is the old friend who slept with a famous musician in the bathroom of a Denny’s. It is the person who travels to exotic locales on a shoestring budget only to return half a year later. Their stories are familiar to us all because they are the same stories appearing in our wildest dreams. Much like those dreams these people vanish into the mist leaving us to question whether they were real or simply figments of our imagination.
The good people are the ones we are lucky to know. They are uncommonly good. It is not easy to be one of them and I am most assuredly not among this group. Their attitude is unfailingly positive. Their kindness knows no end. When you are with them you are reassured that there is simple beauty in this world and that the rest of us have made it all more complicated than it really is. I have been fortunate to have some truly good people invite me into their lives and I am better for it. I am not by nature an optimistic person. My attitude fails me more often than it should. I have disappointed more people than I care to admit. At the end of the day, I can only aspire to be good.
Then there is everybody else. You may be one of them. I may be one of them. The hard part is knowing where you stand. That is the curse of this particular group of average citizens. Everybody else. They are the dazed masses drifting through life as they expect they should. They live in muted misery because they find themselves unfulfilled by reality television and bad Chinese food. The common attitude is one of general negativity with only a whisper of what might be truly possible.
You may think it is a leap for me to tie this into cycling but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the truly good people I have known in my life have come to me on two wheels. This thought crossed my mind yesterday while in hot pursuit of a rear wheel that I have chased many times before. The clearest of my thoughts have come to me while spending time in that quiet space between my saddle and my handlebar. I could not help but think about how lucky I was to be in that situation, sliding through the mud in a desperate chase. As I struggled to hold the pace I reflected on a weekend spent listening to the sweet song of Michigan accents and enjoying a game only those from the mitten know. In a room full of transplants now enjoying the southern sun I had been transported back to a place remembered but long since out of reach. My bicycle has carried me many places but the best place of all has been into the company of good people.