Listen, Sonny – #1LinerWeds

The title is how I wanted to start my reply to this week’s One-liner Wednesday. As you will see in a minute, I was nice. This story begins last Wednesday, on a day that I had been looking forward to for over a month.

The company I work for held an employee outing at Dunkin Donuts Park, so we could enjoy a Yard Goats baseball game from the comfort of a party deck. Burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese, sausage and chicken were provided, along with potato salad, chips & salsa and fruit. Fruit? At a ball game? Who eats fruit? Oh well, it was free. Beer and wine were available for purchase, and each ticket was preloaded with two beers worth of spending money. I went with my best friend, John.

John lives in Hartford, about a 10-minute walk from the stadium. So, my plan was to take the newly christened CT Rail – Hartford Line into Hartford and then ride a Lime Bike up to John’s condo. There were a few hitches with the train, but it’s new, and it rolled into Hartford’s Union Station pretty much right on time. I had been worried about having to figure out the Lime Bike, but fortunately, I found one near Great River Park, the day before.

I have the app on my iPhone, so getting the bike was easy. You preload the app with either $10, $20 or $30 worth of rides. At the $20 and $30 level, you get some bonus bucks. I won’t be able to ride often, so I went with $10. The app tells you where the closest Lime Bike is, and directs you to it. Once there, you scan a QR Code on the bike to unlock it. You ride and then you lock the bike when your done – easy peasy. The first hour is $1, the per-hour rate increases after that, because they want to keep the bikes close to the city.

The seat is adjustable, but not quite as much as I would like. It’s an old school ride, so it took a little getting used to. For the first 50′ (15 m) I looked like I might need a parent holding onto the seat. Once I got going, I got comfortable. It was like, well, riding a bike. So, on Wednesday, I rented, adjusted and rode off on that Lime Bike like an old pro.

Around the corner of Union Station, I stopped at a crosswalk. My plan was to cross into Bushnell Park. John’s building is on the east edge of the park, so that would be an easy ride. On my test ride, I had coasted to a stop next to my car. At the crosswalk, I applied the brakes and came to an abrupt and inelegant stop next to a young man on his bike. Pointed into the street, I waited patiently for the light to change. When the walk sign appeared, the young man looked over at me and said:

“You can go now, sir!”

I wanted to point out that I’ve been riding bikes for more than twice the time he’s been alive, but I simply smiled and said, “thank you.”

Aside from having my foot squeezed by an idiot driving a BMW, the day was everything I had hoped it would be. The Yard Goats even won!


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

The gallery includes some photos from the day, albeit none showing the license plate of that BMW.

70 thoughts on “Listen, Sonny – #1LinerWeds

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  1. What a brilliant idea to rent a bike. It would never have occurred to me to do that – except when I’m on vacation somewhere. Are these the old-fashioned bikes that have to be pedalled backwards to apply the brakes? I nearly tossed myself off the bike a couple of times on a rental in Copenhagen because of that. I never really got the hang of it gracefully.
    Too funny that someone felt the need to assist you at an intersection 😆 I’m laughing because it wasn’t me 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joanne…I think. The lime bikes are three speed bikes, with hand brakes. It’s just that I’ve been riding my bike since 1977 – I’m kinda used to it.

      The program is really cool. Rent it, ride it and walk away. You take the bike to wherever you want to go. You might have to walk to find one, but I found one within a block each time. My first ride was free, and the two rides in Hartford were $1 apiece. I like the program.

      Like

  2. I loved your recitation of your recent adventures, Dan, and the accompanying photos. (I’m going to assume that you were not snapping as you were moving, though I have seen “kids” texting and riding at the same time.) I’ve reached the age where a senior citizen discount sometimes gets applied automatically and more and more I find that people in the hallways at work call me “sir.” I guess it’s one of the “perks” of growing older.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike – yes, all pictures were taken after the ride had come to a complete stop. It was a fun day, and it’s a bit of technology that I will embrace when I visit my friend in the future.

      I have started seeing the senior discounts appear, and the occasional ‘sir’ being offered up. This was just funny, because I’ve been riding a bike for almost 60 years.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. We beat the Fightin’ Phils from Reading, PA.

      I was skeptical of the “dockless” nature of the Lime Bikes at first, but it’s really a nice program. The app shows you where the closest bike is that you can rent. Then, you rent it and go. I rode it right to my friend’s condo, locked it and left. When we came back after the game, that bike was gone, but there was one within a block.

      Like

  3. Oh my…your title made me think of impertinence, then I read your story and all I could hear was those polite, helpful voices people use with (ahem) older folks. Sheesh.
    Did love hearing about the bike rental thing since we don’t have them in our city & I wondered how that worked. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura. At least he was polite and, apparently concerned. Who knows, there may come a day when I’ll need that. I feel better about society when I have an experience like this. A young man actually took the initiative to help another person. That’s a good thing.

      The bikes are so cool. We’re allowed to wear jeans during the summer and on Fridays during the rest of the year. On a cool day, If I see one at the park where I stop before work, I’ll rent one. I sometimes walk along the riverside path for about 10 minutes, but I could cover a lot more ground on a bike.

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    1. I haven’t read reports of any being stolen, Pam. The locking mechanism is pretty hard to defeat. The bike is lime green, and the bike is in contact with the company at all times. They know if it’s moving without having been rented and they know where it is. The map they give you after you lock it up, showing where you rode, is pretty darn accurate.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yesterday, I was standing in the hall waiting for the gentleman ahead of me to schedule his next doctor appointment. When he was done, he turned to me and said, “You’re next, mom.” WTH!! And this guy was closer to my age than your little sonny boy on a bike. Aside from that, sounds like you had a fun ride, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! He’s lucky you didn’t slug him, Lois. The original owner of our local hardware store (he’s 93) always asks me “can I help you young man?” when I come up to the counter.That’s the way to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A light that tells you when you can go? By cracky, what’ll these young whippersnappers think of next? Lucky you had a savvy youngster to tell you what that light meant or you’d still be a-sittin’ on that there velocipede wondering what to do next.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hah! That damn whipper-snapper is too polite for his own good. Then he calls you ‘sir’! I don’t know Dan, add to all of that the fact that you were on Asylum Street later, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a theme running through this. Just sayin’.

    I rode my bike into my sixties. You’d think my legs would’ve gotten stronger, but it had the opposite effect. Sigh…. I gave the bike to a friend.

    All in all it sounds like you had a really nice time. And in all fairness to the young’un, he gets points for being polite. We all know what could’ve come out of his mouth!!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was on Asylum Street at the time, as well, Ginger. It could be that the universe knows about me.

      Given all the problems Hartford has, I will put this in the win column for me and for the city. The kid was trying to help. Besides, far be it for me to criticize someone for choosing the wrong words. In any case, I had a great time.

      For me, my legs aren’t the problem, but my neck hurts after riding my bike (curved handlebars). I may have to get a different bike if I want to continue riding.

      Like

  7. “The Yard Goats” What a great name!

    Watching local franchise baseball is so much more fun than the majors. Years ago, we took our German foreign exchange student to a Saint Paul Saints game. She knew nothing about baseball but had a fabulous tie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fruit in that spread is definitely misplaced. You Your post makes me want to rent a bike just because. Cool wind in my hair as I peddle around downtown SA. Ah the good life.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We do (at the Pearl) just at little bit north of downtown proper. Probably not the best idea to bike where there is heavy pedestrian traffic anyway. Those Jimmy Johns delivery folks are downright dangerous. Lately we’ve noticed the long board scooters 🛴. Similar concept to the bike rentals. Safer when you’re gliding around people.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. That made me laugh, Dan. Glad you were polite. What I’ve found is that, for the most part, anyone who uses “Ma’am” or “Sir” is from from the South, has been in the military, or both. Could have been much worse…he could have said “Dude!” :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are rental bikes like that in Chicago. We used one year. We had to physically dock them after 30 minutes or get charged extra but the app did show where the docking stations were and how many open spaces there were at each.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember the first time I was ma’amed. It was several years ago but the form of address still stings. I’ve never rented one of those bikes but we have green, yellow and orange ones all over our city. Also, rentable battery-powered stand-up scooters… those look like fun! I love that you figured out a way to get to your destination using public transportation.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hahaha! At least he was polite about it! LOL Oh my goodness, that was a great laugh! Thank you!
    Glad you got to try out the bikes. Loved how it was just like riding a bicycle!
    I would totally eat fruit at the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK, if Joey would eat fruit, then I guess it’s OK. Most of the die-hard fruit eaters I know have a crummy sense of humor.

      The bike was fun. It’s also an affordable, easy to use transportation alternative. I think it’s a great idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan – well he did call you Sir .. that’s something!! Sounds like a fun time had by one and all – and a great way to get a post from a ball game … it was a ball game wasn’t it – yup … just checked. Happy days and glad you and John got to go together … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to get a different bike. The one I’ve had for 40 years had me bent over the handle bars and it hurts my neck, of all things. Riding is fun, although I think I’m done riding on the roads around here.

      I hear you about the fruit being healthy. I just wouldn’t expect it at a ballgame. You know, the whole ♫ peanuts and Cracker Jack… thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I recently had He-Man tune up my bike so I could ride along with #1 Grandson while he rides his glider, and was happy to discover after years and years of not riding a bike I can still do it…although I was a bit wobbly for the first few feet.

    I’m sure I’d be tempted to retort with something snarky to the young man too, but I’m sure if I did Karma would get me and I’d likely fall over while trying to cross the street.

    I’m glad the app was easy to use, and you had a good experience with the bike, and ball-park parts of the day, and on the bright side your foot wasn’t crushed by the twit in the car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. It was pretty easy to see that he was trying to be helpful. Given all the times, I’ve gone with the wrong words – “I’m sure you can squeeze through there” – I had to cut him some slack.

      The app was super easy to use, and after three rides, I feel I am fully qualified to pilot a Lime Bike.

      Like

  15. I love it how you plan your days and then look forward to them. The only think I don’t like is fruit derision. So what if it was a ball game! I’d love the sight of that if I was there. Eat fruit every time somebody offers you one, said a wise man. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

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