Friendship Reborn

My SO and I had a friend who cycle commuted in San Diego, but then she had to move out of town to New Mexico.

Her name is Dacia, and I just knew her as just another cycling commuter until we had a chat this last weekend.

The first thing we discovered was how she liked living in a desert community near a college town.

She said that at first, she didn’t like it, but now she has adjusted.

First of all, she likes to wake up and see nothing but blue sky and mountains. Second, she loves to smell fresh desert air.

I was happy to hear this because it expressed a good attitude on life.

She was also happy to be close to her family which I thought was excellent especially as she was able to take care of her nieces and nephews.

As always when I hang out with a fellow cyclist, there was a lot we had in common.

For example, she, too, had decided to do without children.

She, too, had gotten lost on a long ride.

It could go on and on.

One really interesting thing I learned was how offensive it can be for white people to copy non-whites then present themselves as “gangsta”.

The response from the community ranges from amused to angry.

We also talked about how some white people were in denial that racial differences exist at all. They do for hair and skin care for example.

Finally, she told me she is from the ghettos of Los Angeles!

For me, gangs were always like a cartoon on television, but now I learned a few basic things about how the members communicate by signs and calls. Note, this is back in the 1990’s.

I learned how gangs and ghetto life were way more fascinating, dangerous, and detailed than I had ever imagined.

Though I often lived in poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia, I realize now that I had not experienced the terrain the same way that I would have if I had been born there.

I even learned that many people considered riding a bicycle “too white” which is something for cycling advocates to chew on.

By the end of the night, my mind was full of fascinating stories and interesting anecdotes from the dessert to cycling to the wild hoods in LA.

I can’t wait till Dacia comes back in a few weeks. Hopefully, we’ll talk some more.


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