Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Bicycling with diversity
Bicycling with diversity
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 19:09:04 -0500
We encountered a diverse range of people this summer while bicycling.
Of our high adventure bicycling trips this summer, one involved cycling
250 miles from Aberdeen, South Dakota to the Twin Cities in Minnesota
during June, while the other involved bicycling 500 miles from Buffalo,
New York to Portland, Maine during July/August. These are segements in a
multi-year coast to coast ride from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.
On our South Dakota ride, our route coincided with a motorcycle rally and
we found ourselves sharing the road with about 300 Harley Davidsons. It
was the unexpected highlight of the ride. Both groups responded to one
another in a positive way.
One our Maine ride, we took a day off the do sightseeing about midway
through the trip, driving north to Montreal, Canada. Unknown to us was
the fact that Montreal was celebrating "Gay Pride Day". While biking
through the city we encountered the route of the gay pride parade twice.
Our first encounter was informative, and we backtracked a few blocks in
order to avoid the parade and it's congestion of pedestrians.
Unfortunately the parade angled eastward and we found ourselves
encountering it a second time. It was then that I accidently led our
cycling crew through a group of people and onto the parade route.
We biked about two blocks before we found a policeman who helped us get
off the street and through the police barriers and crowds. We were well
ahead of the actual parade. Thousands lined the street, with some
cheering for the "gay cyclists". It was probably good we weren't in
uniform. My Scouts didn't appreciate my wrong turn, though they saw humor
in it. Still, they wouldn't let me ride lead again for a long while.
We continued our day's sightseeing activities and had a wonderful time in
Montreal. It is truly a beautiful city. Next time though, I think we'll
try to avoid arriving on gay pride day.
It just reinforces the old saying, "Be prepared to expect the unexpected".
You just never know what you might encounter on a Scout trip.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33