Me And Cal


This is Cal. He's 82 years old. He likes to ride his bicycle. Cal has trouble with one of his hips and that makes it a little hard to walk. But not to ride. And riding, he says, actually makes it easier to walk for awhile after pedalling.

"When you're on a bike you're just using your own power," he said.

Cal moves that bicycle slowly. The cars and trucks whipped past us along 127 St. this afternoon. There were still hail pellets on the asphalt. We talked about things at about 8 kmh.

Cal was still fired up when I first slowed down to ride with him for those few blocks north. On Stony Plain Road, he said, he had stopped at two businesses to ask to use the washroom. They said no.

"I'm 82 years old," he said. "I'm not going to damage the place. I should have just taken a leak right there and fought it in court."

Okay, Cal is my kind of guy.

Cal still had another 30 blocks to go to get home.

Cal has been riding his current bike for about a year. The previous one was stolen. He remembers the date of the crime.

"I was so mad," he said. "I went out and bought another one. Got it for under $500."

He asked me if I always stop at stop signs. I told him most times, but not always, especially if the intersection is clear.

"Me, too."

We talked politics. We talked about Lougheed and change. We shook hands at the lights on 118 Ave. He took his glove off before shaking hands. He looked me in the eye. His eyes are young.

Those businesses should have let Cal use their washrooms.



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