By Roxanne LeBlanc
One of the things I love the most about walking or biking are the people you meet and the things you can learn simply by saying “Hi” or “Good morning” or any other greeting and using some conversation starter such as “Isn’t the weather awesome/awful/weird….”.
People are usually quite happy to chat and tell you a bit about themselves. Here are a few of the wonderful people I’ve met in the last few weeks while I’ve been walking and biking around Calgary;
A few weeks ago I met a 70+-year-old woman outside the Peter Lougheed Hospital who was parking her bike and coming to visit her husband. She cycles there every day to see him and loves it and would like to see more cycling infrastructure!
I asked another young man who was pushing a recycling bin full of bottles across Memorial Drive, where he was going with this heavy load. Turns out he was headed for the bottle depot on 10th Ave SE. Since he lived up in Greenwood and was new to the city I suggested a closer location that would save him a lot of time and energy. He also told me about his work and plans for the future to make a better life for himself and his family. I thought, “just the type of person we need to make Calgary great!”
Another day I met a photographer at the Weir. Someone had spotted a blue heron there and he was hoping it would return so that he could get some photos. I didn’t think blue herons hung out in that area but I’ll certainly watch for them now, as well as pelicans.
I could go on and on with stories about the people I meet, but instead I will put out a challenge to all Calgarians to get out of your cars and walk, cycle or hop on the train or a bus, say “Hi” and start up a conversation. You never know what will come of it.