It's been many years since I got so excited about the first bike ride of the season.
Not since I rolled out of the garage at age 4 or 5, proudly astride my Transformers Big Wheel with plastic tires that rumbled on pavement like an oncoming train, has the first turn of the pedals felt so good.
Maybe it was all the snow. Maybe it was that I recently resurrected my bike from its long hibernation under my friend's porch in Boulder. Maybe it was the sun.
Whatever the reason, the easy cruise I took along the Yampa River Core Trail on Sunday was better than homemade cookies in the mail. I relished the mud and slushy water that sprayed all the way up to my jacket at every turn. I reveled at the smiles exchanged with other riders passing by, each of us grinning like jack-o-lanterns at our luck and the fine day. Yes, I relished and I reveled as I recreated.
As we rode, my friend pointed out the botanical gardens and where to spot foxes in the summer. I can't wait.
It's snowing as I type this, and although I don't share the sentiment of the cashier at Beau Jo's today -- "I've had enough of the snow," he said -- it was nice to have a reminder of what spring is like. It's coming. My bike will be ready -- after I clean it.
I realize that in many parts of the world, Americans are seen as arrogant. I also realize that Americans often are arrogant.
However, I don't think it's rude to expect that when in America, and when in an American bar playing pool, it's common courtesy to play by American rules.
So my friend and I won this table last weekend, and the next two guys waiting to play put American quarters into the slot. We commenced playing, and one of the guys -- they were from England -- prematurely knocked in the eight ball.
By American rules, the game should have been over. But all of a sudden, we found ourselves in a ridiculous, prolonged discussion about how no, we don't get two shots in a row because they scratched, the game is over. Yes, my friend and I said, we understand your rules and have even played that way before. However, in this bar, in this town, in this country, people play that if the eight ball goes in a pocket before its time, you lose.
Tourists and international visitors, welcome to America. When I am in your native land, I will happily play by your rules. But while you are visiting us, kindly play according to the home field.
-- Mike Lawrence