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Kategorien/Categories:    ›EN‹  ›Sprachkultur/Language culture‹   –  12.05.2010

The Language of Laughter

There’s no better way to start your day than to know you’ve made people happy. And, I tend to generate smiles wherever I go. The secret is simple: I ride a recumbent bike. Kids, especially, seem to get a real kick out of that. Who knew?

On my daily bike commute to work, I’ve seen them all: the secretive, inquiring glances; the unabashed stare; the barely noticeable smile; the wide open, friendly grin. Sometimes I can even detect a hint of envy. Strangers frequently stop and inquire about the bike, asking about its riding qualities or whether it isn’t too dangerous in traffic. You sure can’t be people-shy when you’re riding a recumbent, and I have to admit: I really like the effect my bike has on my fellow citizens. Heck, you can even get some respect and a raised eyebrow from a group of teenage boys - something not too many 40-somethings can claim. Cool bike? You betcha.

The reaction when I encounter little kids, though, is a whole different ball game. For them, nothing short of complete excitement will do, a mix of utter amazement and joyful curiosity with laughter rippling off their little lips. They stop short, start tugging at their parent’s hands or turn their heads for a better view from their bike seats or trailers. “Dad, look! A recumbent bike!” I often hear them shout, or: “Mom, look at that funny bicycle!” Better yet: “I want a bike like that, too!” Way to go, I think, you’re on the right track, kiddo. Keep it up.

What a nice way to travel, when you generate a wake of mirth and good will behind you and bring a smile to people’s faces. It sure makes my day sometimes.