As the municipal court judge for the City of Racine, I am accustomed to witnessing random acts of kindness, most often by police officers. This one was a little different.
On a hot Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, I took a bike ride on the path that crosses Durand Avenue and links Racine and Kenosha. From my house to the end and back is about 15 miles which takes me about an hour if I push myself with no breaks.
In any event, just as I crossed the county line on my return trip into Racine, my water bottle slipped from its holder on the bike frame. Out of reflex I leaned over to try and catch it, failed miserably and hit the ground hard, elbow and shoulder first.
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At 73, I don't bounce up as well as I used to. Instead, I sat there, checking the scrapes on my elbow and assessing the damage to my bike and body. A little girl, maybe 6 years of age, who was on the path with her older sister and who had apparently observed my mishap, walked up to me and said gently: "Please don't cry mister."
So I didn't. I assured her I was fine, got back on my bike (in my mind, very bravely) and rode off only being able to grip the handlebars with one hand, but with a smile on my face.
It all happened so fast, I'm not sure I thanked her for her comforting words, so I'm doing it now in case our paths don't cross again.
Rob Weber, Racine