Trauma On The Trail

Gosling CroppedAlong the trails where I ride around Philadelphia, there is a surprising amount of wildlife.  One evening last week, I saw groundhogs, big snapping turtles, and a racoon.  Then, nearing home on the canal trail in the neighborhood of Manayunk, I turned a corner to find a doe with a pair of fawns.  It feels good to know they’re there, doing OK, right on the outskirts of this big metropolis.

Spring, though, brings a whole new level of human-animal interaction.  Geese arrive in droves and stay near the water to begin raising their young.  There are ducks as well, but the geese really take control of the place.    They have few, if any, predators, especially in the parks along the trail.  There is some interest in reducing their numbers, but it seems unlikely, especially considering the legal protections afforded to the migratory members of the species.

Continue reading “The Gosling Incident”


Schwinn Scrambler AdAt 12 years old, I had pretty well worn out the bike I got for First Holy Communion, which was a classic 70’s cruiser with a banana seat and sissy bar.  By the late 70’s, that style was falling out of fashion anyway.  The cool new thing was BMX bikes, with mag wheels and bar/frame crash pads.

Even then, I liked to know all my options.  My mother, with remarkable patience, drove me to all the bike shops in the area to check out the Haro’s, Huffy’s, Mongooses, and Redlines.  But the one that caught my eye was a Schwinn Scrambler.  I remember it being described as Candyapple Red, but that doesn’t match the old ads I see now.  They only offered it in a few colors:  Spicy Chestnut, Frosty Silver, and Cardinal Red.  In any case, it was sweet.  Schwinn’s were special back then, like Surly’s and Salsa’s now.  The tag said $200, which was a lot of money in 1978.  I started saving.  

Continue reading “Lessons from a Stolen BMX”