Since 2001, I have made the trek down Alcoa Highway 2-4 times per day. At the peak of rush hour, I seem to always cross paths with an elderly man pumping up the hill heading south on 129 guarded by a white full rimmed hard hat. He usually is weighed down with a full day pack, but rain or shine he makes the commute daily.
Once I saw the man driving down into Sequoya Hills, but I didn’t have the time to follow him. The wife and I have discussed lone biker sightings, but she shocked me yesterday to tell me that she actually talked to him. At Food City on 129, she breezed through the aisles but was stopped in her tracks at the sighting of the white full rimmed hard hat safely settled in the lone biker’s grocery cart.
“Excuse me” she said “do you ride your bike on Alcoa Highway every day?”
“Yes” the aged, hairless man answered.
“If you don’t mind me asking, do you ride for your health, or is there some reason that you ride your bike everyday?” she queried.
Then the man launched into his explanation about global warming and global terrorism and that this was his way to make a point. Respectable, even if his license were suspended for DUI and the bike were his only means of transportation.
Then they parted ways: he to load his modest bounty onto his back and peddle through the dense fumes of the overtraveled Alcoa highway and her to ease into the carriage of the toyota where the peddling is much lighter. His name still unkown remains the same Hard-Hat Harry or perhaps Al.