The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

September 12, 2013

Peace begins on our front sidewalks

The Clinton Peace Coalition is asking community members to share their thoughts on peace in anticipation of this year’s Stop the Hate / Show the Love Annual Walk for Peace on Sept. 19th. This week, Pastor Peter Sickels writes about his thoughts on peace. This year’s theme is “Peace begins with…”

Peace Begins With…

I want to make peace with my neighbors — yep, the ones on my street!!

Recently, I was training for the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa. After one afternoon jaunt to Camanche on the nice new path on the south side of Camanche Avenue, I returned to my home on Fifth Avenue South to see two young men with bicycles on the sidewalk. One had turned his upside down. So I walked over in my riding outfit and asked what was going on? One said his chain had come off and the other said, are you one of those professional cyclists? The easy answer was I’m just training for a ride across Iowa. They were suitably impressed!

Then I noticed the bike with the chain problem had no gears, unlike mine, so no easy way to get the chain back on. We fiddled with it for a while, and finally got it back on the sprockets. He said he thought the chain came off because the chain guard had rubbed against it. So we bent it out a little, and I said, that chain could also use some lubrication! It was a bit rusty and completely oil free. So I asked them to wait a second while I ran to get some oil. With that accomplished, we turned the bike right-side up, and squeezing the tires, I said, these need some air! And he said yeah, like I need some food. We laughed, and I got the pump, plus a couple trail mix bars and Gatorades.

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