Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 23, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to be nice

It has now happened 4 times since I have been in Nebraska and to be honest it is trying my patience. What I am talking about is it seems that they do not teach manners or common courtesy to the younger generation in Nebraska. I grew up always somewhat in awe of my relatives in small towns who farmed and worked hard at whatever they did. Now it may be that I was just naive but I think that the small town kids when I was young had a little better manners and were a little more courteous than what I have been exposed to in Nebraska. Hell I know gang members with better manners than some of these kids.
In my previous incarnation I would just have thumped these little punks (and in this case I could have because I am certain they were 18 or 19 years old). But in my kinder gentler guise I just kick back take a breath listen to some Shawn Phillips and let them get it out of their system. I mean I was young once also so I understand burning off a little energy especially if it impressed a female. But last night I tried that and was actually hoping they would cross the line, I mean I was hot tired and uncomfortable and they were pushing close enough to the edge to get my blood pumping a little faster.
Just what was it they were doing you say? Well I was camped in a park in a small town called Atkinson Nebraska and at about 11:00 2 males and 2 females came into the park and headed straight to the area where I was trying to sleep. They were yelling and throwing things around and tried and succeeded in tipping some of the playground equipment over. The girls kept calling out to me saying different things basically being little brats. The guys also tried to egg me on dancing around my tent etc. They finally left my area and went to another area where this morning it looked like they succeeded in breaking some equipment.
What I wonder is at the very least what ever happened to the golden rule IE. Treat others as you would want to be treated ? I have been a lot of places and if they would have tried a stunt like that on someone they didn’t know in some of these places they probably would have been found the next day with a bullet in the brain or at the very least had a serious beat down.
Now I obviously am not advocating violence I mean I didn’t engage in violence and I am glad it didn’t come to that. But when these young loud mouthed smart ass punks get out in the real world where they aren’t the medium bad fish in a small pond they will very likely get hurt, badly.
So I ask once again what happened to small town America where the values are supposed to be somewhat more wholesome? I do not know but maybe it has always been like this and I was naive, but I do not think so.
I have rambled a bit more than intended on a subject that certainly has different opinions. I don’t have all or even more than of a couple of answers and my opinions change, it is just that when I think about these children I get a little frustrated. It has been a long very hot stressful day and sometimes I just need to get things off of my shoulder.
So about today’s ride. I got up at about 04:30 and was on the road as soon as I could safely ride I think it was about 05:30. I rode about 20 miles when I ran into a section of highway where they were putting fresh gravel on the asphalt. This fresh gravel was spread deeply on the highway and even deeper on the shoulder making it very difficult to ride. Then cars and especially Semi’s would drive by at 65 mph and kick gravel up all over me , this was at times somewhat painful. Then I got a flat and with no more tube patches had to switch to a tube I thought I had repaired, Wrong. I remember now that I had been unable to find this particular very small and slow leak so had just put the tube aside for repair when I was in a place better situated to fixing such leaks.
I was able to ride the final 1.5 or so miles into Basset NE but just barely as my spare tube was almost flat.  I made it to the Rock County Fairgrounds where I still haven’t set up my tent because it is still too hot. I got some soapy water and after much searching finally found the leak in my tube. Next problem was that I was out of patches so I eventually tore a patch off of 1 of my other spare tubes and used it again. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that it works.
The Fairgrounds is an alright place to camp. There really isn’t any shade but there is water and bathrooms and even showers. I have to charge my phone and computer in the bathrooms but that is OK. I do have shade under the picnic shelter and that works alright. I was able to do some laundry in a sink in the bathroom so that issue is resolved. These bathrooms are substantially cleaner than in Atkinson and much cleaner than in O’Neill where they have just about the worst bathroom and shower facilities I have ever seen.
It is quiet here and have had the place to myself just about all day so hopefully I will be able to sleep tonight.
I rode 32 miles total today and they were difficult miles. My arthritis is about the worst it has been for a couple of weeks and that may be why I am just a bit grumpy. It seems that the effects and symptoms of arthritis run in direct correlation with exhaustion and stress. So what I really need is a very good night’s sleep and a less stressful night and day tomorrow in order to get me back to my “Happy Place”.



  1. You evaluation of these youths is right on. Seems to be a disease much worse then ra in my humble opinion and unfortunately I have seen it spreading to the next generation above them…their parents. MMMM…sensing a trend here.

    Glad you got to a better facility…four star from your description. Yes, I know…everything is relative 🙂

    Enjoy your stay and smell one of those funnel cakes for me 🙂

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