La Ciclopista

“Didn’t your mother ever tell you to keep to the right?”

“No, never,” I reply. Did yours? I doubt it. What’s the big deal, anyhow?

Hubbie and I are “running” on the carretera, Ajijic’s main road. We travel on the ciclopista, the bicycle trail, which is used by bicycles and joggers and walkers. We are more walkers than joggers. Brisk walkers, I guess you’d call us – walking (instead of running) to save our knees, but briskly walking to try to firm up. We haven’t succeeded yet, and it’s been over a month. Oh well, hopefully we are strengthening our insides – our hearts and bones – if not our outwardly appearance.

Back to la ciclopista. There is only one, on the right hand side of the road if you are leaving Ajijic. Of course, if you are entering Ajijic, it is on the left hand side.

I’m the leader in our jaunts and begin walking on the far side of the lane, on my right-hand side, farthest from traffic. We have to be careful of bicycles sneaking up behind us, so we walk in single file. We go a certain length, up to Las Palmas, then turn around and retrace our steps till we arrive home. Going back, I’ll walk on the same side, but, now of course, the previous right is now my left.

That’s when Hubbie starts his tirade, not just once this season or once a month or weekly even, but every morning, and sometimes more than once.

I like that side ‘cause it is the farthest away from the traffic. Granted, there are large cement barriers dividing the highway from the ciclopista, but still, I like being away from the whizz and roar of the vehicles. I don’t figure it matters to the cyclists whether they are on the right side or the left side. I’m sure their mothers didn’t admonish them to stay to the right.

And what is right and left – and right and wrong – anyhow? Is it the right side of you or them? Is it the right or left of the highway? Or the right or left side of the world? And it depends, too, on which way you’re facing. Or is it always the same side as your right, no matter which way you face? Rights and lefts have always confused me – as well as rights and wrongs.

Who determines which is the right way to travel anyhow? Is it Hubbie? He thinks so!

While walking today, I thought I had it figured out – a reasonable explanation for the side I always kept to: I was being kind to the Mexicans. By staying on the same side, I allow the cyclists to remain on their right at all times and isn’t that a polite thing to do? But, then I realized that if I stayed to my left returning home (which side was on my right leaving home), then the cyclists coming towards me would be on their left side – that big revelation came to me after I thought I had my rights and lefts down pat.

However, after pondering some more, I realized that the cyclists riding behind me would always have the right side if I kept to the left, so perhaps I was doing something right after all.

And who am I trying to impress? The cyclists coming towards me or the ones approaching my back? Or should I just be concerned about keeping Hubbie happy?

So dear Hubbie, explain this one to me: No matter which side you and I are on, if someone approaches us from one direction or the other, someone is going to be on the right or left. Right or wrong?

And what about left-handed people? If there is such a rule as staying to your right, wouldn’t that rule pertain only to Righties? Wouldn’t Lefties want to stay to their left? Isn’t a right-hand rule a bit prejudicial? (And Heaven knows we don’t want to be prejudicial in this day and age.)

Jeepers! Too confusing for my pea brain. I’ll let Hubbie rant. I’ll let the Mexicans pass when and where they want. And I’ll run where I want to run…


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