Letters to the Editor

Feedback: A remarkable rider

I resolved that the next time I saw Mr. Ager on his routine bicycle ride from his Oak Harbor home to his Scenic Heights shop, I would write to the News-Times about him. Yesterday was the day! And here is the letter.

I’ve met T. J. Ager only once. I recognized him while we were at the Cenex gas pumps. “You’re the man I see regularly riding your bike up the huge Scenic Heights hill!” He confirmed it was he.

We had a delightful conversation. I learned Mr. Ager is a WWII Navy veteran, he lives in his home in Oak Harbor, and he rides almost daily, rain or shine, winter or summer, to his shop of Scenic Heights Road down near the Muzzall farm.

Why is that so unusual? Well, I had a 10-speed bike, and I tried to climb that hill, and I failed utterly. Now I understand why seasoned riders can be seen walking their bikes on that route. Not Mr. Ager! He rides the entire route. How does he do it? He tacks. He never stops. When the going gets tough, he tacks back and forth. When it’s downhill, he lets it rip.

Some days he does stop. Those are the days he carrying a litterbag and he picks up trash all along the way.

Mr. Ager may remember our conversation, but he won’t remember me. He’ll know me only as the driver of a green Taurus who beeps the horn lightly when we pass, and to whom he waves in return, if he’s on a straightaway.

I think this is an altogether remarkable man who lives in our midst. I wanted to be sure you know about him.

Hobart Hildyard

Oak Harbor

(Editor’s note: Mr. Ager was the subject of a feature story that appeared in the Oct. 25, 2003, Whidbey News-Times.)

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