On the way to work this morning I had an interesting experience. All the more interesting as I had just read this post yesterday…
I was riding to work plugging along trying to catch my breath a little after climbing a hill, and I get passed by one of those guys with the shaved legs, aero bars, fancy road bike, the whole 9 yards, but he says nothing to me as he passes me. Not even an “on your left” or anything. I don’t say anything because I don’t usually talk unless I’m spoken too, and honestly, I was checking out his ride mostly as he went by. But after watching him fade away a little and thinking about Jim’s post I decided to see if I could catch him and talk to him.
I was surprised, but it didn’t take long. (I never really catch anyone who is riding) It’s usually kids who just had their training wheels removed and old people on cruisers (and sometimes the old people pass me too) that I can catch and pass, but for some reason I was burning up the road catching this guy, and then the road went uphill…and I caught him even more quickly. I was really shocked about that. I didn’t even stand up and he was standing on his pedals. (I noticed I was churning my legs about twice as fast as he was while going up the hill) At this point my messenger bag flopped over around my shoulder and fell between my legs. Now, I’m not accustom to a bag that big between my legs and when that happened I almost ate the pavement but I was able to get it under control and flip it back onto my back while cruising up to him.
When I finally caught him we hit a red light and I said to him “I haven’t seen you out here before. Do you ride along here a lot?” (In retrospect, this seems a lot like a pickup line…) All I got back was a stare and he turned back around. So I kept on going. “I notice you have aero bars, are you training for a triathlon?” Still nothing. So at this point I decided to lose the Midwestern niceness. “Hey, (I think he’s ignoring me at this point) I notice you have a pretty nice bike. It’s kind of sad, don’t you think, that I caught you on my $200 bike even though it only has one gear and I’m grossly overweight?” Pause. “Maybe you should be training a little harder.” (serious riders hate to be challenged about their speed) At this point he is pulling away as the light is green, and he is moving quickly now. So I just amble down the road to work.
Good way to start the day.