Wednesday, May 10, 2006
It's a soft, grey morning with the smell of damp spring soil that so many weekend gardeners have turned. Poppies, peonies, irises and promises of infinite color are peering from foliage and dark earth.
I'm only barely noticing that as I pedal down Race Street and anticipate my turn at four-way stop one and think "oh, fiddle," 'cause there's a cyclist behind me as I'm slowing. You know, cyclists in student-ville, who love to blast by you and hop a curb or two... and I'm planning on accelerating into the *left* lane and who knows *where* he'll be...
... what's this? as I press forward, he's STOPPING at the stop sign! Cars and bikes are doing a genuine synchronized dance of getting where we're going... there's a communication between us all...it's what happens when you follow sane rules... and he's easing into that same left lane.
I'm still a few lengths ahead as I stop and make my left turn, catch him stopping and signaling in the mirror, and I'm smiling, and then with just a few quick steady strokes he's moved around me and I'm really awake now (hey, people don't pass me that often, even on this bike ;-)) He's riding an old Trek, but riding with grace and power and not as if he's the only one who matters! My ego's been activated though... and I can tell he's not used to being kept up with. I wish my speedometer worked! He even coasts over that bumpy spot ... and oh, joy, he's not going to make the traffic light (and no, he isn't going to run it) so I can even coast in and not be gasping when I get there.
Often traffic is like a giant elevator. You manage to check each other out but you avoid eye contact. Not this morning; we've already shared an instant of intimacy and he turns and smiles. “Good morning!” I nod and smile and the light turns green, and I let him take the lead 'cause he is stronger and it's fun to watch. We meet again at the next traffic light, He hops over to the bike path, which is rather odd 'cause this week they've torn up that bike path a hundred yards from here... aha, he turns right and he's gone, probably into a campus building for a final exam.
It's nice to know we've got friends out there!
An attractive-cyclist-in-spandex was riding next to me this morning and I thought she was crowding me a little, but I didn't read anything into it. Should I have?