On one of my last work commuting days I photographed this long-shadowed image of myself. I started thinking about my posture and whether I still retained a flat back stance while pedaling. As so often happens while cycling, one train of thought leads to another. I could see my front panniers, long hair, even the shape of my helmet in the silhouette. I wondered how regular commuters recognized me from a distance. Is it the shape of my body, my bike, pedaling style, clothing colors? If I ride my touring bike, which I swap out every now and then, would I still be identified?
I can distinguish my husband from far away. I first notice his rapid cadence. He also holds his torso very still. Then, of course, his grey mustache and beard is a giveaway. And though he always rides a mountain bike, I'd still place him on another bike.
There's one rider I often pass who is not easy to determine until I get close. If he's hauling his BOB trailer, well, that's pretty obvious, but once in a while he rides his Surly solo. He helmet is non-descript; his clothing and body shape are ubiquitous. No facial hair. It is only when he waves and says "hello" that I can tell it's him; his voice is distinctive.
How do you observe others? Or, what's remarkable/recognizable about yourself?