|A tiny notebook and nifty wrapping paper.|
When I leave work it's my practice to ride the sidewalk along an access road then hang a right, remaining on sidewalk, where the road merges with a four lane highway. One block later, I escape the noisy congestion and turn into neighborhoods for quieter riding.
It was at this junction, traffic was inching along, where I met up with another cyclist moving in the same direction, she riding in the road, her steady cadence belying the fact that her bike had studded tires, humming on dry pavement. We both were in a rhythm, in tandem motion, two cyclists moving faster than vehicles.
But for whatever reason, I failed to greet this bike goddess.
A simple "hello" would have been appropriate. In the past I've gone out of my way to be friendly, sometimes as a personal mission so I was surprised at my reticence. I chastised myself. I had passed up an opportunity to recognize a fellow commuter, which bothered me. And the more I pondered, spinning wheels through neighborhoods, the real reason began to haunt me. I could not put the blame on the fact that I was bundled up against the cold or needing downtime from a hectic workday. Those are lame excuses anyway. No, my reaction stemmed from the fact that this woman was a year round commuter. I'd seen her many times, braving the snow, riding past me as I was stuck in slow traffic behind the wheel of a car.
It's not often that I'm speechless, but that's what I believe happened: me a part time commuter beside a grand biker belle. The next time we meet—and I believe we will—I will be ready with a smile and kind words.