Were you racing me? I wasn’t sure why or what inspired you to pick up the pace when I first rode alongside you. We were pacing each other briefly and I said something like, “Good exercise, yeah?” And then you just started pedaling faster, your chain squeaking an awful lot. The chain seemed to say, “Can’t go any faster…” But you put more into the spinning and looked ahead toughly, even though the idea of switching to a more efficient gear seemed to escape you. You were aloof. I kept my pace, although eventually, slowly, moved ahead of you. At the hill and turn I moved further ahead, but I could see you taking the same course as mine, albeit smaller and smaller, in my small round mirror.
Another bicyclist this week wasn’t aloof as much as possessed by his music, riding lazily, swerving almost out of balance, riding against traffic just outside the hospital where we first crossed paths. He moved languidly. I was concerned he’d raise the ire of an anti-cyclist, or worse, meet with injury being so out of whack with the “rules” of the road. While I waited for the light to turn green, he had already traveled 100 yards, but I caught up with him at the next light. At that point he was off his bike inspecting his tire. Catching sight of my panniers he asked, “You don’t have a pump in those bags, do you?” I turned around and got my pump for him, by trying to fill his rear tube with air was in vain. He decided to ride on flat tires anyway, down the dirty, gravel strewn bypass. We spoke then, riding in tandem. I mentioned cheap patch kits and pumps to facilitate future repairs and then moved of him.