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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

when locals disappear

There are a few riders that I frequently see passing by on my street. I know them well as riders only. I don’t know their names or where they live except that I assume (perhaps wrongly) based on their regular presence that they are from somewhere fairly nearby. Although, my street is a common throughway for many people on foot and bikes and cars so they may live far away. But to me they are the local riders. I know each one of them by their style and posture and cadence as they’re coming up or down the street long before I could possibly recognize their faces. And, actually, if I were to be standing next to one of them in, let’s say, the checkout line at the grocery store, I’m quite sure I’d have no idea who they were unless they happened to be wearing their full kit. But still they are my locals—people I look out for—my friends, if only imaginary… 

Which is all well and good (having imaginary friends—they’re so easy to deal with!) But in cycling things take a twist. We hear stories, read the news about, know people who… let’s say, didn’t come back from their ride. And so we worry. We worry when we haven’t seen one of the locals for a while. We hope they’re just taking some time off… nursing an overuse injury… taking another route these days… or maybe they moved to Portland… We hope they’re okay. 

And so it is with great joy that when, after what seems like months have passed, we see them again, riding by, looking more or less the same and unharmed… we want to jump up and wave and call out and hug them! But they don’t know me and I don’t know them and maybe they’ve never even seen me on my bike—maybe I’ve never ridden past their house. So I can’t—we can’t. But, to all those local cyclists, my friends, please remember when you’re out there that I am looking out for you, that we are looking out for each other… and please try to remember to ride by my place once in a while! 

4 comments:

JAM said...

I have an image of you recognizing someone at the grocery store solely by his calf muscles. "Hey, I know that guy!"

mindful mule said...

Thanks, JAM... Could happen!

capejohn said...

So many times we don't know we miss them till we see them again. Where you been?

mindful mule said...

Thanks, capejohn... That kinda reminds me of an old country song...