Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two in Passing

Forgive me for stealing this from my Facebook page.  Is it possible to plagiarize yourself?  

"A tale of two riders from a few days ago: Rider Number One came up behind me at around mile 21 on a slick carbon roadie with a cockpit like a jet and slowed a little so I could fall in beside him. We talked bikes, weather, destinations and rides a while then he went on ahead when my cell chirped and I had to swing off. Nice to meet someone as cold and far from home as me. Pleasant.

Rider Number Two pulled slowly past me into the wind at about mile 40...fully decked out in Specialized, with all the correct cold weather gear but nary a nod of the balaclava or a lift of the stylishly gloved finger to acknowledge a how ya doin'. Um...sorry...I know you're focused and determined and incredibly fast and you probably look and smell better than I do too but would it kill you to glance sideways and snort to one of the unwashed masses riding aluminum? I've got 40 in and I might be slow, but I'm out here too. Snob.

Moral of the story: Remind me to always be Mr. Rider Number One no matter what. We're all in it together."

Moral of the story: Remind me to always be Mr. Rider Number One no matter what. We're all in it together."

I wrote that while I was still pretty steamed after watching guy #2 fade into the distance ahead.  Not because he was leaving me in his wake, that happens all the time so I'm used to it.  It was just that casual disregard of something as basic as a hello.  For some reason, that bugged the hell out of me.  If I could have caught him, he might have told me he was having a crummy day or something was going badly in his world or he was lost in thought trying to figure out a warp drive and that would be ok.  There's things going on with all of us below the surface and that's a fact.  But it doesn't let you out of being human.

Then again, he probably has a bunch of friends who think he's a great guy...a true hardman that rides in rotten weather and lives Rule #5.  Maybe he worked the last 10 days straight and finally got a chance to get out.  What if he just had a fight with his wife and went for a ride to clear the smoke?  Or maybe he just had his music cranking under the layers or maybe he's actually deaf like one of the guys on my team or he was intent on his Strava or maybe he hated the wind as much as I did but whatever he was, he certainly wasn't blind.  He saw another rider and for whatever reason, chose to look right past and by so doing, made the day seem a little colder and the wind a little meaner.  He may or may not know what happened in that few seconds or even care but it struck me as a moment lost and gone.

Then there's another thought; ain't it funny how the first guy doesn't get the press of the second out of me.  Maybe that's a commentary on something else all by itself.  I zeroed in on the unpleasant.  Have to chew on that one a while...

Anyway, I'd like to believe #2 wasn't being an inconsiderate creep just for the hell of it, only because I like to think of people that way, that benefit of the doubt thing...but yeah...I know...he could simply be a jerk and that's all it was.  An indifferent slight because he just didn't give a crap.  But I hope not.

After all, it seems like such a small investment to look across the gap between two people and see that someone is travelling beside you, even if it's only for that one moment in passing.

1 comment:

Brian in VA said...

I'm with you, Wayward. Fortunately, Rider #2 behavior is the vast exception rather than the rule. Which is probably why it got more press from you.

One of the things I love about coming across other members of the tribe out there, is being able to say, "Great day, huh?"

Brian in VA