Without no fanfare whatsoever they glided by me.
Two younger guys on road bikes. Dressed in their bike riding gear and riding expensive bikes. Not so much as a ‘how do you do’. Though I do give them credit for yelling “left” as they came up on my left. That’s good manners right there.
I am currently in love with single speed bikes. I’ve got no gears to get fancy with. And it’s a fat tire bike.
Which means it’s heavier, slower and it takes more energy to ride in some situations. To go fast on this bike, compared to a road bike, is a little bit different. It’s just not made as well for that. But I like riding it to get a different work out than my other bike(s). It’s fun. It’s no stress. Just pedal it. Enjoy it. It makes me slow down when I normally want to go until I stop. It lets me pay a little bit more attention to the world I want to see.
My husband was behind me a ways so I slowed down until he caught up with me. He knows me well. He immediately pointed out the guys who had passed me. We talked some smack about the two guys. They made sure to pass me. But then remained in our sight for somewhere between five and six miles.
There was a day when I could never, ever, have let someone else pass me on a bike and not see what that was all about.
That day was today.
I have a problem.
But having twenty five years on those twenty somethings just meant I had more miles of energy stored up. Am I right?
I thought so.
So for those five or six miles I just kept them in my forward sights while I chatted comfortably with my husband. At times I could only see them by the bright white of one of their jerseys appearing as a far away speck against the dark green of the foliage. And before my brain knew what was happening, my legs took over. I just kept going faster. And faster. Steadily increasing my speed. I can’t walk up the three flights of steps at work without nearly passing out. But I can pedal for extended periods of time and manage to sing while I’m doing it.
I caught up to them.
I pulled up to them and just turned to see if my husband was anywhere in sight to have seen I did it.
I had no intention of passing them. I didn’t want to embarrass them. For real. I didn’t. Suddenly the guy riding on the far left looked over at me and started to pull over in front of his buddy, who was in front of me. I smiled at him and said “no no, I’m not going to pass you, I just wanted to prove to myself I could catch you”.
You know what the fella said?
“Haha, well, we weren’t really going very fast.”
I chuckled and said “fast enough for this single speed”. He glanced over his shoulder and saw the beautiful bike I was on. I think he was embarrassed. For real.
I sat up and slowed down. Let them pull away.
When my husband caught up to me the very arrogant me asked if he had gotten a picture. He said no. I was so happy I didn’t care. We saw them again at a road crossing where the pavement disappeared and they had to cross gravel.
I’m a little ashamed of what I did next. As we passed them clipping back in to their fancy (and beautiful I might add) bikes I followed my husband who was riding his three wheeled cruising bike. I couldn’t help it. I threw my husband completely under the bus. As we passed I said “I had to wait on him”.
We took off and didn’t see them again.
Yes, I know they were likely out for a leisurely ride. It’s probably not a story at all from their side of it. And you can be assured that as the years go on from here the story will be embellished from this side. But today, these are just the facts. And I joyfully accept my arrogance on this occasion.