I'm guessing most regular bike commuters have other riders they see often enough to recognize. In my case, there's one guy in particular that I see kind of infrequently on the bike path, somewhere near downtown. I think we both ride every day. Timing and route choice make us familiar, yet not. From what I can gather, he travels out of the east end somewhere to work either downtown or in the west, and I do the reverse. It has to be a couple of years now that when we pass each other and recognize each other in time, we say "hi". It is a strange thing that when I do see this guy, and we say the quickest "hi" imaginable, it feels good.
I have friends I actually know, believe it or not, but I also categorize this guy as a "cycling friend". We have riding that path often in common. That's all! Yet, the fact that we both try to say hello in passing means that at least in that small respect, we think alike as well. For all I know, this dude is a complete ass, but based on nothing more than a gut feeling, I don't think so. I happened to catch this guy for a split second on video, about a month ago I think:
I got my "hey!" out late thanks to the blind corner action. In case you were trying to see if it was you in the video, here's a super slo-mo of that quick glance:
Is it just me, or does that look an awful lot like classic Bigfoot video, with its jerky motion, blurry images, etc? Am I conducting a hoax on myself, pretending I have a "cycling friend"? "Cycling friend" is starting to sound kind of like "Imaginary friend"... I am filled with self-doubt now, but that's kind of a constant with me anyway, so as usual I'll just have to embrace my inner Bigfoot and forge ahead.
un-doctored photo source here
There aren't a great many Londoners who read this blog, but if you managed to see yourself in the video, hey man! Are you riding this winter? I thought I saw you trying it early last winter near South St hospital. What's your favourite colour? You look a little roadie... do you race or club ride? If you had the choice between the ability to be invisible at will or being able to fly, which would you choose? What's your favourite bike store? Are you on parole? Where's your house? Who's your mama? Favourite bike tire brand / model? Do you have any siblings? What about pets? Ever fall over in public because of clipless pedals? Ever fall over in public due to drunkenness? The movie "Heathers": thumbs up or down? Are you right or left handed? Got any kids? Are you rich? If yes, will you be my blog patron and financial supporter? How many pairs of shoes do you wear regularly? And oh yeah... what's your name, dude? We should stop and compare notes sometime.
Uh oh. If you were that guy, would you want to know me any better after that? I already had my grey pallor, squinty eye and protruding tongue working against me, and now this.
With Full Social Gracelessness,
R A N T W I C K