It seems like all the fancy bikers ride from the north into downtown. The best bike path comes down the riverside.
I live in the east.
So, in celebration of Bike to Work Week, I got up early, threw my bike on a COTA bus, and rode to a place where I could meet the group as it rolled downtown and down river.
As scheduling would have it, I had about a half-hour to enjoy along the riverbank as I waited for my peloton.
What to do? I pulled out my Our Town script and memorized my lines.
That’s a good use of time…
…But Socially Awkward
I think I will place those words on my tombstone. (Later.)
It’s odd to be standing alone, shouting words across a river, projecting to the opposite bank, as if facing the back wall of a theater.
It becomes socially awkward when individual bikers ride past and I’m so focused on my recitation that I don’t stop.
They must think I’m in some trouble. Perhaps I need some help.
And, so, here’s what I learned today: of the 50 or so bikers who rode past before my group arrived, two offered to help me. And the two were not the two I would have predicted.
Almost every man rode past without saying anything, unless I said something first. When I said, "Hi," they asked, "How ya doin’?"
"How ya doin’?" is one of the dopiest thing to ask when you are speeding past. There’s no time for me to say, "I’m doin’ fine. You?" By the time that’s said, all I can see is north side of a southbound biker. No pretty picture, even in the best of cases.
Maybe they didn’t really want to know how I’m doin’.
But here’s the surprise, for me. Two women offered help. In the five seconds or so that we can converse – me standing, they speeding past – two women asked, "Are you OK?"
Their voices were sincere. I think, if I had said, "I am definitely not OK," they would have stopped to help.
I wondered what ailment I could claim that would win me some help. Should I grab a body part (not that one) and ask, "Do you think I broke this?"
By the way, it shouldn’t matter, but it does to me: they were both quite pretty. As pretty as nature will allow when they are so bent over in helmets. Maybe that’s a kinda thing for me. (Note to wife.)
But I ask you (note to you): Why would the prettiest bikers offer to help a man standing alone (beside his bike) on the riverbank, when the men would ride past with nary a "How ya doin’?"
In My Next Life
I’m not on the make, as you have read, but if I were, I would invest some serious time on the riverbank holding a body part. (Not that one.)