06 May 2012

I Didn't Get Their Addresses; He Doesn't Have Mine

Today was one of those days that started off overcast and became almost preternaturally sunny and clear--during the course of my bike ride.  However, the temperature dropped noticeably as I rode toward the sea:  The water is still pretty cold and the wind was blowing from it.

At Point Lookout, a man who drove there with his girlfriend took this photo.  I took photos of them with their camera, and one with mine.  I'd promised to send it to them but didn't get their e-mail address!

Along the way, something even stranger happened.  I didn't take a photo, and I don't think I would've even if I could've.

I was riding along the Park Avenue, the main commercial street of Long Beach.  Along the way, I passed a cafe where a bunch of guys and their bikes were eating and drinking on the front terrace.  They were all in bright jerseys and had their racing bikes propped next to their tables.  I've seen countless groups like them; for many years, I rode with them.  Still, something felt even more familiar about the group I saw today.

As I passed directly in front of it, I caught the glance of a guy with whom I rode on any number of occasions.  The groups in which we rode were, for lack of a better term, spontaneously  assembled pelotons.  We weren't racing, at least not officially, but our competitiveness often turned from friendly to passionate to heated.  In other words, the testosterone level was high.

And the guy whose glance I caught for a moment was a kind of eminence renfrognee.  I think he scowled through his wedding and the birth of his daughter and when he ate lechon asado in holiday gatherings.  Heck, I even saw him scowl when he had a few beers in him.

I was told the guy was a photographer, but I never saw any of his work.  In fact, I never saw him working:  He was employed in a couple of bike shops and everyone who worked with him described him as lazy.  You'd never know that if you saw him on a bike.

Anyway, I don't know whether or not he recognized me.  I hadn't seen him--and, I presume, he hadn't seen me--in about ten years.  If you've been reading this or my other blog, you know that I've gone through a lot of changes since then.  I am a different kind of cyclist from the one I was when I was riding with him, and I'm not sure we could relate now.  For that matter, I'm not sure he'd want to.

I just hope he enjoyed his ride today at least as much as I enjoyed mine.


  1. Wow. You should have said hello.

    Some people just have scowling facial expressions by default as a result of their bone structure. I am sort of like this. The corners of my mouth are naturally downturned, so if I am not outright grinning and just have a neutral expression on my face it can look like I am frowning.

    1. Velouria--I was tempted to say hello. I wasn't put off by his scowl: After all, I had become accustomed to it when I was riding with him. I guess I didn't talk to him because I didn't know which can of worms I would have opened.