I can’t decide if I am so damn chipper this weekend because future-president Gingrich has promised a moon colony or because I am finally counting down single-digit hours between the current time and when Husband Dan finally moves into our apartment and is quickly followed by all of our furniture
The other theory I have about my current positive outlook is that the weekend has been beautiful after a week that started with snow, turned into rain, and the finally turned into springtime.
My cycling clothing could be called “eclectic.” It’s probably more appropriate to call it “ill-fitting and indicative of a cheap bastard.”*
This is because the majority of my road jerseys are hand-me-downs (or swaps) from cycling friends of Dan or I – which means that they belonged to
- fast teenaged children who grew
- cyclists who got fat (by roadie standards)
- cyclists who had beef with the organization who provided them with the specific jersey.
Which means that I own mostly of mens’ xtra-small jerseys featuring collegiate logos or long obsolete teams. I wear these with non-matching shorts/tights. I look like a sausage stuffed into it’s casing with some extra floppy room in the jersey arms. In the land of road cycling, this means I get friendly greetings on the road when
- someone with poor vision mistakes me for a peer (never happens when I’m headed uphill at 4 mph)
- a guy with a santa beard passes (unless he’s on a recumbent or wearing something other than a hi-vis jacket/vest/sash)
- someone is really friendly
On Saturday, it was not freezing and beautifully sunny. I rode a pretty standard “Leave city – Lincoln – Concord – Carlisle – Return” loop. I was wearing a jersey for a college that is nowhere near this region. This typically means that I get salutes and head nods from folks wearing collegiate cycling apparel, and old santa-types.
I saw so many cyclists! I was amazed by the number of people a) riding and b) smiling/waving (rather than the perennial head nod or stoic mini-salute). This was more people than I’ve seen riding in awhile, and it contributed even more to my awesomely happy mood. Then I thought: why don’t I know these people? Where are cycling buddies? Why can’t I meet a friend who is much larger but only marginally faster than me?
So far it’s been more than difficult to solve this conundrum. Winter is not a good time to make bike friends, especially when you value sleeping in followed by leisurely breakfasts over riding in sub-freezing weather. I refuse to ride for fun when it’s below 30°F (transportation cycling is a different story). I attempted to go to the only year-round ladies ride I could find locally, but arrived to find it had been cancelled and participants had been informed telepathically, rather than via the website created for that purpose.
The best of Saturday’s roadway greetings occurred as I was headed out of Carlisle on rte. 225, a lady travelling up to Carlisle, wearing a similar hodgepodge of cycling gear passed by, sat up tall, and said “Hey!” like she just saw an old friend. Maybe she’s just a fan of a college that’s 800 miles away from here? Or, maybe she saw a kindred spirit who owns mismatched and ill-fitting cycling apparel?
Whatever the answer, I’m wondering: where do these nice, friendly people hide? I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to ride with my Husband again, but he’s a) way faster and b) has to share good weather days with both his bicycles and motorcycle.
As a house-husband, I have a feeling he’ll ride on the beautiful days where I’m stuck at work, and then when I finally get a chance to sneak out on my fun-bike, he’ll be riding his fun-bike, the one with the many-horse-power engine. Not that I mind riding alone, but when you have cycling friends, you get barbecue friends, drunken dart playing friends, and (if you are lucky) someone with whom you can commiserate with about chafing, phlegm, and unfortunately timed intestinal distress.
These are problems to focus on later, after the spring season truly arrives, for now, I’m just waiting for the furniture my Husband, to show up at our door.