28 November 2011

this actually happened

On the last leg of my ride home, at about Sunset & Beaudry, I pass an old duffer in the bike lane. My bell rings, unprovoked, because my bell does that. But the guy changes gears, speeds up, & snorts,"What're you running, 35/17?" I counter, "48/15!" "Gears are good, y'know, for hills like these." "Is this a hill?" I meant to be funny.

We ride maybe a quarter of a mile in silence.

"I never did understand the whole no-gears thing," he finally says. "It's only good for riding on flats." I respond, "You should try it. It's very different. I ride both geared & fixed. And hey, if you ride both, maybe then you won't get passed on the road by a girl." I'm smiling though, hoping he can hear it. That he can tell I'm ribbing him, one rider to another.

One must smile in this circumstance, but it's an effort. I've been smiling all day. And this is the tenth & final mile of my ride home. And I'm tired. Sometimes, you just don't want to smile anymore.

He turns right, & I change lanes to turn left. My bell rings of its own volition, again. I consider wishing him a good ride, but then I think better of it. My face falls back to its usual riding expression — flat eyebrows, small mouth. I ride up the one hill, then I ride up the other hill, slowly, with great effort, & then I'm home.

No comments: