Sometimes they're beautiful, sometimes they're terrifying, sometimes it's an 80-year-old cyclist named Bobby.
It's been a crappy year. 6 months into it and the hits just keep on coming, you know?
So, I've been leaving work early and riding my bike and sulking, not necessarily in that order or even one at a time. Today I rolled up to a picnic table next to the dog park to enjoy some quality sulking and sunshine when I noticed someone else was aiming for the same table, so I diverted and went to a further table. After I hopped off the bike I looked back and watched as the other rider carefully used the table to lever himself off his bike, slowly settled onto a bench and inspected his bike, looking for trouble. I walked back over and asked him if his bike was okay.
Turns out he was just getting back into cycling after many years of caring for his wife who had recently passed away. Grinning from ear to ear he told me about how he had picked out the bike, all the problems he had understanding presta valves, disc brakes and wal-mart bikes versus bike shop bikes, and he grilled me about how the trails had changed since he'd last been riding and which trails were paved and which were okay for his new tires, and we talked about how kind people are on the trail, helping him out when he'd had a flat and not taking any money, and how Christian everyone was and how he used to do 50 mile rides but right now 6 and a half was his daily routine.
We talked for 20 minutes and when I told him I had to go we traded names and he hit me with a handshake a wrestler would be proud of and I went on my way thinking about how much lighter I felt for having spent those 20 minutes with him.
I hope he felt the same way.
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