A Tale of Two Cyclists

Riding home from work yesterday I saw a cyclist ahead of me.

I don’t know his story, but he wore a slouch cap, rough looking clothing, and his bike looked beat up.  I, and probably you, have seen riders like this many times.  Seeing him was not unusual, nor was it unusual that I made up ground on him.

After about three or four blocks I passed him, gave a nod and went on.  The traffic lights were good and soon we both were heading south toward the MLK bridge.

He passed me.

And that with a good headwind.

Confession Time

My male cycling ego raised its ugly head.

[I do confess that I am a sinner.]

While writing this I realized I have to bestow a name on this fellow.  I need to humanize him.  I will call him Mark.  [No!  I am not thinking of Cav!]

So, Mark passes me.  I admit to being startled.  I never expected it.  I grin and say to myself, “OK, bud. I can play like that if you want to.”  I’m going to burn every match I have into next week if need be.  A cycling friend calls it chasing rabbits.

On the down slope before the bridge I pushed it and passed him with a seated acceleration. No way was I going to stand or show any exertion.  I reasoned he burned his matches in passing me and would not have anything left to respond with, or he would not care to respond.

Whatever the reason, the distance between us kept increasing and that was the end of that.  Mark was left behind.  Soon, our paths diverged and he was gone from sight.

I took it easy the rest of the way home, laughing at my response.  When I told Jan about what had happened she rendered the verdict.

“You’re pathetic!”

Yes, I’m pathetic.

Stay happy,


About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
This entry was posted in bicycle commute, Commuting, Cycling, Ozarks, springfield missouri and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Tale of Two Cyclists

  1. Jim says:

    We all do it! It’s a guy thing. It’s also a good way to get faster.

  2. rlhoover says:

    I also realize that drafting behind you will make me faster! 🙂

  3. What your wife calls ‘pathetic’, Coach Rob calls ‘essential’! Definitely a guy thing.

  4. As a professional driver, I can’t count the number of times I “catch up” to another vehicle while using cruise control. As I change lanes to pass, I often have to speed up to complete the pass. In fact, I often find myself going over 70 mph on a two lane road to complete the pass. The passed vehicle will usually stick to my rear bumper for a little while before finally dropping back into oblivion. I always wonder “what the heck was that all about?”. But it happens every day. I suppose it’s the same with cyclists. It (as has been said) is a guy thing.

  5. Steve says:

    When I was a few miles from home during a recent 50+ mile outing, I was feeling a little ragged. Despite this, I noticed I was closing on another cyclist. When this happens, I usually discover the cyclist is a female octogenarian carrying a load of groceries on her mountain bike, and my burgeoning pride subsides. However, this time I discovered the cyclist to be a fully-kitted roadie at least ten years my junior on a nice carbon bike. I gave a cheery hello as I passed and we parted ways. Now, it is entirely possible that man had just cycled over 100 miles, or had just finished a gut wrenching sprint workout or maybe was simply doing a recovery ride and his watt meter wouldn’t let him pass me. Whatever the case, I just felt pretty good about passing him!

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