“Hey, Ray!”

Pat and I were out for a short Labor Day ride. The weather was still nice in the morning, with a slight cooling breeze, and lots of cyclists were out and about in our area.

Whenever I encounter cyclists heading in the opposite direction, I give them a wave. Sometimes, they beat me to it. I was doing a lot of waving this morning.

But as two riders passed me heading the other way and I waved, one of them called out, “Hey, Ray!”

Huh? Who was that? I didn’t recognize the jersey. (Ever notice how that’s how you can pick out riders you know — because you know them by their jersey?) It was a black and white jersey. Not familiar to me at all. Of course, that really means nothing. I wear jerseys during the week that never see the weekends, and I’m sure other people have similar jersey-wearing patterns. After all, just a mile later I called back to Pat, “There’s Jerry and Maggie!” I could tell by their matching green jerseys. And their big blue tandem. No mistaking them.

It bothered me though, that I couldn’t recognize the other two guys. And it occurred to me that this kind of thing has been happening more often. Just a couple of weekends ago, I was riding southeast of town by myself when I waved at an oncoming rider. Sure enough, he called “Hey, Ray!” Who was that? Ah, that one I figured out. It was Ralph. He rides with the club occasionally. But by the time I figured out who he was, we were far apart.

I like to think I pay pretty good attention when I’m out riding, but lately it would seem that’s not the case. I mean, if I were paying attention, I would recognize these guys, wouldn’t I? Not necessarily. Mostly, I’m looking straight ahead while I’m riding, and when I wave, I’m not usually looking at the other rider. Maybe I should start. Here’s a new experiment: I’ll eyeball oncoming riders and try to recognize them. That way, maybe I’ll be the guy who’s calling out, “Hey —!”

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5 thoughts on ““Hey, Ray!”

  1. This is clear evidence of either:

    A. Your increasing fame
    B. Your advancing senility
    C. Your declining eyesight

    I think we can all agree that Option A is what we should go with! :)

    I don’t have this problem because I don’t know very many local cyclists. I do have the occasional passing car give a friendly honk of recognition. I almost never recognize the car and go days or weeks before the person will mention the encounter!

  2. Your not alone in this, it happened to me on my first ride on my new road bike, whizzing down a hill a couple of roadies on the ascent waved and one shouted “Hi Paul!” I can honestly say that I’ve never seen the bloke in my life, so either he’s pretty good a guessing strangers names or he knew who I was even though I was disguised in a helmet / sunglasses combo. Anyway I’ve almost given up waving at fellow riders as 9/10 just ignore me, so if you can’t beat them, join them! Keep up the good work.

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