As I pulled out of the Veloway parking lot to ride home this evening after my weekly three-times-around-the-Veloway ride, I was passed by a familiar-looking bike. It was orange. The rider was tall. Unbelievable. It couldn’t be HIM!
But when I caught up to him at the stoplight at the top of the hill, I saw that it was. Orange Novara Stradas are just not all that common around here. We chatted briefly, although with a bit more substance this time, and once again, I took off first when the light changed.
This time, I was aware of him behind me. He followed me again all the way to the intersection by the supermarket, when we were stopped at another red light. “Man, it’s a hot one today,” he said. It was about 92° F. We were both bathed in sweat. We chatted some more, and it turns out he lives just one neighborhood over from me.
When the light changed, I was ready. I had kept the chain in the large chainring, but my cleat missed the pedal when I jumped forward. He must have seen my trouble and held back, wary of the heavy traffic at that intersection. I finally clicked in, stood on the pedals, and charged up the notorious Mild Suburban Incline.
No cars were turning into the supermarket lot, so I was able to keep accelerating up the grade. This time, he didn’t pass me. When I got to the top of the grade, I looked back to check on traffic, since I have to cross two lanes to make a left turn. He was a good 50 yards behind. I signaled my left, crossed the lanes, and gave him a wave as I turned towards home.
Dang! I smoked the old guy, just three weeks after he got me. Yeah, baby! There’s life in this old dog yet!
What’s that? Huh? Well…I guess you’re right. For there to be a race, both guys need to know they’re racing.