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 —!”