Monday Blues: Slowly Passing


We ride two different roads - hers is full of conversation, "rambling" I call it. It flows as long as the pavement unfolds in front of her wheel, it takes sudden turns, is often directionless, and frequently gets her lost. Mine is studied and planned, small talk involves bikes, bike trips, bike people, and little else. It is to the point, with little room for randomness.

I was keeping the ride "together" by following at a short distance; she does not like when I ride her wheel, hence the short distance. At sixteen miles per hour, our clip was not quick, but I was content with it. Pedaling the Ibis allowed me to hop between the pavement and the dirt verge at will. I was off pavement when our sixteen miles per hour pace carried us up to a lone rider, and so I hopped onto the path in preparation for passing.

Our pace dropped - fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve. Then leveled off. The Los Angeles River Ride had brought heavy morning bike traffic over to the San Gabriel River Trail. But that was then, and this was now. Passing groups gave way to big gaps with ample opportunity for passing slower solo riders, yet she seemed stuck in place, and I could not understand the hesitancy. 

My preparations for settling in to a new, slower, reality were suddenly preempted by a subtly evolving shift to the left. "Ah, the pass. Finally." But, man was it slow. She moved ever so slightly ahead, and I had hope. Hope can be dashed in the flicker of a light, the blink of an eye, or it can, as I was to find out, drag on through countless wheel rotations. There was no turning of heads between the two, and I guess I was far enough behind that no hint of conversation reached my ears, yet the slowness of the pass suggested something was up. Hope turned to dismay as I began to realize the slow pass was devolving into a non-pass. 

She had found someone to talk to.

Zeus knows, I can't blame her for finding conversation where, or when, she can, and she is a far more "social animal" than am I. Once again I tendered my resignation from the Benevolent Order of Adequate Pace. Besides, this wasn't so bad - I still had the dirt verge to keep me occupied. As tends to happen in instances like this, though, one thing led to another.  Twelve miles per hour became eleven, ten, and then even nine as the two new friends caught an even slower moving couple.

And the turning of the cranks became a turning of the screws.

No dirt would keep me entertained for long at that pace. So it was another hop up to pavement, the flash of a peace sign in passing, and "i'll see you up ahead." That's the great thing about cycling, isn't it? It can be as socially infectious as we want it to be, at nearly any given moment.


It was a great weekend to escape the heat and humidity inland, for the humidity, but a little less heat at the coast. Hope everyone had a great couple days.

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist.

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