I was riding up Pisgah road yesterday when I happened upon some workers cutting trees next to the road. They had blocked one lane, so there was a man standing in the road with one of those stop/slow signs. He saw me and said, “you’d better hurry up if you’re gonna catch the guy that just went through here!” I laughed and agreed with him, though didn’t think much of it once I went along my way into the Latting Rd area that prettymuch everyone rides through on their way out of Cordova and into good riding territory. There are a couple of ways through the neighborhood- I took the slightly shorter route. As I approached the intersection where the shorter/longer routes come back together, a rider in a Healthnet jacket passed by. He was going my way, so I figured I’d catch up to him & say hello.
What is your first thought when you see someone in a piece of pro team kit? (you people from California or other “nice” places don’t answer that) I was thinking the same thing- it’s just the usual recreational dude who was a either a Healthnet fan or happened to get a good deal from PBK. However, as I appraoched him, I could tell that my first impression was incorrect- he looked fit and had the pedal stroke and steadiness of someone who has lived small bits of life on two wheels.
I pulled up beside him. We talked for a while- turns out, his name is Rusty, and he used to ride for Healthnet several years ago, got burnt out, quit, and today- yes TODAY- was his first time back on a bike since then. Seems he & his wife were in Costa Rica the day before (nice!) when they saw some people riding. It inspired him to get his bike back out & try it again. I told him about the weekend group rides in the area, and he expressed some interest in going to the Trinity ride this morning.
Did he show up? I don’t know- I am tapering for VOS, and had another chiro appt. this morning, so I’m going to ride on my own in a little while. Hopefully he went, enjoyed himself and is inspired to keep it up!
When you think about it, it’s pretty crazy that we crossed paths at that moment. All the little things you do before/during a ride that only take a few seconds… seconds that could have potentially placed me just ahead or “just” behind far enough. Goosebumps :)