Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Chase

On my bike commute yesterday I was stopped at a light when a Hispanic guy on an old Specialized pulled up next to me. "Niiiice Byke" he smiled a genuine smile that revealed a single tooth. We were obviously both commuting - me with my messenger bag, him with his rusted out bike with a carrier on the back, shifters on the down tube that may have been so rusted they no longer worked.
His bike was not green and orange, but if you haven't figured it out yet, I like those colors. I told him "your bike is great too - I don't have one of those neat carriers on the back!"

He replied "Ohhhh, no you don't." seemingly happy with himself that he had me beat in the ability to carry more goods on his transport than I had. He had tennis shoes on and no helmet or lights. It wasn't yet dark, but leaning that direction. I wanted to take off my helmet and give it to him along with all my flashing lights.

We have a lot of migrant workers in San Diego and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. They work harder than most people I know, often riding bikes or walking to get work at 5am when I'm out running.

The light changed, I told him to be safe and we took off. At the next light he caught up and smiling he said "Ha ha, caught you! We should reece!" No sooner had he said this than the light changed again and he took off, this time in the lead. He glanced back, turned his baseball cap around and sped off. This guy was for real!

A chase ensued. I caught him and we both laughed as I passed and he pedaled faster. Then we hit the big downhill. And I admit, he had me. He flew past at lightning speed and there was nothing I could do but laugh as I got dropped.

At the bottom I caught up and we rode together for the next few miles. He told me his bike comes from Italy and it weighs 50 lbs. He wanted to know how much mine weighed. I told him and he smiled "Awe, yes, mine weeeighs more!" as if he had won yet again!

When we parted he told me to watch out for all those "crazeeee cars!" It was one of the best bike commuting experiences I have had to date.