Drive My Bike


Friendly Guy – A Hard Core Veteran Commuter
September 29, 2008, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Inspired by folks like Tom, Kate, and Noah, I got a new pocket sized camera last week so that I could take pictures on my commutes. That made for a new adventure on my ride today, as I tried to juggle my new camera while I rode. Yeah, taking pictures while riding is probably a dumb idea, and I don’t recommend it, but here’s one from this morning’s ride…

FriendlyGuy

Now, don’t judge me too harshly by the quality of this picture. I was trying to capture a picture of a guy I met this morning, and he was rapidly pulling away as I was trying to get my camera out, powered on, zoomed, and focused, while not damaging the camera or myself. This guy was hands down the friendliest cyclist I’ve met in my bike commuting experiences! Here’s how the conversation went:

————————————

Me: (hearing that familiar sound of someone on a bike coming up behind my left shoulder, I look over and begin to say “Hello”, but before I can get a word out…)

FriendlyGuy: “Good Morning!” (I’ve never had anyone else start the conversation first. FriendlyGuy looks to be a little older than me, and has a big smile on his face.)

Me: “Howdy! Nice day today!”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh yeah, beautiful day! Have a Good One!” (He smiles again, and passes me effortlessly. I notice that he’s got a nice road bike, but with fenders. He’s got a backpack on, a biking jersey, long fingered gloves, and long thermals on legs and arms. Clearly a serious commuter, not the normal road bike racer boy.)

Thinking that it would be great to commemorate this FriendlyGuy moment, I fumble to get out my camera and take a picture. This causes me to lose speed, and FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, until I can just barely see him in the distance. I take the picture, stow the camera, and try to pick up my lost speed. After a mile or so, I’m coming up on a red light, and I notice a biker waiting at the light… and it’s FriendlyGuy!

I pull up behind him, stop, and this time he looks over his shoulder and smiles again…

FriendlyGuy: “Hey again. Looks like we’ve got the old Tortoise and Hare thing going on this morning” (This is said with a smile, and a friendly manner, so it’s not taken as any kind of competitive statement. He’s just making good conversation)

Me: “Yeah, well you’re geared a bit differently than me.”

FriendlyGuy: “Yes, I guess that’s true” (The light turns green, but instead of just pulling away, FriendlyGuy pulls out slowly and actually waits for me to come along side of him. Imagine that… a stranger that could easily leave me in the dust is waiting to have a conversation!)

FriendlyGuy: “How far you going?”

Me: “Oh, about five miles. Just into Murray by 215”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, that’s great.”

Me: “You been doing this long?”

FriendlyGuy: “Yeah, a few years now”

Me: “How about you, how far are you going?”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, into downtown Salt Lake” (Now, this is impressive, because we are a good ways from downtown)

Me: “Wow, so what is that, about ten miles or so?”

FriendlyGuy: “About 17. Yeah, it’s a great ride!” (Wow, 17 miles… very impressive)

Me: “WOW! That is really great! Good for you!” (I’m in complete amazement at this point, having never been face to face with someone so committed to Bike Commuting. My mind is racing as to how to respond… and the only thing I come up with is…)

Me: “Well you have a really good day!” (Wow… that was weak, but he’s really nice and the traffic is heavy, and I don’t want to cause problems with his commute today.)

FriendlyGuy: “You too!” (We are coming up to a stretch of road that can be a bit nasty due to some construction equipment in our lane, and there is lots of traffic. FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, barely skirts a construction barrier, and then he’s off, and I’m not catching him this time.)

————————————

FriendlyGuy, I’m guessing you probably talk to a lot of people as you ride, so if you read this, I was the guy on 7th East, in the bright yellow windbreaker, on the not so fast Schwinn hybrid. Thanks for making my commute better this morning, and I hope to see you again sometime.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What a great story. I was FriendlyGirl this morning, and chatted with a couple fellow bike commuters this morning. Upon reading this, I think I may make being FriendlyGirl a goal for tomorrow’s commute.

PS Would you mind if I added you to my blogroll?

Comment by Kate

Thanks FriendlyGirl! I’d love to be on your blogroll, and keep taking those fun pictures.

Comment by Scott

wat a cool cat!
I thought I rode to work early…

nice blog, will stop by often
xo/

Comment by meli

Hey Scott, great post. I’m loving your blog on bike commuting.

Just make sure your not moving when taking pictures. The results may not be good 🙂

–Thom

Comment by Thom Allen




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