Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hockey Cyclist

On my ride home today, there was a little bit of daylight left and I had time to burn, so I took the long way home. I noticed a rider pull out ahead of me from a side street. He caught my attention because he was dressed in an unusual attire. He was wearing bike shorts, but had what looked like huge tube socks that went up his entire legs and were tucked underneath his cycling shorts. He was also wearing this humongous hockey jersey and a beanie cap. He literally looked like he had just stepped off the ice. This is an attire you don't see everyday. But it wasn't the first time I had seen it. Over the years, I've crossed paths with this guy numerous times. Up to this point we were always heading in the opposite direction. He is always dressed the same.

I caught up with him and said "hi" as I passed. He returned the greeting. I pulled ahead and as I did so, I began to think about how unusual this guy looked. Mind you, when I don my commuting cycling attire - complete with helmet, mirror, glasses, gloves, florescent orange vest, messenger bag and clips on my pant legs - I'm a bit of a dork. This guy however - well he took dork to a whole new level. I figure anyone who dresses like a hockey player and rides his bike must have a story to tell, so I slowed down.

We rode together for only a couple miles. I learned that he was in his mid 50's, lived in an RV park, had been commuting for 18 years, was a born again Christian and yea, he loved hockey. He ordered his hockey/riding gear from a company out of Canada. He indicated that he realized he looked like a clown, but the hockey jersey was actually very effective in keeping him warm. I told him that he looked fine (a lie). I also told him that I thought it was pretty cool (another lie). I went on to say that every time I saw him, it brought a smile to my face (that part wasn't a lie).

We finally reached the point where our paths diverged. We parted with a mutual God Bless! This brief encounter highlights two lessons:

Lesson # 1: Hockey gear makes for functional winter cycling attire, even though you will look like a clown. Note: This lesson I have no intention of taking to heart as it will most certainly have negative implications on my chick magnet allure.

Lesson #2: When you pass another cyclist, slow down and get to know them.

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