Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Riding with my Doppelgänger

So there's another guy that rides to work in the strip mall where our office is. He works in another building for another company. Anyway, we've seen each other once or twice and even said hi. When my coworkers see him, they think he's me a lot of the time. We both ride hybrids. I notice little differences, of course, like the flat bar on his bike versus the Origin8 Space Bar on mine, the fact that he uses toe clips with straps and I just use clips without straps, and I have a pannier while he uses a backpack. Most people don't notice details like that; they just notice the overall aspect of a guy on a bike.

Today when I got to the second traffic light on my way home, I saw another cyclist waiting at the light. It turned out be this cycling doppelgänger who works in the next building over. I caught up to him and we rode most of the way home together. He lives about a mile from me.

We had a nice chat. He revealed that he was the infamous rider whose brakes failed coming down Hooters Hill and ran into the back of the car of a guy that works in my office. It was his son's bike and hadn't been ridden in a while and he didn't realize the brakes were shaky until it was too late. He was glad he was wearing his helmet!

I drove that day and rolled by the scene just as the police and paramedics arrived. Upon going into the office, many people were asking me if I was the one who wrecked.

That was several months ago. I'm glad Keith recovered and continues to ride. I guess the important lesson to be taken from his experience is to make sure your equipment is working and is properly maintained!

You can tell it's springtime around here. Besides running into Keith today, I've noticed many more riders out and about. The other day, at the same intersection where I ran into Keith, three cyclists went by on the street I cross... during one cycle of the light. I felt like waving and yelling HI! but then again, it's a busy street and I know they need to pay attention to traffic.

I started commuting in February last year, and for the first several months it was only an occasional thing. I was absorbed in my own riding and not really looking around for other cyclists. I've been riding a little over a year now, and I'm starting to realize there is a seasonal component to cycling, even here in sunny Texas. Far more people are on bikes right now. I suppose the economy may play into that somewhat, but still, I think it's good seeing people riding their bikes.


Dottie said...

Sounds like a fun experience. I always treasure the few times I end up riding along side and talking with another cyclist. There's definitely a huge seasonal component to cycling in Chicago. It's hard to get used to sharing my bike path after months of being on my own.

Big Oak said...

I've been seeing a number of bicyclists this winter and spring in little Auburn, Indiana. I even saw one the other day that appeared to be commuting from Fort Wayne. It's good to know I'm not the only "bike freak" on the roads.


Steve A said...

I hope you didn't mean that "running into" part literally!

HeidiTri's said...

A couple weekends ago I took a long ride one one of the more popular roads for cyclists around here. In my hour long ride I saw atleast 15 other cyclists out there! It was great fun to be able to smile and wave! That's not something I get to do all winter long while my bike's on the trainer.