Friday, April 27, 2007

Two bicycles passing in the morning

Today’s ride was a relaxed one. Lately, I’ve been catching myself riding at a very relaxed pace, pushing my feet down and up like I'm in some deep mud. This usually happens when I’m looking around at whatever lines the streets.

A few days ago, it was different…

On my way to work, I’m riding North on Yonge Street, going up a very long hill. It’s between York Mills and the 401, for anyone familiar. I’m not going fast, but spinning smoothly and my heart’s thumping. I pass a cyclist who’s riding on the sidewalk. Then I pass a second. All of a sudden, the second cyclist is up on his pedals. He’s pushing hard and gets ahead of me. I hop up onto the sidewalk*, and speed up a bit. He’s on a mountain bike with knobby tires, but he’s moving at a good pace.

Now he’s tired. He just slowed down, and I’m about to pass him.

“I thought we were gonna race,” I say as I roll past him.

Oh, now it’s on. He hammers it and pulls ahead of me. This guy can accelerate.

I’m slowly catching up to him, and I can see him watching me out of the corner of his eye. I’m ready to pass him, but I see a sewer grate ahead, so I ease off on the pedals. Eventually I get around him and put some distance between us.

I pull up to the intersection at the 401 where I see the OPP waiting to catch red light runners. I hop off my bike to walk up the sidewalk, looking for a place to cross the on-ramp. Mountain bike guy zips past me and the police on the sidewalk.

He crosses the ramp further up and makes his way to the other side of the 401 well before me. … I figure the fun is over. I come out of the path between some condo towers and see him pedaling slowly down the street, looking back at me out of the corner of his eye. It’s back on.

He cranks it and takes off around the corner. The next two intersections have stop signs, so I lose some ground there. I manage to catch up on the straight-away, but I’m not sure if he’s tired out or he’s just being nice at this point. I pull up beside him and let him know he can have the win since he has the knobby tires. I don’t think he heard me over his I-pod.

It was a good way to start my commute. Next time, I won't let him break away at the start.

(*when I say "sidewalk", I really mean the paved area between the sidewalk and the curb. No pedestrians were anywhere nearby during this event.)


Darren J 4/27/2007 01:01:00 p.m.


YOU REBEL ! ! ! !
Competition is always a good way to get the morning adrenaline going.
That's such a great story! It makes bike commuting sound fun.

I just found your blog through searching cycling, blog and Toronto and I'm really enjoying it. Thanks!

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