Now them’s some grippy tyres! First ride out on the new tyres and I have to say I am very pleased. They are seriously solid. I am certain that I could ride right over shattered glass or a bed of nails and still keep going, such is the robustness of these Continental Contact 28C shoes. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re not going to be getting a puncture (there we go, I’ve gone and jinxed it surely).
Despite the sturdiness and confidence that the new tyres gave me, the ride to and from work was anything but normal and comforting. Some days odd things happen, and some of those things are good, and some not so good. I hate being honked at. In fact, any kind of harassment from a car is both irritating and frankly unnecessary. This is of course the cyclists point of view and therefore very one-sided. I heard the horn, and the fact that it was 7.00 a.m. and there were not many cars around I immediately assumed that it was directed at me. The fact, however, that I had just left the road and joined the bike path left me wondering whether perhaps I was being paranoid. Perhaps I should calm down and realize that it’s not always about me.
But then there it was again, and this time it was accompanied by some shouting. This time there was no doubt as to whom the shouting was directed at, because they were addressing me by name. I didn’t stop to wonder how a complete stranger would actually know my name and use it against me, I just turned and got ready to give my best glare, the kind that even the most hardened veteran of war would shrivel under. And there he was. My friend John, driving on the Lakeshore, shouting my name out of the rolled down window of his car, his two children in the back waving at me on their way to school. Bloody brilliant!
My scowl quickly transformed into a smile and I waved back, all thoughts of animosity having evaporated as quickly as they built up. I managed to keep up with them for a good few kilometres. John had to obey all the stop signs, but being on the bike path I could continue freely, so it was only when he arrived at the turn off for the kid’s school that we parted ways. Andy, his son, had been quite bust snapping a couple of pictures through the back window of me, and as you can see above, he captured the moment!
I didn’t have to wait all that long for the next drama to unfold. Pedalling along, minding my own business as I always do, I heard some serious creaking coming up behind me. We were crawling along with some traffic, stopping every 30 yards for s stop sign, and this bloke on a clunky looking hybrid with the driest chain I have ever had the misfortune to hear, decided that he was going to pull a Lemond and show me his metal. I didn’t even have time to think “What a dork” to myself when he realized, too late, that the cars were all stopping in front, which was precisely why I was going to slowly, and after a lame last minute attempt to go round the left of the car he instead slammed right into it. His rear wheel lifted off the ground as inertia took over, and he clumsily got one foot on the ground and narrowly avoided having his jewels removed by the seat as it came flying up. The bloke driving the car jumped right out, a look of genuine concern on his face, and asked the by now adrenalin-filled idiot “Are you alright?“, to which the response was “Of course I am” as he mounted his trusty steed and pedalled away furiously. Embarrassment and humiliation bring out the worst in us, and so I don’t hold it against the fellow, but a word of advice should he find himself reading this while nursing his ego: if the traffic is slowing down right in front of you, it is not the right time to speed up and show off.
That was about all the drama I could take for one trip. The journey back did provide a little colour of its own though. I was riding into a headwind. That’s not the colour, that’s just to set the scene that I was going slowly, at least a little slower than usual, which is what allowed me, unfortunately, to see what I saw.
He didn’t look unusual from a distance. Just a regular guy waiting for the bus, standing on the sidewalk. As I approached I could see that he was a little shabby looking, but once again, I don’t hold that against anyone. You don’t know what their story is and so you shouldn’t judge. It was then, just as I was almost alongside the fellow, that I noticed his tackle hanging out for all the world to see. Yup, there it was. Just hanging there. Judging from the puddle on the ground the gent had just finished urinating but had evidently decided that there was no rush to pack away the equipment. Oh well.
On a brighter note, the UCI WordTour is in my neck of the woods. Gilbert just pulled out a stunning victory on the streets of Québec City and I’ll be on Mont-Royal this Sunday to watch the 180 riders battle it out for 17 laps live! You won’t want to miss this.