I use a bike riding app to record my mileage and other stats. One fun side effect is that there are various "courses" throughout town that either other riders have designated or the app itself feels should be a course. If a rider using the app goes along one of these courses, their statistics are automatically tabulated against all of the other riders that have covered that same course.
From what I've gathered, courses are either hills that have an appreciable elevation gain along an appreciable distance, or they are flat straightaways along appreciable distances that allow for getting good and speedy. Points are earned in various ways - that I'm not even sure of. But doing courses several times earns points towards "guru", and being the fastest male or female earns the designation of "sprint king/queen" for straight courses or "king/queen of the mountain" for hill courses
In my e-mail today, I learned of my latest achievements from a ride I took yesterday:
I do the whole PrintScreen business because I want it blogly recorded that I am currently Sprint Queen of "Goose Poop Slalom Southbound" and Guru of "Goose Poop Slalom Northbound"!
I don't know the person who set up and named these courses, but I find the names very appropriate. This is a straightaway portion of the bike path that travels along a reservoir that is a popular place for goose families to hang out - thus the slalom element.
But really, I'm not interested in bicycle racing, either as a spectator or participant. I consider myself just another happy commuter. I think, in general, the bicycle commuters prefer to distance ourselves from the bicycle racers. Going out of our way to NOT wear spandex and/or clippy shoes so as to not even appear to be "one of them".
Often the speedy spandexed racers have a general arrogance about them. I know when I see one coming my way when I'm on the bike path, I make sure to give them space, because those serious racers on their expensive fast bicycles shouldn't have to slow down for a lowly commuter. *eye rolls*. Although I know there are exceptions, I confess to usually assuming their guilt.
There is one such super fast and spandexed rider I've come across on several occasions.
First time I "met" him, he was headed in my direction. Streamlined, coming in very fast. I thought, "Whoa, better give this guy room so he doesn't get pissed off for having to break his momentum" and moved far to my right to give him ample space.
But something was a little off. Yes, he was lean. Yes he was going very fast. But as he got closer, I saw...
He only has one leg. His right leg is totally gone. His left leg is pumping like a well-oiled machine component, propelling him forward.
But maybe the bigger surprise is that, when he goes by me in a whoosh, he's got the biggest smile on his face and always gives a hearty greeting.
And then he's gone. In a flash.
I have no idea who he is. Does he race? Or does he just like to ride fast? How did he lose his leg? How does he stay so happy? He absolutely radiates happiness and friendliness.
... which makes it a bit of a shame that he goes so darn fast.
Hooking up with Mama Kat again today
1.) A blog post inspired by the word: surprise