I was walking my dog a couple of days ago and noticed my neighbor, Steve, working on his bike in his driveway. Longtime readers with excellent memories will recall Steve from a previous post on flat tires. We had a pleasant conversation about his bike, a Trek 2200, and I regaled him with stories of my reintroduction to cycling, culminating with a mention of the Culpeper Cycling Century.
“You were in Culpeper?” asked Steve.
“Yep,” I replied with uncharacteristic brevity.
“So was I!” said Steve, whereupon we bumped fists in mutual congratulation.
Remarkably, my longtime friend who lives one street away from me loaded his bike on his car, drove to Culpeper, and participated in the exact same event as I did. And we never saw each other.
“Where were you cycling?” asked Steve.
“I was the guy in the back!” I half-jokingly replied.
Steve did the century route while I only did the Metric Century. Still, we were on the same road for over 25 miles and we both stopped at the same first rest stop. We also loitered at the start point for 15-30 minutes prior to the beginning of the ride. I was at a loss as to how we didn’t see each other, but it make perfect sense to Steve.
“We were all wearing helmets and sunglasses,” he said. “We all look the same.”
We briefly compared our schedules for the rest of the year and confirmed that we won’t be at the same event again. Steve is an avid triathlete who is still performing well above my level in the cycling arena. He’s thinking about a century ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains in a week. I have my sights set on the more modest 64-mile Great Pumpkin Ride in the flats of Warrenton.
Maybe we’ll hook up next year. After all, it’s a small world!