Back in early January after a mid week post work courier meeting I was commuting home in the darkness way deep on Commonwealth Ave when I passed a random bike rider. As I rolled by I blurted out, "I never see anyone else on my commute!" The rider looked over and said, "You just never know." A few miles later I passed an unrelated second rider pictured above saying the same thing, "I never see anyone else on my commute!" His response was the same as the first, "You just never know."
At that point I dismounted and started talking to George Edwards a die hard bike commuter from near Shannon in the country of Ireland. He was on his bike wearing a classic Yellow Captain Gordon the fisherman rain slicker grinning like he had just won the lottery. As it turns out George has been coming to America from Ireland 6 months out of the year for about the past decade. He explained to me that as he got older the cold, wet and windy winter became harder to deal with so he comes to the QC in the fall and works at a restaurant until spring when he flies home for another 6 month revolution. His only transportation here in America is his trusty steel Bicycle.
I have seen this Irishman on his bike regularly since that night as recently as last week when he told me he was flying home soon for the summer. I told him that it was a positive thing I saw in him and wished him well on his travels. Just before we parted I snapped the above picture of him proudly holding his bike and in his right hand clutching the latest edition of the Irish Emigrant. As I took the picture I felt like it may very well be the last time I would see George Edwards but he has left an impression on me that I will always remember as a positive force on a bicycle in the drab urban world that has become my existence.