One early morning a few years back from this on an inbound stay alive, a crazy Bastard whom I had never met before accelerated passed me in his Ford Range Her at the start of the Albermarlean Traverse, and then a hundred meters ahead he turned right into some sort of breakfast fast food place. He whipped the truck around, jumped out of the cab and flagged me down. What the? Turns out this crazy Bastard with the birth given street name Stuckey had been seeing me traverse the corridor over the past few years and for whatever reason on this morning he decided to introduce himself and ask me what the hell am I doing for the seven thousandth time with a few years gap. Strange the thought of how my presence on perpetual bike commute affects the minds of those thinking and paying attention. I've often wondered just how many of those whizzing by car bound in the active pursuit of whatever actually see me.
In this case Stuckey was most definitely paying attention and he let me know both verbally and tacitly. We chatted for a few minutes that morning with promises of contacting each other for a trail ride and then both of us went back on our individual ways. Over time we never got that trail ride in, but I did see Stuckey often enough to know that he saw me as well. It was kind of one of those things where you are alone on a bike, you project a thought and then it manifests. You've heard it before and you will hear it again maybe even in this post, how's the synchro? I would be riding along after a week or two without seeing the Range Her wondering to myself where the hell it was and then all of a sudden it would appear with an audible toot from nowhere. A few times I even picked my way through traffic stopped at a light to have a passenger window side chat with this fellow rider and all around decent human. Stuckey.
Fast forward over the ages to a week and a half ago when Stuckey contacted me to let me know that he would be no longer employed after the 30th of November and that he would like to have some fun by following me on a work day from start to finish. Well, well, I dare say that is an interesting proposal to have a civilian I have never ridden with fly my wing for a day. So it was done and set for Thursday December 2. Stuckey showed up with his big geared freewheel SS urban road rig before 0800hrs just as I was finishing this post and my delicious toast and jam. We rolled out for the standard east side approach very close to my normal departure time.
Here, still in Dooleyville Stuckey approaches a slight rise in full pro level style.
Thoughts, Observations & Stats:
-Stuckey was amazing, only slowed me down three times out of many.
-We did 16 jobs(solid average goal style) in between 0845hrs and 1303hrs.
-Lunch was a 6.25$ three bean burrito splurge for me and a chicken version for him at PHAT.
-Not one of the 16 tags were outside of the beltway. Normally I go out(far) a few times in that same amount of time. Providence Road or at least Moorehead deep come up often enough that I am familiar.
-Beer call was before 1600hrs.
-By the time we returned home on this solid average day minus leaving the belt, Stuckey's Computer read, 32.7miles.
Here he is back in Dooleyville after a day in the life of me. If you look closely you will see the 24hrs of Booty is sort of spiritually represented on Stuckey's left calf. Spencer saw the ink recently and was motivated to inquire about the human wearing it.
Now that Stuckey and I are friends we've also become Faceliftbook "friends". Yesterday I noticed that he posted a few images for all of his other '"friends" to see. One that struck me deep is the one below of him riding home for an evening commute a week before he lost his job and the week after I returned from Haiti.
The most amazing thing about this Stuckey self portrait is that it is unrehearsed, unplanned and not coordinated by either of us. To tell the truth, I never remember seeing him and he swears that he never saw me. I am in my Montero driving the commute that I always ride because I had just returned from Hell, it was raining and I am a pussy. Yes, the UN Montero with the Connecticut flag over the right wheel well is one of the only things I own and in this slice of time, about 125th of a second I am dry, driving it on by Stuckey who is wet.