Thursday, 10 December 2015

Commuter Encounters – Escaping from my Shadow

It all started like any other co-incidental meeting between two hitherto un-connected cyclist. It’s always nice to see a fellow cycle commuters, if only to remind you that you’re not in this alone in your efforts, and that others appreciate your trade.
My friend appeared out of the darkness from the right, and turned in front of me, perhaps 50 metres ahead. An ill-fitting rear mudguard caught my attention immediately, but given that I was on the Pompino in full on winter mode, I was in no position to pass judgement.
The gap held steady as we approached the tricky motorway junction island where the only concern is making it across in one piece. It was as we left the island that things were mixed up a little. My preference is always to take the road, whereas my friend chose the short section of cycle path. This resulted in our relative positions changing , and as the cycle path re-joined the road and our paths converged once more, I was a few metres in front. This could get interesting; it was decision time.
It’s formation started slowly, very faint at first, but as the road dropped away and our speed rose, the edges got sharper. I could sense the gap closing as my shadow formed in front of me; I was being caught. No time to panic though; I was confident that the pendulum was about to swing back in my favour.
The approaching incline couldn’t come soon enough, for me at least. The gear which only seconds ago was way too small, was now perfect for the road ahead. My shadow’s edges began to blur slightly as I increased my effort; I could feel the gap growing. This was all the encouragement that was needed, it was time to go for the kill.
My shadow was disappearing fast before my eyes, the edges dissolving into the light. Suddenly it was gone; the elastic had seemingly snapped. A brief glance behind me confirmed that my friend was all but gone, the escape from my shadow was complete. I only hope he’d enjoyed our encounter half as much as I had.
Vive la Velo

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