Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Seems once the weather improved we all went our separate ways. New blurs in the dark replaced the familiar blurs of the morning. At the end of the work day a sea of new faces greets, some familiar most not. Every year more and more. But the ones that matter to me are the ones that I can relate to. The ones that go through the same hell year after year. The Winter Commuters.
There were three of us on my route. David, Paul and your humble author. Every morning fighting the elements and staying alive while inching toward work. And the struggle resumed in the evenings. With the Spring we changed our routine. We could sleep in longer since it was easier and faster to ge to work. I have not changed, however. I am enjoying coffee and breakfast in the confines of my office. I know that in a few months, maybe up to 5 months that I might just be arriving at this very moment. So Paul and David are memories.
Today I saw David. We stopped and talked. We have seen each other maybe a handful of times since March. Different routes and extra sleep he said. Told him I like to get in early. No traffic and no peleton of racers to swarm me. Coffee, yes coffee.
There is a bond between winter commuters that is both powerful and unspoken. We know that each has each other's back should disaster hit--crash on ice or fetal position death pose. Someone is out there to call for help. This bond may not be as strong as that of soldiers but I'd like to think it is close. Both face death in hostile environment. Uncomfortable at times and occasionally thrilling. Speed, expensive bike and clothing not impressive in winter. Survival is. And repeating it day after day all winter long is what is truly impressive. Any fool can ride when it is nice. Takes a special fool to ride when it is hell. I love those fools.
Those that freeze their ass off with me shall be my brother/sister.