I frequently write about my rides. Epic rides I share with my son. Commutes to and from the office. Training rides around Stanley Park, UBC, the river delta and, gruelling climbs up the local mountains. Today, I want to write about a different kind of ride.
A week ago, I met a young woman living in my neighbourhood. A professional woman who, for years, worked in academia at one of the local universities. Disenchanted, she took a 6 month sabbatical which she subsequently extended to a year. What did she choose to do with this time? Cycle solo around the world. What else?
I was intrigued. This woman was not only an inspiration but intelligent, articulate, outgoing and, confident. I liked her immediately. When we were parting, she handed me her business card. Several days later, I viewed her LinkedIn Profile and, extended an invitation to connect. The same day, she connected. She remembered our chance encounter.
Two days later, I received an email from her asking if I would like to accompany her on a ride. She had a business meeting, an hour away and, was looking for a cycling buddy. You see, she not only commutes by bike but cycles around the city for business meetings throughout the day.
No one has ever asked me to do this before. Without much hesitation, I rearranged my schedule.
We agreed to meet at 8:30 in the morning, she, on her beautifully appointed city bike, dressed in a flattering navy blue dress and grey tights and me, on my road bike dressed in my road cycling kit. I felt underdressed. No matter, we ambled along at a conversational pace for an hour, talking mostly about her cycling adventures.
While she met with her client, I crossed the street to meet with an associate and, an hour later, we met up again for the return ride back downtown to our respective offices. When we parted, we thanked one another for the ride, both saying we hoped to meet up again.
I have not cycled like this for a very long time. I wasn’t training. I didn’t look at my computer once and, had no idea how fast (or slow) were were travelling. It didn’t matter. We arrived on time (I think) and, there was no need to rush on the way back.
But I wasn’t done. At lunch, I cycled downtown to pick up MLS soccer tickets, later in the afternoon, cycled to a nearby cafe to meet a web designer being considered for a project and, after work, took a longer, circuitous route home adding another 30 km to the 45 km I had already cycled.
A day on the bike. What could be better?