Waving between eyeglass prescriptions

Details. I miss more of them the older I get.

It’s not a matter of inattention—not for the most part—it’s the eyes or the glasses, or most likely, both. It seems progressive vision means progressively worse.

Clap if you can read this.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not making excuses; it’s more to explain why I always try to wave when I see people pedaling by, even though I rarely know who they are.

It’s because I don’t know who they are.

Years ago I waved to cheer the passage of friends. I knew Don by the angle of his arms as he reached for the bars, Jean because she sat well forward on the saddle, and Doug because I didn’t know anyone smaller and few who were faster.

Today I wave to everyone under human power to make sure I continue to wave at my friends.

As a result, I have moved from intermittent waving to relatively constant gesticulation.

I have become a virtual drinking bird of welcome.

Let’s say it’s you on a bike.

If I knew who you were for sure, I’d know I like you and wave. But since I don’t know who you are, I have to assume I like you.

And act like it.

In other words, I am pleasant to all riders, even though, statistically, it means I’m nice to some stinkers, too.

(My apologies if you self-identify as a stinker. It must be confusing when someone is nice to you for no reason.)

Anyway, back to today’s ride.

I stop just over halfway through a 20-mile ride at the intersection of Singing Woods and Cedar Hills Drive to take a picture of my bike.

You know, for the Instagram.

I see someone approaching from the east, maybe commuting from Caterpillar Mossville.

I turn to wish the rider good morning and take pictures of the passing scene.

The person waves and continues toward the big climb leading to Route 40.

What do I see by eye from 30 feet away? A white helmet and the motion of an arm.

Someone waving back at me.

Given the helmet’s height above the ground, I know I’m not looking at someone on a recumbent or a tall bike. But that’s about it: somebody waving at me from a predictable point in space.

What did the camera capture of the same scene?

Gray socks. A taller rider than me, but similarly equipped with tights, jacket, jersey and a small rear-view mirror attached either to helmet or glasses. A bike with fenders and a large seat bag. Brake cables arcing above the handlebars. Downtube shifters. Three chainrings. A generator hub. A full-length pump under the green top tube.

As it turns out, even with the aid of 21st-century recording technology, I don’t know the rider. But I recognize the equipment choices, which suggests I might also like the person who made those choices.

Even though, officially, I already did.


About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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