A borrowed bike is as good as any

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Lanciano on a languid ride

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Did you notice the blue tires? Colour coordinated riding. Following this bike to the eventual photo was an exercise in languid riding. No stress. No pressure. No urgency.

“This is not my bike… A friend of mine loaned it to me for the weekend, so I am bringing it back.”

“I am leaving today, taking a plane and needed to go cross town to get something.”

Photographer’s noters: There are riders who leave one hypnotised. I crossed this wheel a few kilometres back from the photo and drifted into the slow, languid style he has of riding. Completely unthreatening, unchallenging, he simply drifted down the road. Before I knew it, we had covered a few kilometres.

That said, it was not without worry. In just 500m, in one instance, crossing an intersection, a car powered into the crossroads, forcing his way across the path. Further down the road, a huge AWD (4×4) decided to overtake a car that was too slow for them – and the mass of steel pressed us both into the extremes of the bike lane so as to avoid contact.

“I try not to panic at all. Let’s say I am a little scared with the cars. I feel if I am aggressive as they are, then you are in trouble. They are crazy here.”

There may be a discussion about whose style is better, safer. I am certainly far more assertive in my riding, taking my lane and riding ahead when it is my right of way. But today, I cannot say either style worked. Frankly, they both fail when faced with drivers who do not care about the cyclist…. Of course, that might be the clue. Respect…

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