Stopped by a simple rose

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Well dressed cyclist outside the Cyclo bike shop

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – My local Cyclo bike shop has an air hose at the front door that is well used by area cyclists in need of a little floating support.

“The roses are for the house. Just routine. Every Saturday for Sunday. I bought the bike in Switzerland from a guy who was nice and he advised me. I have had it for four years now. It is a weekend bike for Brussels but it is not really flat here, so I do not use it for the trip to work. But I use it on Saturday and Sunday for shopping. Monday to Friday, I am not on the bike. I use the Metro.”

Photographer’s notes:  There are bad days that turn good. This was one of them. On the daily spin, I had a flat and pushed my bike to Cyclo, my local, and oft frequented, bike shop.  I messed up repairing the puncture, creating flat after flat in the ongoing mess. Such a mess, I finally surrendered the idea of repairing the holes and replaced the entire tube.

In the final throes, just as I was about to leave, this gentleman pulled up to use the free air hose the bike shop offers just outside its doors. Of course I noticed the bike, but often there is something else about a person that encourages me to take a a photo. This time, it was the collection of roses he carried. I, being the usual male, thought he bought flowers and had a gift under his arm, for some special occasion. Turns out, he just likes to have flowers in the house.

If I had another reason to stop him and talk, it was this coat. Turns out it was an inexpensive design he got for about 100 Euros. It looks far more expensive. I would like to go hunting for one, but my oversized frame would not do it the same aesthetic justice as he shows with the accompanying hat.

It almost never fails that the person I ask for a photo is always pleasant and friendly – even when they kindly refuse. Today was no different as the offer was accepted. So, a bad day turns good.

As an aside, that is my bike on the right. An undersized, aubergine street bike that I have spent time adjusting and refining for my personal style. High seat, low handlebars – the sort of set-up that convinces people I will eventually have back problems. But it is fast and I like that. You can complain about my posture as I ride away from you.



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