Jason was a real Road man - a really fast decent bike and he had the appearance to match. He caught me up (which wasn't difficult today) and we rode alongside each other for a few miles. We talked about the usual things; the weather, why we liked cycling and so on. I mentioned my disappointment with some other cyclists who appear a bit snooty or aloof and wondered whether it was because my appearance doesn't quite fit the scene. I should mention that today I was wearing my baggy cycle shorts and a stripy Landsend polo shirt.
Jason knew exactly what I meant and said he and his clubmates know them as New Age Cyclists. These are generally reckoned to be middle aged blokes who have seen a bit of the Tour de France on TV and fancy some of the action themselves. It then often follows they'll blow some of their city bonus on a classy bike with all the gear and think they're "it". This all made sense and I was reassured I'm not the only one to get the cold shoulder. Jason reckoned it's nothing to do with your appearance or what kind of bike you have, it's just old fashioned snobbery I guess.
I was having to work hard in keeping level with Jason, especially as I had a pannier bag with my papers for Monday inside. After a few miles our routes diverged and we wished each other well. So there you go. This encounter was another significant step in restoring my faith in other cyclists, cheers Jason.
Today has been fine for me at work. A pleasant meeting this morning - I'm leading on the Environmental Strategy and we have a local Action Group comprising of some great colleagues working alongside me. Also I've been working on another piece of work which finally came together which was promptly emailed to HQ. Felt like a burden was lifted off. Felt good, especially at the end of a mixed week. Looking forward to a great weekend and I'm really looking forward to my next blog post already.
So, Jason: many thanks! You're a brilliant cyclist - your accomplished riding style, the club run etiquette and for the reflections on those New Age Cyclists. Really sorry if I held you back!