I’m riding down the hill past Chimney Rock. An old Buick trails behind. The driver patiently keeps his distance. I block the lane but try to go fast enough to keep the cars happy. At the bottom, I turn and give him a wave of thanks for his patience.
He pulls alongside. I look in the window. Inside is an old man in his 80s, wearing a golf cap and huge smile, with a pipe in his mouth. He gives me an enthusiastic thumbs up. I can’t help but smile back.
Back on River Road now, I’m headed for home. Cars whiz past. Everybody who’s anybody needs to get where they are going, and fast. Honk Honk. “Out of my way, spandexy! I’m late for the job I hate.” Driver on cell phones blabber with other drivers on cell phones. Theirs is a world without time for silly spandex games. Besides, it’s mad to be out on such a cold morning.
Somewhere miles away, an old, retired man is driving his Buick 10mph slower than he probably ought to be. The honkers think he is slow because he is old. The grin he slipped me tells otherwise. He’s figured it out. The rushing, the honking, the blood pressure, the cell phones…these things are empty. His thumbs up was not to praise my cornering technique.
He was sticking it to the rat race.